After a very pleasant evening with my fine crew pampering me and a luxurious night at anchor, no swells and flat seas, we planned the next day’s expeditions.
Sally, the new crew, is a bit under the weather so she elects to stay on Furthur as Anna and I go forth. We return to the large cave on the other side of the island to find several long tailed boats, and a fleet of kayaks with only the Thai paddlers in them. We quickly surmise that a mother ship is arriving loaded with tourists. The Thai guys motion us over and offer us a guided ride in a kayak into the cave. Who could ask for more! Anna and I and the torch pile into the inflatable kayak as our paddler enters the cave.
We then return the shallow cave and walk in torch in hand just as a four foot lizard swims out. Anna jolts at the thought of us meeting him last night with no torch. Again we enter a tropical paradise this time drained by the low tide so we can walk around the hong. Long rooted sea tress jet from the floor with exposed roots four feet high. Huge fines descend from the top begging the mind to see Tarzan swinging about.
Back on Furthur we move the two miles north to Koh Hong, a famous tourist stop filled with caves and lagoons. Again we hit it right just as the cattle boats are leaving. Anna and I kayak into a cave which opens into a massive lagoon, which leads to a cave which opens to a smaller lagoon and so on. We paddle about and take a few pictures. We meet an Aussie couple from a sailing cat and agree to boat hop for the poo poo platter. Yahoo I got two platters in one afternoon. The couple was interested in a trawler and had been to the JTM yard so they were keen to learn about my voyage.
Anna and I washed the decks with the salt water wash down, a temporary substitute for a good hosing. Mother Nature finished the job that night with a huge down poor and magnificent lightning show. Furthur is spick and span now.
We took advantage of the early morning vacancy and again Anna and I paddled ashore. Soon the hordes came and a huge group of Russians were escorted about the lagoon by Thai paddlers. We saw one kayak with three large white guys being paddled by one very old and frail Thai guy, “what is wrong with this picture?”
Back aboard we made our usual afternoon move, again a short hop to Koh Daeng Yai to make our visit to James Bond Island the next morning. This is the island were “the Man with the Golden Gun” was filmed and a common stop for the tourist boats. We hopped in the dinghy early to beat the crowds and went to the island only to find an awaiting ranger and nothing really to see. We passed on the 600 baht entry and explored the area instead. Clouds formed mystical rings around the peaks begging images of dragons and sorcerers in the morning mist.
The one boat anchored near us look familiar so we went for a visit. We met a wonderful Kiwi couple in a cousin the Westsail 32 who had been cruising for six years. It was great for the crew to hear about their adventures.
The next place to explore is a floating village of Muslim fisherman Koh Pan Yi, home to about 1000 residents and visited by about that amount of tourists every day. Again we arrive post crowd time to find the village very quiet and calm. We walk about the many souvenir shops now unmanned. We find shy and pleasant people and of course exuberant kids, I wish I had brought my balloon kit.