Posts Tagged ‘Phuket’

This report comes from Sail-World.com.  http://www.sail-world.com/Cruising/international/Thailand:-Armed-robberies-on-sailing-boats-leave-cruisers-shaken/109199

This is not what you want to hear, from such a cruising destination as Phuket, but frankly there has long been reports of petty crime and theft from boats left in Chalong Bay, for the most part on unattended yachts. They are an obvious target.

In this case, the thieves thought they had the yacht to themselves to gather their stolen loot and ransack the yacht, but they were disturbed by a brave captain.



Recent armed attacks against yachties by thieves in popular Chalong Bay in Phuket, Thailand, is the first violence that the local cruising community can remember here towards yachts in a very long time. A French yachtsman suffered severe knife wounds during an attack aboard his boat last week, and in another incident shots were fired when thieves were surprised during an attempted burglary on a vacant boat.

It is tragic for cruising sailors when once safe anchoring spots become dangerous and one can only hope that this is an isolated case.   Witnesses reported at least two shots fired in the dark on Chalong Bay last week as a gang of thieves gave chase to a Phuket boat captain who outfoxed the criminals until the police arrived in force.

Capt Bruce Issell was the hero of the incident.  He was warned by a silent alarm at about 11:30pm that intruders had boarded the Davinci, catamaran.

He raced to Chalong Pier, boarded the Davinci’s dinghy and headed for another vessel, a Sunseeker 50, to investigate what had triggered the alarm.

Once aboard the Sunseeker, he motored to the Davinci catamaran with spotlights ablaze at full strength. ‘The thieves found themselves well and truly lit up, but could see only one person aboard the Sunseeker,’ a witness told Chris Husted, News Manager with the Phuket Gazette.

Seeing only one boat approaching them, the thieves attacked the Sunseeker and attempted to board the luxury yacht and capture Capt Issell and his one young Thai crewman. A chase ensued throughout the moored yachts and commercial craft in the bay for some 20 minutes, with the Sunseeker ducking and weaving to hold off the raiders.

‘There were at least two bright flashes as the thieves fired shots at the Sunseeker. You could see the flashes from the shore,’ the witness told the Gazette.

Police reinforcements quickly arrived in dinghies, changing the balance of power. The thieves soon surrendered and were escorted to the floating marina under construction in the bay. ‘They were questioned and handcuffed, and the stolen items were inspected,’ the witness told the Gazette. ‘For all their efforts, the thieves had managed to steal only some children’s foam paddle boards, a set of binoculars, some flashlights and other odds and ends,’ the witness confirmed.

Scuffles broke out as the officers placed the gang of about four men under arrest. The men were then transported to Chalong Police Station in the back of a police pickup truck.

The bright yellow dinghy the thieves had used in the thwarted raid was also seized as evidence.

The catamaran was taken from its mooring to the marina for further police inspection.

‘I could not be less than 100% impressed with all concerned – Bruce Issell and his crewman – and the very professional Chalong Police,’ said the witness, who asked not to be identified publicly.


Niwat Duangmanee and Theeraphol Malasan, both 21, were later charged with using knives to commit armed robbery, using a vehicle to evade police and receiving stolen property after a cat-and-mouse chase through Chalong Bay marina that ended with police firing into the air and apprehending the men.
It is hoped that the men arrested were the same raiders who have terrorized the Baan Nit area off Cape Panwa in the previous week. A Frenchman whose yacht was anchored in that area was startled by raiders late one night. A scuffle broke out on board and the Frenchman suffered at least seven knife lacerations during the attack, including a cut to his head. Fearing for his safety, the Frenchman did not return to sleep on his yacht that night. It may have proved a prudent move as the thieves returned the same evening and made off with what was reported as a substantial bounty of yachting ‘removables’.
The yacht has now sailed away, no doubt with no intention to return.

by Chris Husted, Phuket Gazette/Sail-World Cruising


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Recently dropped by Yachthaven Marina in Phuket Thailand ……..

and saw some handsome Trawlers berthed there awaiting their next cruise.

