"Arctracer" Letters

Preparing to fly to USA, Aug 2006

We are practically ready to start our long journey to your side of the world. You are exactly twelve hours different from us now, so midnight there is noon here, and that's as different as times can be here on Earth. We are not looking forward to the uncomfortable, long flights, but are looking forward to seeing you.

After seeing Jennifer, Nico, Stephanie and Antonio off at the Phuket airport on July 30, we returned to Yacht Haven Marina in a furious rainstorm. We had not had rain like that the entire time they were with us. Their takeoff was delayed a bit because of the bad weather, but they got home safely. We had a wonderful time with them, and hope their memories are as good as ours. We relaxed for a few days and did some boat projects. Then we sailed around to Ao Chalong at the south end of Phuket Island. Jerry went to Rolly Tasker's sail factory, the world's largest, and learned about their operation by talking with Rolly himself. We may get a new mainsail made there.

We checked out of Phuket on August 10 and immediately moved from Ao Chalong a couple of miles to reanchor in the lee of Ko Lon where we spent a peaceful night. The next morning we started sailing towards Malaysia. Once we got out of the wind shadow of Phuket, we found a very favorable wind - 15 to 20 knots on our starboard quarter. This let us have one of the nicest day sails since reaching this part of the world. We picked up a mooring at Ko Rok Nok well before dark after 58 miles. The waves rolled around the corner of the island to keep us rocking some in the night, but we still slept well. The next day we had another good sail to the top of Ko Tarutao where we anchored in a peaceful spot after 50 miles. On the 13th we sailed easily to the island of Langkawi and went into the "Hole-in-the-Wall" for the first time. This is a break in the cliffs which leads into a complex mangrove estuary. There is a boat storage facility (moorings) in this protected place, but it had no room for us. We had dinner at the restaurant, and found the food mediocre at best, and expensive. We paddled our kayak through mangrove channels for three hours one afternoon, and saw a pair of beautiful woodpeckers. The whole area is busy with speedy little boats taking tourists to see caves and feed Brahminy Kites and Sea Eagles, so it is noisy and wakes are a frequent menace.

On August 16 we motored around the island in almost windless conditions to anchor off the town of Kuah. We did a bit of shopping and worked on our web site. We had a nice dinner at "Wonderland" with Rita and Werner of "Quorsum." Telaga Harbour Marina gave us a reasonable rate to be on a mooring inside their marina, so we motored around to there on the 20th. On the 21st we tied up between the pilings which will eventually support their new docks. They are very strong, and "Arctracer" should be secure there while we are away.