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ADDITIONS TO THE BLOG as of April 2017: Shamal and her Crew being Mum and Dad are in the Cayman Islands * Should you want to contact us, you can do so by clicking on the Contact Us tab below. * PLEASE subscribe to the Blog, so that new posts are emailed to your inbox.



01 February 2010

Phuket - Thailand

Hello Again

Well we have been here in Phuket for nearly a month now and by first appearances we though the place was rather over-run with tourists and tourist things, but we are really enjoying the place now that we have had a good look around. One can either go with the tourist flow or it is very easy to go off and do your own thing. The climate is perfect at this time of the year with temperatures around 32 degrees during the day and dropping to about 25-26 degrees at night. We have a lovely breeze of around 10-15kts most days. The sun shines and the water temperature is perfect. We have had the odd shower of rain in the evenings which has been most refreshing. The people are lovely, the food is great and the place is a shoppers dream. I brought myself a lovely pair of silver shoes last night but have no idea when I will get to wear them, but could not resist them at only NZ$10!! The NZ couple who we were out with said I will just have to wear them when we have drinks in the evenings. They will look great with my swim suit!
Alec decided in all his wisdom that the quickest and easiest way to get around was to be like everyone else and hire a motor bike!! Our Lonely Planet did warn us that it can be a ‘high risk proposition’ as hundreds of people are injured or killed every year on Phuket highways. So with this in mind off we set to do jobs and explore the place with me clutched to Alec’s back like a leach. If I was going to fall off he was coming too! Funny thing was after the first day I really started to enjoy the ride even if I did yell into his ear from time to time to watch out for the vehicle in front or the bike coming in the opposite direction but on the same side of the road as us! It certainly makes getting around the congested roads very easy. You are first in the queue at the traffic lights and just hope that when they turn green the other bikes will fall into a sort of orderly queue as we all pull out at the same time. Once we got totally lost in Phuket town but it really is a great way to see the place. We had reports of Phuket town being run down and dirty, but we found that quite to the contrary. It is a bit of a hotchpotch, but the place is very clean and the local people are making a huge effort to keep it that way. They are always sweeping the streets and washing and cleaning their little patch around their business whatever it may be.

One day while looking for one particular business we ended up on a road that took us to one of the high hills that overlooks much of the southern end of the Island so on up we went. It was here at the summit they are building this huge Buddha. The view was great looking down on both sides of the Island, but these Buddha’s really are very ugly. On the way down we came across an elephant sanctuary where to raise money to look after them you pay for rides, so we stopped and spent about an hour or so learning how they had come from the logging camps on the mainland and that the authorities were most concerned about their wellbeing and inspected them often. After photos and a short ride we were on our way again.

After ten days moored at Ao Chalong at the south eastern end of the Island where we took the main sail off and put it in for minor repairs along with our MPS, plus had sun cover made for the tender along with other odd jobs, we dropped the mooring line and moved around to the western side of the Island for a look. Our first couple of nights were spent at Nai Harn, a charming bay where we swam then went ashore in the evening for a beautiful seafood meal. We then moved on to Patong where its foreshore lined with hotels, restaurants, shops, night-clubs etc all of which overflow into the back streets. We spent another couple of days there swimming reading and relaxing during the day and going ashore in the evenings then back to the boat in time to watch the different fireworks. Not sure of the reason but some of the resorts seem to let them off every evening. Well this is the high season for tourists. Then we headed back to Al Chalong to pick up ordered goods before heading up the east coast to ‘Yacht Haven Marina’ where we are having yet more jobs done. No SHAMAL is not falling apart, in fact she is in very good shape, but as many of you will know owning a boat is an ongoing maintenance thing. All part and parcel of the cruising game. Alec has serviced one of the winches and is currently working on the anchor winch. Cosmetic really, it is just that the paint on the outer casing is starting to bubble so he is scraping it back and will clean it up and give it a repaint. We will move on out of here next week once all is finished and the boat has had a buff and polish.

We have not done as much sailing as we would have liked but hope to get out for a few days to explore some of the Islands to the north east of Phuket Island which are said to be just beautiful. We have met lots of people from all around the world, some who are doing the same as us and will keep on moving, and others who are finding it very hard to leave this part of the world and have been in the area for a couple of years or more. Sri Lanka is our next destination passing through the Nicobar Islands on the way.

We found this quote in a local yachting magazine and think is very appropriate for us and all our friends out there.

TWENTY YEARS FROM NOW YOU WILL BE MORE DISAPPOINTED BY THE THINGS YOU DIDN’T DO THAN BY THE ONES YOU DID DO. SO THROW OUT THE BOWLINES. SAIL AWAY FROM THE SAFE HARBOUR. CATCH THE TRADE WINDS IN YOUR SAIL. EXPLORE, DREAM, DISCOVER. --------------------- MARK TWAIN ---------------------

OK that is all for this letter. Hope all is well with you all. Again many thanks to all who have written to us.

Lots of love from

The Admiral and The Captain

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