Monday 30 April 2018

April Newsletter 2018

News from the Crew of Matilda
April  2018

Ships log:
Matilda got to spend most of April in Thai waters enjoying the amazing Phang Nga Bay! 

The pinnacles of Ko Sup - amazing limestone formations.
The first few days of April we where at anchor in the basin of PYH (Phuket Yacht Haven) as we were finally able to settle on a day for Mr Peh to come and give us a quote on new cockpit cushions. Once he had taken his patterns we headed out for a few days and found ourselves anchoring at Ao Labu South: 98 34.25n, 8 00.14e in 6.1 meters. 

This was our view of the resort 'Santhiya' on Yao Yai.
From there we went back to PYH for a few days then headed down south to Panwi Bali to meet up with friends. Anchoring at 07 49.01n, 98 22, 87e in 4.8 meters. Then back to PYH to wait for our new cushions. 

With new cushions in place we took off and enjoyed Yai Yuo, 8 01.48n, 99 33. 67e in 4.3mtrs. Next day we took off for Ao Chalong to check out anchoring at: 7 48.99n, 98 21.78e in 6.1mtrs. Once checked out we went over to Phi Phi Don, south side anchoring at 07 43.60n, 98 46.25e anchoring in 19mtrs. 

Now travelling towards Thai waters we dropped in at Koh Lanta, east side anchoring at 7 31.98n, 99 06.33e in 7mtrs. We did plan on spending the next day at Muk but a storm was hovering so we pulled in beside Koh Ngai dropping anchor at 07 25.36n, 99 12.61e in 10.6 mtrs.  Next day we went through another massive storm, once it was over we had enough time to make it to the calmness of Koh Tarutao anchoring in the bay at 06 37.52n, 99 41.18e in 7.5mtrs. 

Then around to Bass Harbour to check in to Langkawi at Kuah and then around to Telaga topping up with fuel before heading down to the Fiord anchorage at 06 11.22n, 99 47.27e in 11.4mtrs of water. Enjoying the well protected anchorage for our last night in Langkawi and our last anchorage for April.

Crew log:
April was a mixed bag for us. We are loving spending time with our friends on SV Basanti. Bruce and I spent hours playing games at anchor. We have been learning the finer art of dominoes, its more complex than we thought. We always love playing Uno and of course Mexican Train Dominoes. I am still working on Bruce to play backgammon with me!

We enjoyed doing some baking during the month: 
Bruce cooked up some Thai beetroot and it was delicious.
A lemon tart. Worked out well except I omitted to check the size of my dish, which was a bit too big so it turned out a bit thin, but it still tasted really good. 
My Sultana Cake turned out huge and kept us in morning teas for about a week!
It was nice to leave PYH for a few days in between visits from Mr Peh. He gave us a great price for new cockpit cushions and a few other jobs, so we went for it.  We anchored in a small bay off the island of Koh Yao Yai and this had us sitting just out of the SW' winds as we nestled in behind the tiny island of Koh Nui in the bay. We always love looking over to the impressive architecture of the Santhiya Koh Yao Yai Resort and Spa. It looks like something the rich and famous visit. Their guests have the most incredible view of the sunset each night.

Photo courtesy of Google Images. The is the view from a room in the resort on Yao Yai.
The first weekend of April was hard for me (Deb) as all my sailing sisters from WWSA - Women Who Sail Australia where all enjoying the 3rd annual GoTB - Gathering on The Bay in Port Stephens, NSW. I was bummed not being able to attend as I was invited to be a guest speaker and I was going to talk about our travels in SE Asia. The good thing is the gathering is gaining momentum and I will no doubt have another opportunity. What an amazing feeling it is to belong to a Facebook group that has perpetuated into a magazine and an annual get together where there are loads of speakers and fun activities all centered around women sailing.

Bruce is a huge believer in pro active maintenance, so he is always pottering around. We both know the benefits of keeping on top of the rust on our stainless steel. There is also the old line of thought that a clean boat is a trouble free boat and this is true to some degree. While we are rust washing and polishing Matilda, our eyes spot any fine cracks, loose bolts or potential problems. This allows Bruce to action things in the calmness of an anchorage.

Bruce has stripped all he could off Matilda's stainless frames etc so he could rust wash them.

We are very lucky to have a 'garage' which runs under the entire length of the cockpit, Bruce keeps a lot tools in here. So I often get to see Bruce in this position as he hunts for the tools for each job, which inevitably are always up the back!
During one of our times at anchor Bruce made a drink table that has a simple latch on arrangement. He used an old chopping board and I think it turned out rather well.

Our easy latch on drinks & nibble table
Mr Peh on board and making sure the inserts are fitting nicely. The rest are the photos of the cockpit cushion days...........
Mr Peh checking they fit nice and snug.

