We picked up our rental car here at Yacht Haven Marina and Sue got into "chaffeur" mode. Realize, she (nor I) have driven since this past April in New Zealand when touring the North & South Islands, so getting in the car, hitting the roads, checking out the signage in Thai, and trying to avoid the many motorbikes (going past you on both sides, as well as coming at you on your side of the road!) took a few minutes....The many tourist maps we had weren't that good, and most side streets didn't have any signage at all, so it was kind of like guess work! At any rate, we thought we'd go to Boat Lagoon Marina but ended up next door at the Royal Phuket Yacht Club and Marina. Well, close enough, really, and we needed to check it out anyway and get haul out and storage prices from them. They told us how to make the u-turns to get into Boat Lagoon Resort and Marina, and we found it without drama. This is a huge complex, of boatyard, hardstand area, service providers, hotel, apartment and condos, restaurants...we were lost within minutes. Eventually we found the contractor we were looking for and had a nice discussion. Leaving, we decided to go to Patong Beach for lunch and check out the hotel we had booked for New Year's eve. Traffic got busier in this top tourist beach destination, but I must say, Sue did a quite admirable job and we eventually found the hotel, directly across from the beach. As expected, the front desk personnel told us they didn't have a reservation for us, but, in anticipation, I showed her the email confirmation on our iPad, and we were quickly put right. In fact, for just a few more dollars, we upgraded to a larger room; we're good with that. After lunch, where we spotted Mike & Juanita from sv Keris, we went to the heart of Patong Beach, as I wanted to see where we were going to hang out for New Year's before returning to the beach to see the fireworks. We ended up at the Jungceylon Mall, where we literally bumped into our friends Steve & Liz from sv Liberte; amazing to run into people in the midst of a crowd of thousands. We had a great iced coffee (free wifi) and compared notes before it was late afternoon and time for us to get on down (or in this case, up) the road back to Yacht Haven before dark. Again, the signage is pretty much non-existent, so we drove about 5 km out of our way and had to backtrack to find our way back to the marina. There, Bruce & Clark of sv Two Amigos were just leaving The Haven (one of the local bar/restaurants), and we had a nice visit with them before returning to Infini. A busy day; we felt we had accomplished a lot (also, no dents or traffic accidents....)
Pic: Yacht Haven Marina, Phuket
Thailand, Phuket, Chalong Bay: Warning about Unsafe Mooring Buoys
By Bob Mott — last modified Dec 17, 2012 10:15 PM
Published: 2012-12-17 00:00:00
This is a warning for yachts taking up on moorings in Chalong Bay and elsewhere in Phuket and surrounds.
Please note that the local Thailand marine department has dropped dozens of moorings in Chalong and other areas surrounding Phuket. They are concrete blocks with a rope tied to them and an orange GRP buoy with a dark blue marking on it. They are not safe as the rope chafes away where it goes through the concrete block or where it is tied on to a metal ring on the concrete block. One yacht, a 40 footer, has already broken free within 5 days of being tied to one of these moorings. Use you own anchor or seek the services at either yacht club in Chalong Bay to have a mooring put down using the correct equipment.
The marina department advise that you use these buoys "at your own risk".
See this Phuket Gazette article for more details.
The older moorings in National parks, such as the Similan Island, are OK and have to be used by visiting yachts and large dive boats, so are well tested. But in any areas other than the Similan Island National park, including other national parks areas, the mooring should be dived on to check for suitability. The dangerous moorings are the ones recently deployed, most of which are in Chalong Bay.
Well...we can personally attest to the above!
Pic: The pier where we park the dinghy is a long walk to shore. The big Budda on the hill is a landmark. It's even lit at night.
Pic: Looking back as we head to shore in our dinghy.
Pic: More changing weather...our anchorage here was nice.
Pic: Photo op with our entertainers
Pic: The view from the cable car going up. Telaga Harbor anchorage seen.
Pic: Eagle Square by the main ferry terminal is a waterfront landmark. We see many of these eagles fishing the waters around here.
Pic: We shared the anchorage with Imagine. Weather was unsettled, but the major cells missed us.