6 DAYS TRIP
PHI PHI, KO ROCK, K LANTA
The name of Phuket Island is translated from Thai as “jewel”. It really is. The island is small, only 55 kilometers from North to South and 25 kilometers from East to West. More than 10 million tourists from all over the world come here every year. And there is something to see here.
For yachtsmen and lovers of marine entertainment, here in Phuket there are all 365 days a year.
You can rent yourself any boat from a "Thai sawmill" to a mega-yacht and arrange a trip from one day to the round the world. Who is capable of what.
On the wonderful Island there are 5 modern marinas, many boat yards, parking lots, workshops, shops and other things related to Phuket Yachting.
In this article, as an example, I will tell and show you in one 6-day trip on the classic yacht Uhuru Bavaria 46 through the waters and islands surrounding Phuket Island. This trip took place at the end of July 2020.
Our journey will begin at the finest marina Ao Po Grand Marina. It is located in the North-East of the Island, recently built, protected from all winds, does not depend on the tides, is equipped with everything for yachting, there is a good restaurant, a swimming pool, a bar with a great view, SPA, gas station, boat yard, ATM, hotel, taxi , security, etc. People are working here, trained, work is in full swing, your things will be delivered to the boat. If you take a boat without a command, you will be helped to leave the Marina and enter, the channel is online - 69.
We arrived in the morning, boarded the yacht, checked the main engine, generator, water and fuel reserves, battery charge level, life-saving appliances, inspected the vessel, checked components and mechanisms, made notes in the logbook and made the ends.
The weather in Thailand is always warm. Is always! Eternal summer. A true Watchman needs to know weather forecasts from sources and follow 360-degree trends, trends and brands on the horizon. For, it is better to over-watch than not to-watch, but ... without fanaticism ...
From October to May it blows here from the East, the rest of the time it just happens, but more from the West. According to my feelings, the rainiest month is September, the most comfortable months are June, July, October, November. Because, it is not so hot, there are fewer tourists, prices are lower.
In the meantime, our boat Uhuru left for Phang Nga Bay. We set up the mainsail and genoa, got under the West Gulfwind and gained 6 knots. We are heading for the island of Phi Phi.
Phang Nga Bay is a wide area with islands between Phuket and the long coast of Krabi province. The most famous island is, of course, James Bond in the North. It's like McDonald's, there are "tastier" islands, but there is a queue there. Marketing….
You can walk along Phang-Nga Bay for a couple of weeks from island to island, gorgeous views, bizarre islands, coves, beaches, straits, lagoons, caves, flying dogs ... There is where to hide from the wind. Some islands have hotels and restaurants. Lots of beautiful and safe anchorages. A Ukrainian friend of mine called these quaint islands halva. In the bay, tides are of great importance, they create currents and often raise turbidity. The water from North to South becomes clearer and in the area of Koh Lip, which stands like a huge cruiser in the middle of the bay, becomes blue and transparent.
Our main destination is the Ko Rok Islands, 60 miles South of the Marina. We plan to walk in two days with an overnight stay in Phi Phi. We passed the bay and two hours later went out to sea, the Phi Phi Islands appeared on the horizon. In these places there is usually heavy traffic, a lot of sailing and motor yachts, ferries, "sawmills", fishermen. Many ships are moving in different directions. The entire water area is strewn with self-made landmarks and buoys, these are fishing tackle of all stripes. And now strange times have come, that sometimes, it seems that even a fish swims in a muzzle and is afraid of bacilli. There is such a sun that, unlike a bacillus, it turns sails into dust, if not looked after.
In just 5 hours we reached the legendary Phi Phi Island and moored in the southern bay. Phi Phi Island is always packed with tourists. A great place to stay. The film "The Beach" was shot here. This Island does not sleep at night. In a small area you can find everything: reggae, bars, restaurants, hotels, clubs, spa, fire shows, buckets with the Earth-Air cocktail, they drink straight from buckets, the smoke is a fagot, and people are in search of thrills. In the morning, all decorously and nobly disperse, who on what, along the beaches, bays, lagoons, swim, dive, fish, salute, sunbathe and enjoy this paradise on the edge of the Earth. The nature here is fabulously beautiful.
