First weeks back onboard
While I am waiting for buns to rise and we have power, the generator is running trying to fill up the batteries, I thought it was time to write another post.
We are waiting for our goods, shipped from Australia before Christmas to arrive in Langkawi. We timed our arrival with the expected arrival of the stuff and having to leave Thailand because of our 1 month visa limit. It was all going so well. We have been here nearly 2 weeks and the goods are on their way but not here yet.
When we first arrived at Krabi Boat Lagoon after an epic 2 and a half month trip across Australia and into Queensland we crashed at the Cleats Condos onsite for the first night before going to Lupari2 the next morning.
We were pleasantly surprised when we opened Lupi up. Apart from the very strong odour of mothballs, there was very little mildew on the timber work and all seemed to be in order after being shut up for 3 months. It is the dry season here and there had not been any rain for many months which was good for keeping her dry inside.
We had a visa for 30 days and we had lots of work to do before we headed off to Malaysia. The first job was to clean and sort every locker, box, cupboard and throw out what was no longer any good. Much went off the boat. Everything was cleaned and put back and we decided on what to do next. The main hatch was our first priority. When we inspected it we noticed the timber was rotten and had let water sit and rust through the roof and it was possible for water to enter the boat.
Greg researched what was the best product to use and decided that what they use on the marina fingers, a plastic product called CELUKA. It can be used like wood. And it can be welded with a heat gun or glued. We had to cut out a section of roof and weld a bit of steel back in, then to clean up and paint before we put the new top and rails for the sliding hatch. And then we could put our new box on top. It looks great.
We prepared the master cabin to replace the forward hatch by removing the “stuff” that was there. We put it into a shed on site and then decided to repaint the store room as well so that stuff went to the shed as well. It is almost ½ km from the boat to the shed so we did lots of walking or riding to and from to get the stuff from the boat to the shed. Then we had to try and source the material to do the hatch which was difficult with the language problems we encounter in Thailand, and so it was put on hold until we went to Langkawi, hoping to find the stainless steel we needed there more easily.
The original paint was full of mould spores and beginning to rust and was really hard to clean. We cleaned with a mixture of oxalic acid and detergent then sanded the walls and ceiling. It was rather like being in a sauna when the sun was shining onto the metal of the deck. The walls would get very hot so we tried to work in there in the mornings before the sun got to that side of the boat. We painted with 2 coats of primer and then 2 coats of top coat. It looks so much cleaner and fresher in there. Glad we did that!
Life at the marina:
It is the dry season in Thailand at the moment. The days are hot and the sun is directly overhead. It is the hot season too. Everyone, even the locals are complaining of the heat, for, although it is the dry season it is still humid. They are suffering from lack of rain or drought in some places too caused by the El Nino in the Pacific ocean. Its effects are far reaching! Sun rises about 6:30 am and sets about 12 hours later. In the marina the sun shines on the side of the boat for many hours making the steel scorching hot and the inside temperature is scorching as well. In the mornings there is a land breeze until about 11 when it stops for an hour or so. Then it is stifling. After about lunchtime the sea breeze starts to blow till the sun sets and then the wind drops again. The air conditioner in the front hatch is working overtime, and is very welcome at night when there is no wind.
When we get up we start to work while it is cool and by late afternoon, when it is hot and we are tired of the dirt and stickiness, we put on our bathers and walk up to the pool. It should be refreshing but it is bathlike in temperature, but it is cooler than the air and it is nice to relax for an hour or so.
The marina was carved out of a mangrove forest and is surrounded by prawn farms. The local industries are fishing, prawn farming and farming oil palms. It is a strongly muslim area and the villages seem quite poor, although just about everyone owns a motorscooter. . The nearest market is 6km away and supermarket is nearly 15 km away so we have to plan well when we go shopping. We either hire a scooter or sometimes a car to go shopping.
prawn farm Krabi Boat Lagoon palm oil plantation
3 weeks after we arrived it was our wedding anniversary and 4 days later it was my birthday so we combined the celebration of both events by having a mini holiday break from working and do something memorable. We decided that we would spend a couple of days in the rainforest at Khao Sok National Park, 200 km north of Krabi. Khao Sok is a mountainous area and was declared a national park in 1980. There are lakes and streams, sensational scenery and thick tropical forest.
a little hillside temple
view from our jungle retreat.
we are going to drive through that slot in the hills.
It was a magical experience and our 6 km hike through the jungle was breathtaking. We did not see any of the large forest animals that are supposed to inhabit the jungle, nor did we see the rafflesia flower (largest flower in the world) because the site of these was up a steep track and needed a guide to take us and after our ½ day hike we were feeling very tired.
After the refreshing time away we checked out of Thailand the next day and left for Langkawi to await our stuff.
first anchorage Chicken head Island
We are sailing
The trip to Malaysia was uneventful. We stopped at a couple of different spots and tried to do things we had not done before. We didn’t get to the Emerald Cave on Koh Muk because it was too rough after the hundreds of tourists left at 4:00. We got used to the pattern of morning land breeze, midday no breeze then good afternoon sea breeze. Most of the time we motor sailed, we tried out our windscarer (asymmetric) it did scare the wind, so after ½ hour we reverted to motor again. One day we had a great sail all day until we arrived in the channel between Koh Adang and Koh Rawi in the Butang group and the current was ferocious. We motored between the islands and anchored off Koh Lipe where we went to have dinner on our last night in Thailand.
The next day was a 20 mile run across the Andaman Sea to Kuah in Langkawi. We anchored there in the late afternoon and checked into Malaysia early the next day. After spending 2 rocky days here and getting some shopping done we moved to Telaga Harbour marina to await our boxes.
sunset in Kuah Harbour
We spent a week in the Telaga Harbour Marina and when the stuff still hadn’t arrived we went out to the bay and anchored to wait patiently. It is cooler out here; we swing to the changing breeze when it is there. In 6 weeks we had not had a drop of rain until 2 days ago when we had gentle rain for a couple of hours it was lovely and cool. It is hot and sticky at night and we have had thunder and lightning but no more rain. The season should change any time now and the wet, south west monsoon season will arrive.
So here we are the buns are now cooked.