Sri Lanka – exploring the interior.

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The school kids all wear white and always look very smart

After 8 hours rattling along on the train, we arrived in Colombo. Colombo is a crazy place – frenetic, colourful, noisy and muggy.   By the time we got to our hotel we were feeling hot and tired so opted for a quick dip in the pool and had dinner in.  We were up early to go and arrange a Sri Lankan motorbike licence which we need to hire a Royal Enfield – the bike Ian had set his heart on.  Everything went according to plan with the paperwork filled out,  the forms provided and a couple of patient hours waiting in the queue. Just as they were about to have our licence granted they noticed – continue reading…>

Trains & Tuk Tuks

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Tea pickers waiting for their transport to the plantation

It took 5 days and to reach the shores of Sri Lanka from the Andamans. We had fabulous winds for the journey, flying the spinnaker for some of the time and even hit 12.3 knots.  We pulled into the entry to Trincomalee (Trinco to the locals) early in the morning and contacted Port Control to let them know we were heading in but were refused permission to enter the inner harbour. A naval vessel came alongside and told us that we were not expected for a couple of days so could we please contact our agent to get them to organise the paperwork for entry this day.  We had no way of contacting them, -continue reading …>

Island hopping in the Andamans

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We left early in the morning and sailed up the coast to visit Neill island.  This is one of the islands you can visit but the surf was too bad so we couldn’t land the dinghy.  We went snorkeling in crystal clear water and saw a some lovely fish life but the coral has been seriously depleted here and most of it is dead.  There are patches where there is new growth so hopefully it is recovering but it will be a very long process and many years before the reef is pristine again.  There are conflicting reasons the coral is in sure a poor state – we have been told it is global warming and also that the tsunami which hit these islands so badly caused the reef to lift bringing it closer to the surface. Either way it is very sad to see such large areas of reef dead – especially considering most of these islands are uninhabited and
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The Andaman Islands

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Hard working ladies

It was a four day sail via the Similan islands to the Andamans arriving with an escort of dolphins. We arrived about 4pm and spent the evening lying on the trampoline listening to Indian music coming from shore.  We were in definately in India now.  After a good nights sleep we prepared for the well reported arduous check in procedure which we had been warned could entail a  wait all day for the officials to come to your boat, so we were pleasantly surprised when they turned up at 11am! All 11 of them – we even had the coastguard contingent come over who proceeded to take -continue reading…>

Exploring Phuket

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Phang Nga Bay

After our successful haul out and run down to Malaysia, we came back to Thailand to meet my sister who was flying in from the UK.  We spent our first night back in Panwa bay where we met Karel & Phil from Tehani Li and Doris & Rudi from Muk for dinner on the beach. We were going to check in the next day and then go to the airport early the day after, but as luck would have it, there was a public holiday the following day so we headed straight up to Ao Po and stayed the night there. The next morning we picked up a car to go to the airport and pick up my sister Jenetta continue reading

Not so hard on the hard this time…

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G & T Boatyard beach

Checking out of Malaysia is a doddle. All the authorities are in one building and you can check in and check out at the same time. We (as usual) were on a very tight time schedule, so this is exactly what we did – as you have to check into Langkawi from Penang because it is a duty free island. After the obligatory stop at the bottle shop and after filling up with diesel in Telaga we set sail for Koh Lipe – the first port of call in Thailand. The outer islands of Phuket are lovely – with a relaxed backpacker vibe. I wish we could have stayed longer this time but we needed to get to Phuket to haul out so we kept going. Koh Lanta was our next stop, and this time is was deserted. No cruising boats and few people. Even the bouncy jetty -continue reading..>

Tioman Island and Penang….

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We had rough sail back to Malaysia with a heavy squall on the way – of course it hit in the middle of the night but no damage so we arrived at the island of Tioman tired but happy to be in one piece. Tioman is the easiest place to check in and only took us about an hour so we headed straight to the bottle shop to stock up on some duty free alcohol and then had lunch. We wanted to spend few days here this time so we sent round to the lovely bay of Juara. There are only a few restaurants and backpackers here and no cruising boats.
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