Great sailing today

This morning we woke in Ko Ku Do Yai and explored an old hong that had collapsed in several places and was easy to access from the sea. There were some lovely beaches within, and a little path that led to another nice beach.

This island is home to a lot of bats, but I only saw butterflies. Back to the boat and off into a darkening sky with a rising wind, The wind was from the East, and we were heading mostly South East, so I was hoping to get the new sails up and see how they worked. It would have been a three hour trip by motoring at 5.5 knots and we had 6 hours, so I figured we should take advantage of the flattish seas and a 10 knot rising wind to see how she handles.

As we headed out into the bay, we noticed lots of yachts heading down from the north, later we could see that they were all anchoring at the Paradise resort on Ko Yao, it turns out this was the 20th Bay Regatta, and looks like a great event. Perhaps we could enter this next year.

I was able to get all the new sails flying fairly quickly, the staysail wouldn’t fully unfurl, and a trip to the bow showed me the furling line had bunched up on the drum and looking closer I could see the frame around the drum was egg shaped, must have been bashed at some point. Not a big deal to sort anyway.
So straight away I could feel the difference, we picked up speed quickly and where making  great speed, quite close to the wind. Adjusting the sail trim, I found we could get very close to the wind, much better than before. The wind continued to pick up, and by the time we reached Krabi, we had 20 knots on the nose, and quite big waves, the wind had backed a bit so I had to tack for the last leg, this was great, I went further than I needed to on the first leg as I wasn’t sure what angle the boat would tack through, before it was about 120 degrees, but now it was more like 80 degrees, I need to do more work, but you can see how we easily manage 90 degrees on the track above.
I have found that my wireless wind meter on the masthead is a bit rubbish, I can’t rely on it at all, it was reading 10 knots the other night, when it was howling and the boat was tipping over at anchor, my handheld meter was registering 20-25 knots. Today I had full sail up, too much really for the conditions by the end of the day.
Arriving at Krabi was weird, seeing a road with cars on it was slightly unnerving, we haven’t seen any roads, power cables, vehicles or buildings for ten days now.  We have only seen a sprinkling of people as well, but now it seems like we are in Disney land, we can hear dance/house music blasting from a long shoreline, backlit with hotels and restaurants, fire-eaters are illuminating the beach with their dance routines and we are surrounded by long-tails whizzing around ferrying tourists to the various islands off the coast here.
We have had to anchor some distance from the shore as it is too shallow up close, and as it’s now raining, windy and the sea is a bit choppy, we haven’t ventured ashore. Tomorrow maybe. I would like to see if we can get a berth in the marina here so we can travel into the town and check out the area.

Paul Collister


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