As the squall approached, we reached for our foul weather gear…
It had been a sunny, relaxed morning when we took up the anchor to sail south towards Malaysia. But this is the transitional period when the SW monsoon gives way to the NE blow. The wind can change in an instant, sometimes bringing blue skies, but more often than not unleashing rolling squalls across the sea.
We had no idea how the new dodger would perform, so to be on the safe side we put on our foul-weather gear. Even though it never dips below 27 Celsius here even at night, when that wind and rain blows straight at you out on the water it can get cold very quickly. We poured some tea, put our jackets in the cockpit and prepared the lines.
As the rain came towards us and the speed climbed to 25+kts, we took it straight on the nose. By now the squall was in full throttle and it looked like a big one. On the radar, we were able to see the extent of the rain directly in front of us.
But we were dry! The dodger was doing its job, and we didn’t need our wet weather gear at all. This was the first time in 12 years while sailing in rain that we had been completely bone dry. Why hadn’t we put this dodger on before?
The rain continued for an hour or so, and when it stopped the sea was still churning. It would stay like that until we reached our destination, Koh Kradan. It always takes around four hours for the waves to calm down once the squalls round here pass.
As we reached Koh Kradan we passed round to the eastern side where the swell was flattened in the shelter of the island. As it is currently the off season, there were no other sailboats around, just a couple of fishermen taking shelter. On the beach there are a few small resorts, but we decided to have a couple of drinks on board and wait to see the island in the morning.
As we relaxed we watched a charter boat come into the bay from the windward side, and anchor at the other end to us. Very decent of them. They launched the dinghy and motored over towards us. It turned out that Sav and Theresa follow us on YouTube and wanted to say hello. And what made it even better was they brought rum! We had a brilliant night on board Esper, and in the morning joined them for breakfast on their boat. Good times!
In no rush to go, we decided to stay for another day, and Jamie went snorkeling. The coral is fairly limited, but he found some and quite a few tropical fish enjoying shelter there.
In the later afternoon we took the dinghy ashore to an ‘Italian’ restaurant where we had ‘pizza’. The place was pretty, the staff were lovely and we met a new friend, Chuck. Sadly, the pizzas were doughy and tasteless, we should have stuck with the local food…
Peace and fair winds!
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