First to catch my eye was an “old friend” Seabird a Nordhavn 62, looking like a brand new yacht after some serious TLC at Boat Lagoon.

Her Gelcoat and stainless steel was just sparkling in the strong Thai sunshine. She really did look fantastic. Better than many newer boats in the Marina.

She also had some interesting details for covering the engine exhaust’s in the stack whilst the owners were away overseas !

Apart from Seabird, Nordhavn were well represented, with B2 a Nordhavn 64.

That’s what you call “Tight Parking”

There was also a Nordhavn 55, Amandla.

There were also a pair of Selene’s. Firstly a very tidy Selene 53 – Storyteller V

and right beside her on the other side of the pontoon a Magnificent Selene 66 – Meeandah, shown here hiding behind B2, and making up the other half of the sandwich in that “tight parking” berth.

Lastly was the very capable and very green Northern Marine – Taipan IV

All in all quite an impressive array of Trawlers from 53 feet to over 70 feet LOA.

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Following on from the recent post I made on the changes to the Maritimo Boat Line Up and their new Web Site, they have now come out with this news update.

Iconic Australian luxury cruiser manufacturer Maritimo has undertaken a complete review of its model range and will be reducing and refining its offering to the boat buying public.

After extensive customer research and a review of the popularity of the various models Maritimo will concentrate its R&D efforts to ‘core business’ being the flybridge motoryacht series and a new series of coupes that share a common hull to their flybridge sisterships.

New models set to be released at upcoming boat shows include the new M45 and the M58. In the Mustang stable the new Mustang 43 sports cruiser is also about to be released. It fits neatly between the ‘Baby Maritimo’ Mustang 32 Sports Cruiser and the Mustang 50.

Maritimo Marketing Director Luke Durman said the combination of the remodeled Flybridge Motoryacht range (5 models), the new Coupe series to be announced at Sanctuary Cove Boat Show (2 models), select 470 and 500 convertibles, along with the Mustang sports cruisers the company had a vessel to appeal to most buyers.

“Over the past six months we have gone back to basics, we have researched what our buyers think and importantly what they want and we have been able to narrow down the field so that we hit those targets. Its not just about the boats themselves, we researched the whole offering as a brand – pre, during and post sale, and the feedback was highly regarded in developing our forward strategy,” he said.

“It is all about increasing the quality, making slight changes to increase usability and concentrating our efforts in the areas which provide the greatest opportunity for returns.”

Mr Durman said the release of the M58 at the Sanctuary Cover International Boat Show followed by the M45 at the Sydney International Boat Show would be milestones for Maritimo this year.

The M73 Motoryacht will continue to be Australia’s largest production vessel.


That last sentance is just a “Mines bigger than yours” jibe regarding someone else’s 70 footer due to launch later this month.

More than that though you can draw your own conclusions when you read statements about getting back to “core business”.

Separately I believe they have made announcements about a New CEO, Mr Garth Corbitt,  who was previously the CFO, or the “bean counter/numbers man”, and a new head of sales and marketing, Mr Greg Haines,  the son of legendary Queensland boat builder, the late John Haines AM.

So what of Mr Maritimo himself, Mr Bill Barry-Cotter, and Mr Luke Durman, Managing Director?

In any event I wish them much success with the changes and refocus. They do make Great Boats !

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Felt more than a couple of tremors today originating from the Sumatra earthquakes of 8.6 and 8.2. Thankfully seems there has been been little damage and destruction in Indonesia this time, at least at the time of writing.

Read there was an 0.8m Tsunami wave somewhere around Simeulue Island off the coast of Sumatra, Indonesia. Hopefully that is all there was and it dissapated quickly.

Here is a USGS plate of where those quakes ocurred.

Just for  ‘refernce’ take a look at this YouTube Video which apparently records all the Earthquakes of 6.0 and above that took place in 2011.

Turn up the volume a bit and get ready for the explosion of quakes that occured around Japan in March 2011.

And remember, this year is 2012 !!

