Monday, July 25, 2011

Meet the Rock, Another Plan'B'

Yacht Haven Marina
We're presently comfortably  back in civilization at Yacht Haven Marina in Phuket.   We like Yacht Haven and 'The Haven' restaurant and bar is a classic yachtie hangout with great Thai food. The past week has been spent exploring around the north western reaches of the Phang nga gulf. 
At anchor off Koh Hong
This area is even more spectacular than the eastern portions and the karst islands are the dominant land/seascape throughout the area. We anchored for several days off Koh Hong (as opposed to the 'other' Ko Hong we were at a couple weeks ago. 
Cave entrance to the Hong
We visited one of the more touristy spots in the gulf, James Bond Island, where part of "The Man with the Golden Gun" was filmed. It's a nice spot but there are several islands in the group which are much more spectacular, they just didn't suit the purposes of the movie.
"James Bond" Island
To quote that well known cruising sailor, ex-marine F18 driver and bon vivant, Roger Hayward, " I hate sand!" Of course Roger was speaking of the finished product. The small granular stuff that gets onto your body and from there into your dinghy and from there onto your nice new teak decks and from there into the boat and into your bunk and into your pants etc, etc. A lot of of cruisers hate sand, we just can't do much about it.  Like death and taxes, there will be sand.
Phang nga Gulf Seascape
Of course what is a rock, especially a large under water rock, but sand in the making. It  may take awhile, but sand it will become. And when a 26000 pound cruising sailboat (OK, closer to 30000 with all the crap we have onboard) hits an underwater rock at about 5-6 knots the rock becomes a little more like sand. At least I sure as hell hope so because I HATE ROCKS!  
After the rock
Our keel now has a couple fist sized dings in the leading edge. I have a nice shiner and abrasion under the left eye where I face planted the turks heads on the wheel when we impacted. Looks like Janet hit me with a hot frying pan. Beyond that the only real damage was to the captain's ego. As in flying, I'm not supposed to make mistakes, ever.
Phang nga anchorage
For anyone who might be coming this way the ROCK is located at: 08.16.264N, 098.29.158E. Right between Koh Deng Yai and Koh Yang on a nice direct line from the south to the anchorage off Koh Deng Yai to the west of James Bond Island. Listed and specially warned on page 48 of the Southeast Asia Pilot but not on the charts, paper or electronic.
The rock lurks nearby
 We hit it at mid tide and the first gash on the keel is only a about four feet below the surface. We passed it at low tide a day later and there is barely a ripple visible on surface if you know where to look. Not marked or buoyed in any way, of course.
Another boring evening scene
So chalk up another one to experience. I'll never do that again, heh, heh. Tomorrow we commence another 'Plan B'. We'll go down to customs and rather than purchase  visa extensions, we'll check out of the country. We plan to leave day after tomorrow for Rebak Marina in Langkawi, Malaysia. We'll leave the boat at Rebak and do the land travel we've been planning and probably come home around early September. 
Sayonara Phang nga
Our house sitter has purchased a home of her own, we want to see family and we've done most of what the season allows in this part of Thailand. So 'Plan B' sounds like the fun thing to do. Next update will be from Langkawi, a place we've enjoyed very much. Please stay in touch.

Bill & Janet
SV Airstream


Wahu said...

Controlled "flight" into terrain?
Glad you're OK mostly, and you extracted some revenge by making sand.... sorry that some of it is blue and fiberglass-based.
You didn't get blood on the cockpit sole did you?
Take care, and many happy returns!
Thanks for the blog & pics.

Anonymous said...

ong stints at sea can cause even the most measured woman to want to do something insane like use a hot frying pan in an inappropriate way. just ask karli on palapa.