Nov 18 - Tiger Cave Temple, Krabi

David, Peggie, Sue and myself decided to see the Tiger Cave Temple nearby. This Buddhist temple (Wat Tham Suea) is quite revered and has 1272 stairs to reach the summit at 600 meters. The Buddha statue is 278 meters tall at the top, and the views over Krabi and the surrounding areas are beautiful. Did I mention those 1272 stairs...they're varied in height and very steep. Monkeys were everywhere, one swiping David's water bottle. Peggy gallavanted right up, I about died. It was like taking a cardiac stress test to the extreme. Sweaty with legs of jello, I figured it was a win for many reasons: 1. I didn't need cardiac resuscitation 2. I didn't get bit by any monkeys 3. Some of the much younger folks were panting, sweating and complaining at their rest stops along the way...kind of felt right to offer them I said, the views were amazing, so getting there was worth it.
Pic: So happy to have made it to the top. 1968 ft. In the heat of the smart is that?

Nov 17 - Loi Krathong

We rented a car with David & Peggy (sv Rhthym) to go to Krabi town and find the Loi Krathong festivities. In researching the holiday, I came across this blog entry from Justine at, and thought I'd quote part of the wonderful description entered (Nov 2007): "Loy Krathong falls on the night of the full moon of the twelfth lunar month, after the rainy season has ended, when the tides are strong and the rivers full. The tradition is to float a krathong -- a lotus-shaped raft woven of banana leaf and decorated with flowers, a candle and 3 incense sticks, resembling a birthday cake -- on the river or sea, and to send it off with a wish. It seems to have many meanings. The most important is to give thanks to the goddess of water, to apologize for polluting her waters and to ask for forgiveness for taking water from the rivers all year long. It’s also considered the festival of light, and many suggest that it is related to the Hindu celebration of Diwali, adopted back when the region was Hindu and then transformed and blended with animist beliefs over the centuries. The celebration is supposed to be most beautiful in towns and cities on rivers, like Bangkok, Ayutthaya, and Sukkothai, at least according to the guidebooks. Thankfully they don't mention Krabi town, which also has a river running though it, and fewer tourists and more manageable crowds than the more popular destinations. Krabi is a small town, the provincial capital, and sits along the Krabi River. Most people just pass through on the way to Railay and the islands of the Andaman Sea... In the afternoon, people began setting up card tables along the river to sell the krathongs. Next to the tables, spread out on cloths, sat more people weaving the little baskets, or rafts. The base is a slice of banana tree, and banana leaves are woven around to make the lotus flower shape. Inside, flowers are arranged around a candle and three sticks of incense. No krathong is alike, and I greatly enjoyed walking along the river and admiring the different interpretations. The greatest variation was in the kinds of flowers used to decorate the krathongs. Orchids of all colors were most common, but also marigold, chrysanthemum, sunflowers, many kinds of wildflowers, and even some colorful tropical foliage. Some were very large, like birthday cakes (for those who take very long showers and need to ask for extra forgiveness). Some were made of bread, and I later read that this is the ubher-environmental krathong, since it will degrade fastest. Apparently not too long ago, krathongs were made of styrofoam until the environmentalists put a halt to that." We walked thru the carnival atmosphere and ate delicious street food from the abundance offered. We also met up with George of sv Australis, who had anchored nearby the main dock and dinghied in to enjoy the happenings. I purchased a krathong, lit the candle (which refused to stay lit in the wind) and incense, placed a coin on the top, said a prayer of forgiveness and thanks, and launched it down river, along with many others. After our ceremony, we walked a bit more and had a beer with George at one of the riverfront bars. Lanterns with lit candles are set off also, but we never did find out what time that was supposed to happen; we think midnight. We were tucked in bed and out for the night by then....
Pic: George, David, M & Peggie. It's launch time.

Nov 15 - Krabi Boat Lagoon Marina

Pos:N08deg00.676/ E098deg57.665 We had a lazy afternoon, used the grill to BBQ chicken for dinner, and had a restful evening. This morning we motored back to Krabi Boat Lagoon Marina, where Infini will berth as we travel back to the States for the holidays. I went up to the masthead for a routine check, and we're cleaning the deck and storing gear. Not much else to report until we return after New Year's. Sue's posted a few new photo albums, with more to come. Happy Holidays everyone!
Pic: Looking back as we motor to Krabi Boat Lagoon. We're well protected amongst the mangroves.

