Day 82, Year 4: The Adventure Begins
Date: Monday, January 12, 2009
Weather: Sunny with Increased Winds
Location: Ao Labu, West Coast of Yao Yai, Thailand

We did it! We finally broke away from the marina and have started our adventure in earnest. We only traveled eight miles, but that eight miles took us from modern Phuket to one of the islands not yet infected with the Thailand tourist craze. Ko Yao Yai is not dramatic, but it is beautiful. Heather and I went food shopping in the morning, so we didn’t leave Ao Po until well into the afternoon. Sam was taking his nap when we left and he didn’t stir until we got close to our destination. But he woke up ready to explore. We set the anchor at 3:45 pm and immediately launched the dinghy and got ready to for a trip to shore. We were all anxious to see how Sam was going to deal with climbing off Windbird and into the dinghy and then how we would deal with small boat travel. Any anxieties we might have had were certainly dissolved once we all got in the dinghy and took off. He didn’t like sitting in the dinghy waiting for everyone else to get in, but once the motor was started he obviously
loved it. The faster “bapa” goes, the more he likes it.

Our trip to shore was wonderful. It was nearing low tide when we went in and low tide had turned the shore into a long mud flat. We took our dinghy in as far as we could with the motor and then I jumped in and pulled it further into shore. Finally, the water got so shallow that everyone had to get out and we just pulled the dinghy up on the mud flat and started walking to shore. Walking on a mud flat at low tide is similar to walking on a reef. There is so much life sitting there waiting for the water to return. This mud flat had hundred of sea stars, some on the sand but most buried just beneath the surface so you could still see their outline. We’d never seen this before. And there were so many moon snails and many moon snail egg cases that look like rubber gaskets. There were crabs in abundance of many different varieties. So needless to say, we all enjoyed our explore on the mud flat and on the beach. We got back to Windbird around 5:30 and unfortunately that was too late to get dinner ready in time for Sam. He fell asleep without eating so it could be a rough night. But then it would be hard to top last night. He got up around 3:30 am and sang a concert for us for the next thirty minutes. It was quite amusing for grandparents, but probably not so amusing for parents. But he did finally go back to sleep and didn’t start his day until about 7:30 am-a much more humane time to be up and about.

Tomorrow we will leave this anchorage and head for Phi Phi Leh. This is a magnificently beautiful little island that we visited with Kevin and Claire. We only stayed overnight before, but we will probably spent a couple of days there while we wait for the wind to pipe down. We had hoped for lesser winds today, but that didn’t happen. And according to the Thai weather information, we will not have calm weather again until the 17th or 18th. But at least our sail to Phi Phi Leh is downwind and we will simply wait in that area until the winds subside some.

090112 Day 82 Thailand–Ao Po Marina to Ao Labu, Ko Yao Yai