Day 47, Year 5: Ko Lanta to Ko Phi Phi Don
Date: Saturday, December 12, 2009
Weather: E Winds 20, 30, 40, 30, 16-22
Latitude: N 07 degrees 44.700 minutes
Longitude: E 098 degrees 45.692 minutes
Location: Ko Phi Phi Don, Yongkasem Beach, Thailand

Winds increased overnight and we left the anchorage at Ko Lanta with 20 to 25 knot winds. We decided not to fight getting the mainsail up and just rolled out a bit of the headsail. For a while we were getting gusts to 30, then 40, but as we pulled a little further from the island, the wind settled at 25 to 30. The wind was behind us, so we were fine, clipping along at over 6 knots with what looked like a little handkerchief of a sail. But as the morning wore on, the winds died down to a range of 16 to 22 knots. We rolled out the headsail and the staysail and thought about raising the main. But we were just too lazy, so we did the wishy-washy movement toward Ko Phi Phi (pee-pee) Don. I worked down below editing photos taken since our arrival at Rebak in October as we sloshed north. So tomorrow when we reach Ao Chalong, we will be able to go back and insert the photos with the appropriate logs.

Shirena left Ko Lanta after us, but in the late morning, they went flying past. They had up their main and they are a much lighter boat. So we reached the Yongkasem Beach (locally known as monkey beach) anchorage on the north side of Ko Phi Phi Don about thirty minutes after they did. As we were beginning our final entry, we saw a boat beside us that I recognized. I got out the binoculars and read the name, Monkey’s Business from Denver, Colorado. Mark remembered that we met the young couple in Vanuatu. They anchored quite a ways from us and we didn’t launch our dinghy, so maybe tomorrow morning we will do that and go by to say hello.

This anchorage was a zoo today. We’ve never seen so many tourist boats and privately owned motor yachts in one anchorage. Swimming to the snorkeling area would have been easy from the boat, but much too dangerous with all the traffic. Robert and Tina went to shore so Tina could snorkel and then Robert came back and got us so we didn’t have to launch our dinghy. We watched the monkeys play with the tourists on the beach and then did our snorkeling foray. There was not much to brag about in the fish department, but there were some beautiful patches of pink and red soft coral. Mark took his new underwater camera case with him to test it to make sure it doesn’t leak. It doesn’t. So maybe tomorrow morning we can swim over and get some photos of the colorful soft coral. As with today, high winds are predicted for tomorrow morning (earlier we had predictions for 5 knots, but weather changes), so we will hang around here for a bit before leaving. If the winds die down in the afternoon, we still might get to stop at Hin Mu Sang to try and catch a glimpse of the leopard sharks. Robert and Tina actually saw two beside Shirena today on the way here. But with or without seeing leopard sharks tomorrow, we hope to be Ao Chalong by late afternoon.

We heard from Jean and Ken on Renaissance 2000 via email this morning. They are back in Richard’s Bay, South Africa, after doing a land trip down to Cape Town. They have wifi, so as soon as we reach Ao Chalong we will try to reach them via Skype. I need to pick Jean’s brain about provisioning. She gave me one hint in this morning’s email. They left Thailand with six flats of 30 eggs each, vaselined and stored away. Most of them made it, so I guess we’ll do the same.

091212 Day 47 Thailand–Phi Phi Don to Nai Harn Bay, Phuket