Nov 13 - Ko Dam Khwan

Pos: N07deg57.324/E098deg48.725 We had a good day at Ko Pu yesterday. After walking the beach, we had fruit shakes at the Bodaeng Restaurant, meeting Dela, a Sea Gypsy, who was born and raised in Ko Pu. She spoke very good English, and told us she was a school teacher until the tsunami (2009), after which she returned to the island to teach the locals farming methods. She was delightful to talk to, and we recommend you stop here for very affordable food and drinks (fruit shakes - 30 baht). Walking further down the beach, we stopped at the Joy Bungalows Restaurant for a delicious lunch before returning to the boat. By late afternoon thunder was heard and the sky was darkening. Being on the SW corner of the island, we figured we were protected from the NE thunderstorms. Righto. Except, the storms all came from the SW, making for a very uncomfortable few hours as the lightening flashed, the thunder rumbled, and the rain poured down. Infini rode out the squalls with her typical aplomb, although having the dinghy hipped didn't help matters as we bucked in the small chop that came on the nose. After a few hours (about 0130 in the morning), conditions eased and we got a bit of rest. In the morning, we prepared the dinghy for towing, and sailed, yes, that's right...actually sailed....without the engine...for a few hours to Ko Dam Khwan (Chicken Island), where we anchored in 47 feet and feel better protected from SW winds than we were last night. The usual flotilla of longtail tourist boats are here, but we snorkeled to the beach (lots of fish), and enjoyed the late afternoon solitude when all the boats left. We ate New Zealand green lipped mussels for dinner (so very thankful for our freezer!) good can it get?
Pic: This squid boat was anchored nearby and is raising the anchor to go off fishing (at night, bright green lights are on the outriggers...kind of surreal) Upon going past us, the captain took pictures of Infini with his iPad!

Nov 12 - Ko Pu (Ko Jum)

Pos: N07deg47.153/E098deg58.760 We're anchored in front of a beautiful beach in the SW corner of Ko Pu, also known as Ko Jum. This small island is the antithesis of Ko Phi Phi Don; that is, there's not many tourists, things are quiet, the lights go out before midnight, there's no loud music or get the idea. We walked the beach and did some shelling, then had a nice lunch at one of the beachfront bungalow resorts. Last evening brought the expected thunderstorms, but we rode things out nicely and the air cooled off as well.
Pic: It's nice to find special places that aren't overrun with tour boats and big resorts....what Thailand was like 20 years ago, we're told.

Nov 10 - Klong Dao, Ko Lanta Yai

Pos: N07deg38.040/E099deg01.270 We went to the Emerald Cave yesterday morning on Ko Muk, before the tourists arrived. To get to the hong, you have to paddle the dinghy or kayak thru a tunnel about 80 meters long, with a few areas that you have to duck so as to not hit your head. A flashlight is mandatory; also, it's best to do it at low to mid-high tide. Once at the hong, a sandy beach and large area awaits. We didn't see any bats or wildlife, but the cliffs were quite high and it was very beautiful. This morning, we motorsailed (are you seeing a trend here?) up to the NW corner of Ko Lanta, anchoring in 20 feet in the midst of many fish flags. It's a bit rolly, but well protected from the NE winds.
Pic: We are inside the hong: Tham Morakot (Emarald Cave). The dinghy's are at the tunnel entrance.

Nov 8 - Ko Muk

Pos: N07deg21.618/ E099deg17.442 We finally departed Ko Lanta, motorsailing the 15 miles to Ko Muk along with Imagine and Keris. Rumrunner II left for Ko Phi Phi Don and points NW; we won't see them again until January. (Good luck to them in the King's Cup Regatta!) Arriving just after noon, we anchored in front of a beautiful beach at the SW corner of the island and dinghied in to go exploring. The shallow water was warm and crystal clear, the sand smooth and fine, and there were a few resorts on the beach to get cold beer and smoothies. It had been so long since we all had been able to get in the water and enjoy a peaceful setting. In the late afternoon, we had a cheeseburger at Hat Farang (aka Hat Sai Yao, or Charlie's Beach); not that gourmet, but a nice change from our typical Thai fare. Our evening entertainment was watching the movie "Paint Your Wagon" aboard Keris. An enjoyable time was had by all!
Pic: Past Charlie's Resort are other restaurants/bars. The many rubber trees make great shade. These latex slabs, processed from the rubber tree, are in different stages of drying.

Nov 6 - Ko Lanta

Rumrunner II came in yesterday and we had a great reunion in their cockpit. This morning, the crews of Rumrunner II, Imagine, Keris and Infini rented a car and two motorbikes (8 of us wouldn't fit in the car) and toured Ko Lanta. From Old Town, we drove to Saladan at the north tip of the island, having coffee and smoothies at the Catfish Restaurant, a book store/artsy place that was a nice find. Saladan is where the pier is for the car ferry from the mainland (via Ko Lanta Noi). What a lovely island. Ko Lanta's not too big, but has enough going on that you can see some interesting areas, or pick up some groceries, internet top-ups or ATM cash as well. We ate a really good lunch at the Klapa Klum Bar & Restaurant; highly recommended. After, we continued our tour, stopping at the Treetop Bungalows to see their unusual layout and walking around town a bit, returning to our boats about 5PM. A full day; good company, nice place, good food....
Pic: At Klapa Klum Bar where we enjoyed a nice lunch.

Nov 4 - We're mobile again

Ah-- we get by with a little help from our friends....a great Beatles song. Keris and Imagine arrived this afternoon. Mike from sv Keris was kind enough to lend some fuel, and Stuart, sv Imagine, helped me dismantle and clean the carb again. Yes, I really did forget to clean a couple of the jets; they're clean now, though! The Yamaha runs fine; we're mobile. Yea! We had happy hour aboard Keris with Mike & Juanita, along with Stuart & Sheila, and it was great being able to socialize again. Our time here, however, has been put to good use. Sue's posted a bunch of new photo albums, with more to come, and I've been busy with a few smaller projects and a bunch of reading. We're ready to get off the boat and go exploring.
Pic: Keris' ship's cat Snoopy checking out the dinghy scene. Infini in the background.