Welcome to the blog of the sailing yacht Sea Bunny.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Changes at Ao Chalong

Just before Christmas we had a need to visit Chalong for food goodies and haircuts. We had been warned that the local marine department had laid free moorings in most of the day,but that they were of doubtful security.
As we crossed from our overnight anchorage at Panwa Bali, this seemed to be confirmed by the presence of an anchored yacht in the middle of the bay, with a mooring buoy and line still attached.  There had been a squall overnight with winds of probably 30-35 knots.
As we entered the anchorage we were hailed by another yacht to warn that the buoys were not secure. We found what may be the only clear area among the buoys and put the hook down.  As we were doing so the crew on a nearby boat were gesticulating and holding up a mooring buoy (not one of the free ones). When we were safely anchored Richard took the RIB over to see what the signals were about.  They pointed out that the mooring buoys are free of charge.  When Richard explained that he did not trust them they showed the buoy their boat had been on overnight, together with a length of broken mooring warp.
The marina on the pier, refurbished last year, is already breaking up, although it is still used by some of the charter boats and can be used as a dinghy landing.

Escape from Boat Lagoon!

Sea Bunny leaves Boat Lagoon (at last).
Photo: Dick & Anita, Kind of Blue
December 16 was the last day before Christmas when the height of the daytime high tide was 3.0 m or more - which perceived wisdom indicates will give Sea Bunny, with a draft of 2.3 m, sufficient depth to negotiate the channel without running aground.
So, at 1130, we were on the fuel dock, waiting the pilot who, it transpired, would be on another, larger, yacht (draft 2.7 m) to lead us out of the shallow winding channel.
We saw least depth of 2.4 m - obviously we took that bend a little wide.
Having waved goodbye to the pilot we then crossed the 3 miles or so into the lee of Koh Rang Yai (literally "larger Rang Island".
The next day, we crossed back to anchor Sea Bunny close to the outer entrance marker to Boat Lagoon and took the RIB back in to the marina as we had appointments to keep.  This was an interesting trip as it was at low water and the 30 or so tour boats, all large planing speedboats most with 3 x 250 HP on the stern were constrained to the channel. We were in Jane our 8' RIB with 1 x 9.8 HP!.
3 boats had the courtesy to slow down when passing (thank you Phuket Adventures); the rest did not! Being resourceful people we had complete dry sets of clothes with us.
We repeated the exercise in and out for two days completing shopping, getting rid of rubbish and the stitches in Richard's hand. Baptism by wash and wave is what we called it!