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Sunday, July 19, 2009

July 19, 2009-Four Days in Phang Nga Bay

wingssail image-fredrick roswold
Phang Nga Bay

Just did a four day cruise in Phang Nga and the first stop was right outside the marina where we anchored so I could dive on Wings’ hull and clean the prop. With blue and yellow leather garden gloves on my hands and a sharp metal scraper on a leash, at 35-45 seconds at a time, it took me nearly an hour to clean the barnacles off the prop, shaft and strut. All the metal was covered in big barnacles, at least an inch across and an inch high. You have to expect it though; it’s been six months and the rest of the hull was clean except one patch on the keel and one on the bottom of the rudder, so that was good. And now it’s all done which will hold us until we can haul out in September.

Anyhow after an hour it was done and then the boat moved normally under power so we headed on out towards Phang Nga and set the main in a nice southwesterly.

We had a destination in mind for the first night and in meant turning left into Phang Nga Bay so the next question was which sail should we put up. Going north we might be able to use the kite, jib, or genoa but it was hard to tell while still heading east in the narrow channel. I used the Tactician program I’ve written for Wings and after plugging in the wind speed and direction, plus the expected headings on the next two legs, it predicted that we’d have about 12 knots over the deck ahead of the beam so we set the #4 jib and as we came up onto the new course it proved to be the right choice. It was the easy sail combination and we had a nice bit of sailing. It’s nice when something works out and really nice when a computer program actually proves useful while sailing.

wingssail image-fredrick roswold
Buying Prawns

Halfway to Koh Hong two guys came up in a long tail just as we hoped they would and we luffed the sails so they could come alongside and sell us some fresh prawns. Nice, 400 grams for THB200, about $5/lb; fair enough. Then we sheeted in and had some fun sailing in the shifts and puffs around the islands. Flat water, nice breeze, no reefs; it was great. We did a short video at one point, which I posted last week. YouTube Video taken aboard Wings sailing

It turned out that we probably could have gone all the way to James Bond Island that day but the chart showed us crossing some shallow areas and with the tide on an ebb we decided to wait until Sunday, so we anchored at Koh Hong, a beautiful favorite of ours which we first went to with Candace last year. It was 4th of July but nobody around here celebrates the colonies’ independence from England and we had nothing onboard to set off so no fireworks this 4th. It’s OK, we celebrated with cold white wine and had fresh BBQ’s prawns and pork and went to bed early.

Sunday we motored across the flats in some light rain, never saw less than 20 feet so we could have done it on Saturday, waited out one squall, and anchored near James Bond Island surrounded by stunning scenery. If not for the abysmally flat light we could have gotten some nice photos. As it was the shots were only fair, but I’ve posted a bunch anyhow.

Click here and here to go to the photos (same as linked in the previous posting.)

We read and took naps and relaxed. We didn’t even put the dingy together, and motored home on Tuesday; it was one of the best trips we’ve had on Wings in a long time.

Fred & Judy, SV Wings, Phang Nga Bay

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