Although Esper was suffering from some unpleasant injuries after her bump, the anchorage turned out to be rather a lovely place. Unlike noisy-busy Ton Sai Bay, this was an unhurried sandy cove with some friendly bars and one particularly good local restaurant. But we couldn’t stay forever, we must decide what to do next…
After his initial report to the police station, Jamie expected to hear nothing more. All the received wisdom is that you’re very much on your own in Thailand. We were told (by ‘farangs’) that Thais regard any problem you may encounter as of your own making. Why? Because if you weren’t there in the first place there would be no problem. Hmmmmmm.
But we received an unexpected call from the officer in charge, who invited Jamie to meet the skipper of the barge that rammed us. So he went back with Alica, leaving Liz and Millie-the-cat to guard Esper. After five cups of coffee Wat the translator arrived.
“I said WHO?”
“I know, WAT!”
…and so it goes…
The skipper held up his hands and admitted he had caused the accident, but that his gearbox was faulty. To be honest, he shouldn’t have been so close to us with a faulty gearbox (or even with a good gearbox), but Jamie and the police tried to get the owner of the boat to admit liability. Sadly, he would have nothing of it and insisted the skipper make reparations. An agreement was made for the skipper to contribute something over a five month period. And right there in the police station, the officers did a whip round to stump up the first deposit. (Later we discovered that the skipper’s salary would barely cover the monthly payments so we waived the agreement. Even though the repairs would have to come from a loan, we realised it would be impossible for the man to feed his family and repay us.)
Any previous plans had sunk by now, and we needed to get to PSS to survey the damage. It seemed churlish not to make the most of our passage south, so we looked at the charts and noticed a small outcrop of islands which looked quite interesting.
Koh Ha (literally ‘Five Islands’) is a group of uninhabited limestone stacks. The water is deep and the floor is coral, so there was no possibility of anchoring. We planned to pick up moorings instead, but needed to get there before sundown.
Sailing in a mini flotilla with Alicia and American on board SY Synchronicity, we headed towards the rocks and dual monitored Ch16 and Ch08 on the VHF. We arrived just before sunset and made a quick recce of the eastern side; the middle island moorings looked the most inviting. American went first and took the inside position while we remained a little further out.
Hanging off a buoy so close to rock is a little unsettling but once we had relaxed, we took in the sunset and the small island next to us known as ‘floating island’. As the light faded, we wondered why it was not recommended to anchor there at night.
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