Mr Peh and his offsider putting on the glue for the stern seat, which is a bit tricky. 
Off they go in the tender back to the dock, to complete the job!

This is what our old cockpit cushions looked. We certainly had good wear out of them.
Very happy with the Sunbrella, Tweed to match our other canvas. 

Look at those cushions,,,4 of them!

We had Mr Peh alter our aft berth mattress. The batteries are under there so we had the mattress cut to make access easier. This is how Bruce and Ken got the mattress ashore to Mr Peh.
Early April we finally caught up with our rally buddies: Bev & Gary off Wirraway of Sydney & Mick & Gin off Wishful Thinking. We parted company over a year ago and apart from seeing Bev & Gary at home a few times we had not seen Wishful since February 2017. It's hard to explain how wonderful it is to see old mates. The catching up took quite a few beers!

Finally back together again at The Beach Bar, Panwa Bali - Phuket.

Glorious sunsets from The Beach Bar as The Big Buddha looks over us. The girls are displaying the international sign for 'my glass is empty and I need a refill please'!

Once all our work with Mr Peh was done it was time to enjoy some sight seeing. We spent a big day out with friends enjoying the sights of Krabi...I'll let the photo's tell the story.

Morning tea at The Sugar Bowl and it was delicious.

At the Tiger Temple.

Tiger Temple.

There are always monkey.

Inside the Tiger Temple, there are many Buddha's but we had never seen a green glass one. We believe it is glass and think it would have weighed a lot, at first we thought it was jade but it was see through.    .

This was one of many ways to give and support the Buddhist Monks, I thought the inscription was interesting.

As you do when your in a car away from your boats, you drive to the local marina's. Krabi is actually up a very large river system with a few marina's. The Krabi River Marina was very run down which is a shame however its not a place we would stay at.

This is Hans Christian, the same make as Matilda. Seeing this vessel in this condition made our hearts ache.

The is Port Takola, another marina, completely man made. They have literally dug out the basin and so far have one finger. It will be interesting to watch it grow.

We finished off our day watching the celebrations to bring in the Thai New Year - Songkran. Celebrated by throwing water on everyone. 
Sight seeing done it was time to make a move south. We enjoyed our trip down to Langkawi and look forward to our next Thailand visit. Maybe a longer stay next time.........

We always love Phi Phi Don, its action packed. On the way in to the shore we spotted this well painted fishing boat.

We decided to do 'The Walk' up some hideous amount of steps to view the famous Isthmus. The is View Point 1.

Still at view point 1, the gardens where very well done.

This is view point 2. Thanks to Bruce for making the final climb. The view is incredible.
Then down to Koh Lanta. We had never been here before and definitely worth a longer visit.
Koh Lanta has a lovely street full of locals selling their wares. One shop had these gorgeous owls out the front. Next door is a fruit shop which also sold spirits (top left).

The walk down the side of the Rareview Cafe for lunch.

The view from the Rareview Cafe, loads of islands to go exploring.
Leaving behind Lanta we headed down towards Muk but a big storm was brewing so we pulled in behind Koh Ngai. Here we saw lovely long sandy beaches, quite a few resorts and colorful boats all anchored. 
A hidden resort. Love the steps.

Next day headed down to Koh Tarutao. This place made such an impression on us, it could very well have altered our time frame home. It is magnificent, its huge and has loads of bays to shelter in both sides. One the way down we had a heart starter as we watched a water spout on our stern.
Janice captured the waterspout beautifully on our sterns. The tiny little dot to the right of the spout if a large fishing boat, we wondered what he was thinking.

Matilda heading into a bay of Koh Tarutao.

We sat for hours watching the clouds spill down the enormous crevices of the mountains of Tarutao.

After we had arrived at Langkawi, checked in and settled we all hired car and decided to drive to the highest point of Langkawi - Gunung Raya. Sady the tower was in disrepair and closed, which was a shame. Not that we would have seen anything anyway, we arrived in a to the top which was totally shroud in clouds - we wouldn't have been able to see a thing anyway. We have been up the tower a few times and the view is spectacular showing off all of Langkawi with 360 degree views. 

This was all the view we could manage at Gunung Raya - clouds.

On the way to Gunung Raya, we stopped at the Kraft Komplex (they are not spelling errors, thats how they write in Malaysia). While here the heavens opened and torrential rain fell. One the way out of the Komplex i spotted all the cats fast asleep in a corner of the taxi rank.

What a fantastic way to finish off the month and our trip in Thailand & Langkawi but in the only Fiord of Langkawi's water ways. It was pretty windy outside but couldn't feel a puff of wind in here.

Basanti anchored in the Fiord.

Tuesday 3 April 2018

SisterShip Magazine refloats after 30 years!

What an absolute thrill to have been published in the newly revised SisterShip Magazine.

I wrote an article on Penang, Malaysia for the debut release.

View the website for details of the online magazine.