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STOP PRESS………………………..STOP PRESS……………………..READ THIS.  (link to Update.)


STOP PRESS II……………………..STOP PRESS II…………………..READ THIS.  (link to Update.)

Sad to report that M/V Grey Pearl a Nordhavn 62 that AVA LON was berthed alongside in Admiral Marina, Port Dickson, was lost in a Fire when berthed at Yacht Haven Marina in Phuket in early December 2011.

I had followed the travels of Grey Pearl and her buddy vessel SEABIRD as they made their way west from the USA, and it was interesting to see them also making the trip North from Singapore to Phuket Thailand, in October 2011, and for us to be berthed alongside each other in Port Dickson, as well as stopover in Langkawi at the same time.

Here is a screen shot picture of her from my Video of the trip from Singapore to Port Dickson. On You Tube at http://tinyurl.com/7pyyvqd

Aparently she caught fire when the owners were off the boat and back in the US, with no one onboard. With the Marina staff unable to stop the fire at the berth, they managed to tow the blazing yacht out of the Marina and beach her in a nearby river. She would surely have set many other boats on fire, if left in the Marina.

Here is a photo of what was left of her after she was left to burn out over the following days.

You can read the details as provided by a local Newspaper at the following link.  http://www.phuketgazette.net/archives/articles/2011/article11631.html

Thre is also a first hand account of the events over at http://svcrystalblues.blogspot.com/

Also here is a link to the owners blog.  http://greypearl.talkspot.com/aspx/m/416338

Lastly on the subject of fire, here is a link to another blog with a description and video of a rescue from another yacht fire, this time off the east coast of the US.  http://yachtcaptainblog.com/2011/10/

Fires on boats are one of the worst case scenarios and very scary when they happen. As seen from these two incidents, once on fire, it is hard to save the yacht. Prevention is the best defence. Thankfully there were no serious injuries in either incident.

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When we spent a night at Ao Nang/Rai Lei beach we were unfortunate to have some really unseasonal weather blow through from the South. 

When we anchored there earlier in the day it was obvious that the seas were coming from the West, which was definitely not in the script. Once all the longtails had finally stopped for the day, and the locally induced swell & waves had settled down the boat was still moving around a bit, but it was OK, and we reckoned we could still handle it and catch some sleep.

Part of the reason for that was that it was clear that the Anchor was well and truly set in the sandy bottom, and that we were well anchored.

Later as dusk strangely approached from the South West with an intense black sky, we expected to get a ‘passing’ squall and suspended cooking for an hour. As it turned out we got much more than that !

When the leading edge hit us the wind speed was immediately over 20 knots and gusting to 26 and above. It was at this stage the dinghy was blown off it’s stand, and across the deck. It had not been securely fastened down after using it earlier in the day.

It was an epic struggle to get her secured down again; effectively we had to release all the remaining straps then man-handle her back in into her chocks and lash her down with ropes to the foredeck side rails and get the tie down straps secure again. The dingy with motor must weigh around 180Kg and the boat was rocking at least 15-20 degrees back and forth with 20knots ++ whistling past our ears.

In any event here is a shot of the Anchor track of that night taken as a screen shot some time later that week. 

If you know how to read these tracks it tells it’s own story. Firstly the wind was consistently strong the whole night blowing from the the South/South West round to from the East. We delineated a nice circumference as a track. You can see our track as we came in from the West to anchor, stopped, dropped the anchor, drifted with the wind and seas and then tensioned up on the anchor, going astern with the engines after the snubber line was set on the anchor chain.

After the initial wind front had hit us and then abated to 10 to 14 knots we were then just waiting for everything to calm down and  to get back to normal.

Unfortunately it did not work out that way, and the next front brought winds that gusted to around 29 knots. From there on in we had wind blowing anywhere from around 14 knots up to the mid twenties the whole night, and the boat continued to move around quite a bit.

About dawn the wind had veered round to from the North East and brought sudden and intense gusts peaking at 29.4 knots. It was then with the wind at about 150 degrees off the anchor set that the anchor finally broke free, dragged, and then reset back into the sand.

