Tahawus has decided to stay in SE Asia for another year, or more. So the BPO now consists of Maggie and us. We had a goodbye dinner last night in Ao Chalong, along with Daphne and Ruy from Blue Wind (which is being shipped to Turkey). Sad to say goodbye to people we have built such a bond with.
And…then there were two crew on No Regrets. Chris announced that he is feeling claustrophobic on the boat, and it isn’t his kind of travel (low budget backpacker type), and he is planning to leave us in Sumatra. So herein lies another sailing opportunity for anyone who would like to jump on it, for May and June, from Sumatra to Mauritius. We have a couple leads. But if nothing works out, Tim and I will go anyway without a third.
We checked out with the Thai authorities yesterday. Most paper pushing that I’ve seen anywhere on this trip! But all in air conditioned offices, so we didn’t care. Today we “left” — just sailing around the south end of Phuket to a neat little anchorage off an almost hidden beach (with tourists coming and going constantly in longtail boats until sundown). Everything here (southern Thailand coast) is incredibly touristy — tour boats going everywhere by the dozens, resorts and restaurants and bars wherever you look, and local girls hanging out in the bars inviting the foreigners to join them…
We didn’t want to actually leave for Sumatra today, because we would arrive on Sunday. That means special fees; Luc advised us not to. You remember Luc, right…? The master organizer of BPO events! He will be at it again for our first stop at Sabang in Sumatra. I have some trepidation about Sumatra based on accounts I have read — people being unfriendly, anchorages not providing shelter from sudden squalls. Oh well, we will have our own experience, and who knows what it will be?! In any case I am excited that we are moving on from Thailand. This coast is beautiful, and people have been sweet, but I never connected much to either, largely for the oppressive heat. End of poetry.