Katie's Live and Unleashed 05/06 Worldwide Tour travel blog

Welcome to the Southern Thai islands

Singa Bezhar (the boys' boat) at Ko Hong

We are sailing...

Intan from inside Ko Hong cave

The hidden oasis inside Ko Hong

Still Ko Hong

Intan (ours) nearest, Singa Bezhar (boys') behind...as they normally were...!

Approaching "Richard"

A secret cave, within a secret island!

Discovery walking

Dramatic rock cliffs everywhere

Chicken Island (supposed to look like a head?)

Chicken Island up close

Skipper reverse parking!

Lori and Sarah at lunch

Both boats at Ko Hong

Chicken Island (this rock is supposed to represent a chicken head!)

Intan - the fastest boat around the islands!

Exploring the cave

Jonny's Titanic

The boys behind us - as they normally were!

Long-tail Alice



May have had just a little gin...

But Lori had a lot more...

And as for Sarah!


The secret cave

Can't even remember where this is

Just had a totally fantastic and brilliant week - sailing around Thai islands. I am now a certified Day Skipper - one of the best the Base Manager has ever taught and of course, he was also the best tutor ever!

Only downer was that my camera managed to find itself overboard (absolutely gutted) so afraid there will be no photos of bronzen, bikini-clad babes!! Or for that matter idealic deserted islands of white sand and crystal waters with very expensive and beautiful yachts - but maybe that pleases you??

So I arrived 1.5 hours early to the time I was given on the first day, only to find out that UK always get it wrong and I had actually already missed the boat brief!! Slightly annoying as I wasn't doing anything all day, except trying to work out the local bus system - again!

Ian, the Base Manager, was going to take us out for the week on a Gibsea 43, and the remaining crew consisted of Sarah (turned out she was also staying in my hostel), Terese (courtesy of her Swedish travel agent company she was on all-expenses paid to test out what they were selling!) and Lori (a Canadian who moved to Thailand 12 years ago). I was surprisingly the only person doing the Day Skipper course, so loved being in charge - you could never imagine that!

5 days sailing around the Phang Nga Bay totally lived up to expectation. First day we made our way to Ko Hong, a little oasis accessed by dingy, ducking under caves. Hong = room in Thai and there was a big cave leading to a secret lagoon behind. Nearby we bought some crabs off a local fisherman who was delighted we took his whole day's catch - the preparation and cooking of them wasn't quite so delightful! Had a bar-b-q off the back of the boat by Daeng Hing (nik-named Richard for obvious visual reasons) the first night with beautiful steak and a whole bottle of gin....some heads hurt the next morning. Around the corner was "James Bond Island" of Khao Tapoo / Ping Kan where "The Man with the Golden Gun" was filmed. Second evening we stopped at Long Beach and ate ashore in a fabulous hotel restaurant where the rooms opened right up to the sea. Night dampened my loosing my camera sometime between the shore and arriving a\back at the boat - assumed drowned. Stopped the next day to snorkel at Hin Klan, a reef where a huge number of tour operators go and ruin what is there by dropping anchors / standing on the reef etc....the fish were hungry all the same so saw lots of them.

Night 3 and the big night out on Ko Phi Phi Don where I saw a slightly different side to that experienced with Kate during the day. Luckily we coincided with the Black Moon Party (opposite to full moon, but on the same theme) and Hippie's gave away a free bar-b-q. A fire show was also put on by a team of about 10, chucking lit things on chains all over the beach - very fun to watch. Drinks flowed and Sarah, David and Jonnie ended up in the sea. Returning to the boat was funny - our motor was dead, so a long row in the hope of finding the boat which we weren't quite sure were exactly it was....The day after was a nightmare!! The swell was huge, and although I only had 4 beers the night before, after cooking omelet which no-one ate, I proceeded to be nicely ill. That day was hard work for all the wrong reasons and having lost the boat hook twice while trying to pick up a buoy in Chalong Bay, we embarked on a night sail through a narrow channel to get used to navigating by lights, even though identifying the lights was very tricky.

Friday was officially the end of the course, but Ferret (so named because he surveys underground railways) on the other boat needed to do his 24-hour Yacht Master exam, so Sarah and I joined him and David and examiner George for an extra day on the high-seas! Having had a week of little wind, it really picked up as we headed out of the marina, only to switch fairly soon onto the motor! A very interesting night-sail....we hit a rock!!! Luckily for Ferret we were exactly in the correct position and it wasn't marked on the chart so very unfortunate. As a result of his rapid rectification of the situation he did actually pass, so dinner in Patong that evening was on him! Joining us to eat were a couple of George's friends who had only moved out to Phuket to work in the last 2 weeks, so were up for the big night that we ended having. When the night club closed it seemed a great idea to go back to Mark's house as he had a swimming pool - I fell asleep in the car and that was the end of me for the evening!!

A couple more relaxing days around Phuket, getting a Police report for my camera took 3 hours, collecting the bikini I left at the marina another 3, so highly busy really!

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