10 January 2008

Mooring Ball at Koh Phi Phi Le 'The Beach'
Phi Phi Islands
Phang Nga Bay

Good morning from 'The Beach'. Sandpiper is secure on a mooring ball in crystal clear water with shallow reefs below us and inside a scenic lagoon surrounded by high vertical limestone cliffs with 3 sandy beaches. Phi Phi Le Island was the location for the 1998 movie 'The Beach' staring Leonardo DiCaprio.

We ended up staying 3 more days anchored at Racha Yai Bay before we made the trip here as the winds would be strong in the mornings when we wanted to leave and this trip was going to be 20 miles straight into the wind. Since we did not want to take a beating motoring into headwinds and we were enjoying ourselves we decided to wait for a day when the winds were light.

There are worse places to be stuck and we met some really nice people that were staying on the island on vacation. We even had them out to Sandpiper for drinks. It was quite a contrast from day to night as during the day boatloads of tourists were dumped ashore and divers thrown into the water. Then at 3pm everyone is gone, leaving the island to us and the few people staying at the small resorts ashore. It turns out that Sandpiper was anchored in a nice patch of sand that all the divers liked for some reason. At one point we had so many divers under us it looked like Sandpiper was in a Jacuzzi!

We left at noon yesterday as soon as the winds started to die down and made the 20 mile run to where Sandpiper is now moored at Phi Phi Le Island. With perfect timing as we arrived at sunset and grabbed a free mooring ball. What movie should we watch while moored here after sunset? Of course we watched 'The Beach'. Not the best movie ever made. Even Benjamin from SV Uterus, who I always disagree with about everything, agree that this movie sucked. Go out and rent this movie and you will see right where the Sandpiper is. It is quite strange to see it on TV and then look outside and there's the beach.

It is still early morning as I write this and there is just a few charter boats on the other moorings here. But in minutes there should be a flood of boats arriving with their loads of tourists from Phuket to wreck our peace for their daytime visit.

Phi Phi Le Island is a National Park and there are no buildings ashore. But there are campers in tents that are allowed to stay overnight. The bay is shallow with reefs. There are mooring balls here so that no one will drop an anchor on the reef.

Our plans are to stay here for the afternoon to explore 'The Beach', do a little snorkeling, and then head over to the next island just 2 miles from here.

We just found out that our good friends Ben and Katie are coming to visit us. Ben works as a Safety Officer for an oil company on their ship off of Australia. He is taking a break and flying here from Australia while his new bride Katie, who works in Southern California, is going to meet him here in Phuket where we will all get to see each other. How fun!

Katie is bringing our mail with her and any other goodies anyone would love to send us. I have to put this pitch out here again as we have a 'mule' carrying for us. We are still looking for a second-hand laptop from our millions of followers around the globe. The reason we do not want a new one is that we just need an old computer that works to back up the one we are using right now for when we cross the Indian Ocean as a back up for our navigation program and email setup. We would love to hear from you if you have a used laptop or know of someone who does. We are paying top American Dollars.

More when it happens
Tom and Amy

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