The last time we had been in this area was in 2013 when we made our emergency sail from the Maldives to Langkawi, after a gale damaged SY Esper
We went on a little shopping trip to Phuket just to demonstrate how easy it is to spend money on a boat with little to show for it. But stumbling across a bargain Fortress anchor was too difficult to resist.
There were still a few more days before our Thai visas expired, so we took a slow sail south from Phang Nga bay. Ao Chalong sits on the south-eastern corner of Phuket and is the place where sailors and boats go to check in and out of Thailand.
We started to look on the bright side. We were insured. We were floating. The Portabote–swinging from the new davits–had taken most of the impact, acting like a large fender. If we had been hit anywhere other than the stern, Esper could have just started her life as Phi Phi Don’s new wreck dive.
When the first murmurings of this year’s SW monsoon came rumbling in, we cancelled our plans to meet friends in town and stayed aboard. Squadrons of clouds hurled lightning across the sky at each other for two days, while we sheltered in the cockpit and collected rainwater in buckets.
American McGee is an inveterate lover of story-telling and all things aquatic. “I spent my childhood watching endless re-runs of Jacques Cousteau and Monty Python, which had an everlasting effect on me,” he told us.