Stolen Kiss

Stolen Kiss

March 27, 2004

Langkawi - Phuket 2004

Time flies when you are having fun! We have a small sticker up in the saloon to remind says ‘Are we having Fun Yet?’.

On the odd occasion, like banging into 25 knot SE winds on the way back to Langkawi and moving through a thunderstorm, lightening and all, (we were moving, it wasn’t) we had to remind ourselves that indeed, we are having lots of fun!

Everyone has said that the wind this year is out of character. That is, there is wind! At least it affords us some sailing and keeps us cool.

We have been busy enjoying the company of Tim, Tim and Sherryn and Di. Didy stayed for two weeks and got the full tour – we did over 300 miles in 14 days. We have enjoyed many beautiful islands and adventures ashore. We have mastered motor bike riding in Phuket and lived to tell the tale, two phrases in Thai (a great achievement!) and made it to Rok Nok. The later is an island with a great anchorage and marine life – if there is no wind. The cruising guide describes the anchorage as something like being in a washing machine if there is any significant wind. We found it like being in an aquarium - have to be lucky sometimes.

Ko Lanta is an island apparently like Phuket was 20 years ago. Dirt roads (fun on a bike!) and some great restaurants. We went on a small elephant ride for half an hour (extended to an hour) and ended up with Peter and Di having a massage by a baby elephant.

We visited a very naughty Gibbon, Charlie who hangs out in the jungle near Kata Beach. There are three Gibbons who have been rescued from bars who are placed in the jungle, but like to see people. The gibbon would tease the dogs and do anything he could to cause trouble. When he was told off, he sat and sulked, then went over to our hire car and pulled the aerial out and bent it. He held on to Di’s hand….something he recognized in Didi???????????????????? (referring to behavioural characteristics of course!)

There are many great anchorages, beaches, snorkeling adventures – the latter is in warm water and done before the hoards of tourists arrive. Our search of real Nemos has now been rewarded with many sightings in different places. They are wonderful to watch, peeking out of the anemones. (Finding Nemo is our favorite movie!!) We have now seen everything …whilst walking along a sand bar a bare breasted girl with a mow hawk hair cut was paddling in a kayak towards us..just where does one look!! (she was very well endowed in case you were wondering, Timmy!)

Our second trip back to Langkawi was in light winds and afforded us some sailing (about 4 hours in 120 miles!) At least we could go in a strait line! Leaving the beautiful Rok Nok at 0930 hours, we finally anchored at midnight at Langkawi after doing only 65 miles. We had 1-2 knots of current against us, light SE winds on a course of 150 degrees and at dusk, Di counted 35 squid boats and 10 pair trawlers around us. Luckily for us the pair trawlers were on their leg north, when we were heading south, and most of these were negotiated before dark. The thunderstorms very kindly went all around us.

The differences between Langkawi and Thailand are to be enjoyed. Phuket is very busy and an effort to get to places. People are very friendly and enjoy a laugh – they have a great sense of the ridiculous and happily laugh at farangs ie us. Some of the local restaurants look like a bit of a dive – but the food is fantastic as is the price. One particular place at Yacht Haven was on stilts and had some old steps you climb up out of the dinghy. The floor was uneven and there was a low beam running across (for the gutter) which had a sign in English (watch your head). When Peter did not, resulting in a loud ‘clunk/crash’ (more damage to the beam than to Peter) the owners thought that quite funny as they did have the sign in English after all!! It was a family restaurant – and they were great, fun people and served great food. One of the local guys off a Super yacht dropped his phone in the water as he was climbing down the steps. The owner of the restaurant immediately dived down in the muddy water to retrieve it! Now that is service!

We found a bar on an island called the ‘Rasta Bar’ with young Thai men with dreadlocks who just wanted to talk and share. Very happy, friendly guys. They served a mean Pina Colada for $3.50. (It was 10am and the sun was over the yard arm!). The wooden seats were in the serf and we painted our boat name in iridescent colours on the front of the bar. Behind the bar was a new DVD and CD player! No electricity. So incongruous. Does it get any better than this???

Langkawi is also a very friendly place, very laid back. Fishermen are happy for us to tie up to their old jetties to go to town. We have got our landing sorted now as I keep saying to Peter that ‘I don’t do mud!’ after having to dig my shoes out of the mud when they parted from my feet! Lucky Di was there to ‘help’ as I nearly pulled her in the mud! The fishermen wave and say hello as they go past you at anchor – very close and very fast! I think they see that as being amusing. They just want to have a look. We did observe an amusing sight the other night as a fishing boat came screaming into the creek a mid tide – went the wrong side of the tree and promptly ran aground. Not a local! He then decided to follow us. (We did the same thing a few days before! (Obviously not locals!)

Shops tend to sell everything and anything. One shop will sell alcohol, white goods, kitchenware and cameras! If they do not have what you want, they will send you to a place that does. The food is just as good and cheap. Everything is negotiable and anything can be done. It takes only two words to work through possibilities. Can and cannot. With persistence and negotiation, ‘cannot’ becomes ‘can’. Shopping hours here are also late opening and late closing. Friday is like our Sunday, so Saturday is the first day of the week.

Peter leaves for Perth at the end of Feb and I will be staying at the Royal Langkawi Yacht club. There is an international regatta on there – I have a berth on a 46 foot racing cat! The cat fleet is rather large. Just when I thought I had had enough of racing! Should be fun!

We have family coming to visit, so somewhere we will squeeze some land travel in before returning to Perth on June 31. Stolen Kiss will be in Telaga Harbour Marina, Langkawi. We will all return again in October and start all over again! There are many places still to be explored and a passage to Maldives and Chagos in the pipeline for next year.

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