We walked around the island, ate fish, saw the sun over the horizon, and returned to the Uhuru yacht. The night in the southern bay of Phi Phi passed calmly, a light breeze, a smooth wave from the Ocean, a Muslim prayer from the shore, a sky full of stars. The boat is cozy, warm light, marine environment, hot tea and children's bedtime stories. Hang up ...
The morning greets us with coolness! 6.00., The sun is already shining, but it is not burning yet. In the morning, the southern bay of Phi Phi is painted in pastel colors, greens, blue, pink shades. It is completely calm, Thai boats begin to buzz, the earliest tourists rush to fishing and diving.
My girls are still asleep, I made an inspection of the ship, warmed up the main engine and gave the mooring. Next "station" Ko Rok, distance 35 NM, course 150.
With our movement we create a headwind, put two sticks on the fish, wobbler and squid. Closer to the Koh Ha Yai island, it began to "peck", full of ha-yi, around a strip of debris, it was brought from the Malak Strait by the South-East wind. The purest blue water, and kilometers of debris float on it. Basically, this is household waste and packaging, polyethylene and plastic. The lines had to be reeled up. We will see this garbage later on white beaches. I heard that somewhere in the Ocean there are already huge debris islands drifting, and the size of these islands is measured in square kilometers. Thai government services maintain cleanliness and order at the proper level.
Yacht UHURU is heading South. We approached and moored at Ko Ha Yai. Great place! Six small rocks stick out from the blue sea, covered with tropical vegetation and decorated with white sand on different sides. The stone lotus in the middle of the Indian Ocean is a green flower. Today the wave here is smooth and high, a lot of small seagulls and some other sea "sparrows" frolic in the sky, here any frame becomes a postcard. If right now a cherub flies out to meet you, don't be surprised ... We stayed here for a short time, took pictures, bathed, and went on. I am glad to think that we will return here again.
This time we did not see dolphins and manta rays. These animals are in these waters, even whales. It's so interesting to watch them. Imagine how a huge 2-3 square meter bun with a black top and a white belly, cut with gills, with a huge mouth, flies out to meet you. An elegant creature. Standing on watch, watching, remembering, breathing in the sea air, we reached our goal - the island of Ko Rok. Between the islands there is a strait with stones, coral reefs and a mooring camp. From the South, in the strait between the mooring, stones that are dangerous for boats and for divers also stick out under water. Citizens are vacationers! Don't swim behind the buoys! Never dive in unfamiliar places, first swim around, explore, then enjoy. A good trip is one that ends well. But sometimes, through human stupidity, rest turns into a rescue operation. Whatever happens, be careful and listen to experienced sailors from ZEA Sailing and Phuket Yachting.
According to the travel plan, we were going to stay here for a couple of days, however, a boat with local guards came up to us, and very politely, with a smile, in pure Thai they asked us: "uёben lass hier bitte", they say, please leave the territory of the National Park before tomorrow morning 7.00, because the park is closed until October to rest from tourists.
The islands of Ko Rok have not yet been gnawed by civilization, although the Eastern Island has been inhabited for a long time, and there is a hotel, a restaurant, communication towers, GSM, GPS, GPRS, OBHS…. There are fewer tourists coming here, the islands are further away, the water here is completely transparent blue, the sand on the beaches is white, and there are many corals, fish and other living creatures under the water. To fully enjoy this vacation spot, you need to live here for 2-3 days. We watched the sunset and sat down to dinner.
At night, the wind changed with gusts of up to 20 knots, a long smooth wave rolled from the South, the crew of the yacht Uhuru swayed like babies in a cradle.