I wake to the familiar sound of halyards slapping against the mast, flags whipping in the breeze. We have wind. I smile.
As if he could hear my thoughts, the crew boat skipper, Phillip, murmurs from the galley.
“We have strong wind Kate, get ready, you’re gunna be sailing all week”
Music to my ears.
I feel like a child again waking in my father’s yacht in the West Coast of Scotland but as I peek out the porthole east, I see jade green glistening waters lap against a cragged limestone mountain covered in thick forest vegetation. I am no longer in the North Sea.
I am dragged from drowning nostalgia by laughter and clinking of beer bottles. My mind begins to haze over – a sharp reminder that TYW had their opening party here in Phuket last night; some are clearly still celebrating.
We left you yesterday at our arrival at Ao Po Grand Marina on Phuket. Over the course of the afternoon and into the early evening our 120 strong international crew trickled into the island, re-connecting with old TYW alumni and playing the name games with new faces. Boat hopping happened instantaneously, as crews ran between the docked fleet sharing drinks and back-stories with the other veterans.
Our opening party was held at Phuket’s largest and most prestigious club, Catch. Word spread quick that this was the place to be. The venue hit capacity. A live saxophone player serenaded the crowd, perched on top of the frosted glass bar, playing the melody over a deep house funk laid down by the DJ.
By 9am today, the crew’s energy is a juxtaposition of electricity and exhaustion the latter part of that equation melting away as the skippers shifted up a gear, lifted lines and headed out of port in unison.
Outside the marina sits a bay that is an impressive body of water at over 400 km2 and is renowned for its many dramatic limestone karsts that jut vertically out of the ocean.
One of these famously known James Bond Islands is part of the Ao Phang Nga National Park in Phang Nga Bay. This tiny little rocky outcrop ironically is perhaps the single most visited island in all of Thailand. It first found it’s way onto the international tourist map thanks to the 007 film 'The Man with the Golden Gun'.
We sail north east at a bearing of 030’ towards Koh Roi, a distance of 13.5 NM and anchored off the bay. As soon as the anchor tugs the ocean floor our crew rush to the top deck, sprint off the edge and plummet into the ocean! It’s Go-Pro central - a perfect opportunity to get some sick footage!
From Koh Roi we head out to the night anchorage, south to Ko Yao Noi and The Paradise Resort.
We hit the showers, smarten up and head out. We are starving and froth in anticipation of the seafood banquette that is being laid on for us.
“Nothing sounds more manly than a barracuda skewer” a skipper remarks.
Tonight we have the restaurant, swimming pool and beach bar booked out for TYW. The tender pulls into the shadow of the island, the monstrous jungle scene swamps us. Like a throw back from Jurassic Park, this secluded, exclusive resort is insanely majestic. The sun begins to set and we’re sitting in an essentialized fantasy of the lazy golden days and purple sun-kissed nights. Live guitar music tickles the humid air as I sip a Koh Yao Delight cocktail... I’m in heaven.
On that note, I’m out. See you all tomorrow!
To book your own yacht and sail in Thailand this December, have a look at our Thailand information page.