Showing posts from 2016

Ko Bang Tao - 07° 59' 48" N 98° 16' 58" S

We have been aboard Popeye for a couple of months now and established a few favourite things. 1.      Solar-powered light This little gem, courtesy of Rick and Sue , has unfailingly provided us with the perfect ambient light in the cockpit.   We clip it to a deck fitting to power up by day and enjoy light through the night. And the best part; no batteries required! 2.      Orange Floatie Lounger Sean may never go back to the pool noodle! This came along with Scott and Elizabeth and has been extensively deployed.   Sean catches up on his sleep whilst comfortably floating behind the yacht for hours. 3.      Funky waterproof speaker It even came complete with its own floatie!  Thanks to Adrienne and Ray, we can enjoy music in the cockpit, on the ‘front porch’, floating off the back of the boat, on the beach, anywhere…. 4.      Go-Pro (with selfie stick and plethora of mounting options) A big thanks to the Eaglesons for firstly ins

The Similan Islands - 08° 40’ 32” N 97° 38’ 49” E

'Donald Duck Bay' Ko Similan Picture the perfect tropical island with palm trees, white, white sand, turquoise water, green foliage and interesting rock formations.   This is the Similan Islands.   Stunningly postcard perfect.   And Popeye floating serenely on clear water, as if suspended by magic above coral outcrops, teaming with colourful schools of all varieties of fish. That is, until 10am. At that time, speedboats start pouring in from the mainland. Boat after boat after boat, disgorging passengers onto the beach in a scene that would do a wartime beach landing proud.   For six hours, we observed this onslaught of day-glo-lifejacket-wearing daytrippers cluttering up a perfectly good stretch of sand, many with selfie sticks wielded like dueling swords.   From this lagoon, where we are moored off Ko Similan, there is a short hiking trail up to a lookout point on the rocky outcrop that shelters the lagoon from northeast weather.   Although we cannot see

Krabi Boat Lagoon - 08° 00' 42" N 98° 57' 40" E

Full moon over Krabi Boat Lagoon Krabi Boat Lagoon is taking on a Hotel California effect for us.  Despite checking out several times, we cannot seem to leave! Putting up the cruising main We arrived on the high tide on Tuesday 13th planning to offload racing gear and bring on all the cruising essentials such as BBQ and kayak.  Tides about right, just needing to fuel up, an inconsiderate charter motorboat (snowboarders of the sea!) sat on the fuel dock and declined to move despite many requests from ourselves and the marina management until the tides had turned and we could no longer leave. Next day, we managed to get as far as Ko Phi Phi.   Sailing to Ko Phi Phi Beautiful sailing weather... As we were anchoring, the anchor winch decided to give up the ghost.   Rather than anchor in the crowded bay at Ton Sai Bay, we slipped around the corner and anchored in the quiet off the Loh Moo Dee beach.  Next morning after having to reset the breaker fiv

Phuket Ponderings - 07° 49' 01" N 98° 18' 05" E

We are curious as to what considerations went into the braking system of the scooter so prolific around Phuket and we ponder whether the designers took into account the 'after-market' options in their calculations.... The Surfboard Transport Option The Restaurant Option The Jetski Trailer Option Basic model.  Full of possibilities! Kata Beach Public Works uses them, too! The fully laden veggie stand Does that propane tank worry anyone else? ... with fold-out shelves, too! Super carry-all with deluxe awning fringe Five people plus luggage - no problem! We can't wait to build ourselves one of these in Canada (or Australia) and take it to the Motor Vehicles office for licensing!

Navigating the Chalong Roundabout - 07° 49' 23" N 98° 20' 15" E

Between Kata Beach and the sail makers (a well beaten path...) is the Chalong Roundabout.  Executing a right-hand turn at this landmark is not for the faint-hearted. Firstly, the basic rules of the road do not apply, such as: using blinkers, those in the roundabout have right-of-way, traffic lanes, direction of flow - all these are optional.  Secondly, add scooters to the mix in every available space, pot holes and the odd stray dog.  Thirdly, the rental car is stuffed with repaired sails, full propane bottles, grocery shopping, jerry cans of diesel and petrol and likely to explode if rear-ended! And, yes, Thailand drives on the left. The trick is to be brave and predictable.  Closing your eyes can also be helpful in a Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal kind of way.  Edge forward into the roundabout, giving way as needed until you have blocked enough of the road so vehicles start giving way to you.  Now you are in, you have to get out!  Use the cars in the outside lane to shield

Kata Beach (Phuket) - 07° 49' 01" N 98° 18' 05" E

Sean's Perspective: My sailing education continues - this time in the hands of a serious Russian charter crew. Vladimir and some of his crew As Kate and I have shown some success with keeping systems working on Popeye, Craig has asked us to mind the boat while he has chartered it to a Russian group who are racing it in the King's Cup.  For insurance purposes, the owner (or their representative) must be present on the boat while racing. Due to a few factors - namely a mostly male, highly chauvinistic crew - I have been chosen to be the person onboard while Kate is ashore dealing with sailmakers, chandlers and boatyards as we try and keep up with the inevitable damage that is done when racing a yacht hard enough to win. Onboard, I am supposed to the ultimate resource, having everything ready when the charterers climb on; ensuring all is in proper repair; placing the proper items (winch handles, lines, fenders, blocks, halyards, sails, etc.) in their proper places; keep