You can see the track of this in the small excursion to the S West. The N East winds calmed and died away as quickly as they had started. 

Thankfully all onboard managed to get sleep during the night;some more than others, and nobody was the worse for wear, including the Dinghy ! We had an anchor watch till around midnight and then did checks every hour or as “required”. It is amazing how even when subconcious you can sense a change is the boat movement or ‘conditions’.

In any event the storm that passed that night caused a bit of havoc eleswhere. Here is a Photo of Ichi Ban on the beach the next morning. She was anchored at Kata Beach in preparations for the Kings Cup Regatta.


She was refloated later and despite having to drop and fix her rudder whilst afloat in the Marina in a race against time to make the start, she went on to get a creditable placing in her class.

After Ao Nang and Rai Lei we made our way to PhiPhi Islands and had a much more peaceful few nights, there in the protected Ton Sai Bay.

Together with AVA LON we have been underway in worse weather, but this was the most exposed we have been at anchor and it was great to see the anchor system hold up to the punishment it had that night and come through safe and secure.

Also great for my two boys to get their sea legs tested, and to gain a few stories to tell their buddies when back at school.












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Spent a week onboard with my two boys cruising around Phuket & Krabi. Stopped at some very different anchorages including the drying sandy spit at Ko Yao Yai, which was a fun and interesting spot to explore at low tide. The place is covered in a variety of crabs with Ghost crabs being in the majority. Two local guys were out fishing for them with a rod and line when we first arrived at high tide, and it is only at low tide do you realise just how many of them there are and what a huge area of the waterway dries out.

The depths in the channel are different from the charts I had, (1.8m where there should be 8.2m !) but if you stay close to the north shore you should have 6m to 8m at most places apart from 3m to4m close to the entrance. Certainly sufficient to work your way into a nice spot to anchor. I anchored just to the north, off the main channel, and about 1100m to the East of the the light marking the rocks, and had around 6m even at low water.

We had an easy night at anchor there with negligible wind with the boat swinging gently with the tide.

In daylight you can watch speedboats and even some fairly big sized sport cruisers taking the channel as a short cut on the Krabi-Phuket route, but the Andaman Sea Pilot guide book warns against it unless you have someone with good local knowledge onboard.

We took a slow cruise over to Ao Nang and Rai Lei Beach. The weather when we started out was beautiful, sunny and clear. When we were in about 20m water depth, we cranked up the water maker and filled the tanks, with fresh clean and pure H2O (as opposed to what the Marina has to offer !)

On the way we took a quick looksie at Koh Hong – Krabi. Unfortunately it looked busy with a number of yachts there and a host of speedboats coming and going so we deferred stopping there for another day and kept on moving, dodging purse netters when we were out of the ‘deep’ waters and closer to Ao Nang. Pointing the Bow towards the “Phallic” rock we crept into 4-5m at Rai Le beach and dropped anchor in the sandy bottom.

It was a beautiful spot, but it is the equivalent to being anchored in the middle of the motorway or expressway with all manner of longtail boats, speedboats, ferry’s and anything on the water blasting past us at speed with sometimes just metres to spare from our Bow or Stern.

In any case we made it to shore and explored around the shallows and followed the kayak-ers on their paddle around the island. On the beach you could hear just about all 27 languages of the European Union. Seemed everyone was just interested in soaking up the sun’s rays and forgetting about the chilly Northern winter.

Some of the limestone rocks/cliffs there look ready to give way and go for a swim but thankfully none gave way during our snorkeling swims around there. Along the way a stingray got friendly with us but look don’t touch as always is the best policy.

Back on the boat, come the magic hour of around 5pm and the beaches get deserted and the boat traffic thins out to zero. Peace at last.

That is until some dirty black clouds started forming to the South, just around dusk. Why does the sea always pick up around the time I need to ‘cook’

It’s a story for another time but suffice to say we would see just a smidgen under 30knots of wind more than once that night. With wind and seas opposing it made for an ‘interesting’ night on the anchor. When daylight came around we still had occasional gusts over 20 knots, but I’m glad to say still with an anchor well buried in the sand !

We had no regrets picking up the anchor the next morning and heading south to visit the sheltered Ton Sai bay at Phi Phi Don Island.

We chose to drop the anchor at PhiPhi rather than try to pick up a mooring. Why not after the previous night, my Bruce anchor and all 80m of chain  has my absolute undivided trust !

That said it did make it interesting swinging at anchor inside the pattern of moorings. Mostly so after a 30ft boat was replaced by an 80 ft ferry during one of my snorkeling trips. It didn’t stay; just as well as it looked like I could have just about shook hands with it’s captain at one stage.

The water at PhiPhi is beautiful and clear, and it is great fun to take a swim off the stern if you can keep a watch out for the speed boats blasting through the anchorage ! It gets interesting when there are two or three that seem to be ‘racing’ to get to the beach first. Keeping a good lookout and caution is the order of the day.

We could have spent longer at PhiPhi; we never made it over to PhiPhi Lei, but we still enjoyed our time there and explored all we could of Ton Sai Bay and the snorkeling spots along the sheer rock face.

Going on land was a mind blowing experience to see the built up Hotels, Shops & Banks (?) there, if I compare it to my last visit some twenty years ago, with mostly just beach huts and ‘shacks’. Now I feel really old !

We saw the monkey that likes to smell your money, and then give you a hug, but gave that a miss. We went forth on a re-supply mission and found Two Seven Eleven Stores, and there must be more. We got all that we needed with the exception of butter ! Guess Thai people don’t like butter on their sani’s.

After a fun three days we lifted the anchor and took a slow cruise North back to AoPo Grand Marina, through some rain and snotty weather.

Back in the Marina it was time to head off to find a Fuji Japanese Restaurant, get some doughnuts and let the kids try to get their ‘land legs’ after having their sea legs tested with everything that mother nature could throw at us the past week. They both came through with flying colours !

Post Script; Only after being back in the Marina did I find out that our ‘eventful’ stormy night had also made it’s prescence felt across all of Phuket and in particular one Phuket Kings Cup competitor “IchiBan” (from Australia) had been blown onto the beach…. surprisingly for the second year running. Seems these southerly storms that “dont” happen this time of year are now Two for Two.

To IchiBan I can only say; Mate get a BIG Bruce anchor ! I can swear by it !

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We left Telaga Harbour, Langkawi after taking fuel and completing outward clearances and made our way up towards Phuket with an overnight stop at Koh Rok Island Group. More on that Later. Weather for the day was overcast with Ocean Swell coming from the west, which varied from half to one metre.

The next day the swell was down, but NE winds kicked in. We made a pit stop at Chalong for inward clearances and then berthed later in the day at AoPo Grand Marina, Phuket, Thailand.

The overnight stop at Koh Rok, was ‘rolly’ as the ongoing swell still found it’s way round to the east of the Islands. Between that and the numerous shallow coral heads to watch out for, it was not the peaceful night we wished for.

Upon departure at first light, and after a night of wallowing and rolling around, we’ve inducted Koh Rok into the Hall Of Fame, and it shall henceforth be known as Koh RocknRoll.

Sawwadee Kap

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Just back from time on the boat in Langkawi. Nice protected cruising and quiet bays.

I’ve also uploaded three Video’s made of the trip from Singapore to Langkawi. We made the trip over three days in mid October, with stopovers at Admiral Marina, Port Dickson, and Pangkor Marina, Lumut.

We had three days of mostly beautiful weather with flat seas and blue skies, with just a few hours of rain squalls and thunderstorms in between Penang and Langkawi. It all cleared up right on cue for our run into Rebak Marina, Langkawi.

All in all, a great and easy trip.

Expect to be up in Phuket, Thailand in December.

Follow this link to the YouTube Video channel, and take a look at the three new Video’s from the trip.



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