A Magical Cruise Through Phang Nga Bay, Phuket, Thailand

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The Fenn Family (Mollie, Will, Graham, Kimberlee, and Paul) aboard a traditional Longtail near Pan Yi Village  08°20.0N  98°30.3E – July 2016

Over the many years that I have worked for Jeanneau, I have had the good fortune to spend some amazing times on the water. By far, one of my all time favorites was cruising through the islands of Phuket, Thailand with my family in 2016.

Our adventure started when we boarded our Jeanneau 469 that we chartered from Dream Yacht Charters. We didn’t have a solid cruising itinerary but we knew that we would limit our cruising area to Phang Nga Bay, located to the east of Phuket. We had read good things about Pan Yi Village so we decided to make this our first stop. Like any first day, we got off to a late start and although we didn’t have tremendously far to go, we wouldn’t arrive to the harbor until late afternoon. Then, as luck would have it, just as we were about to set anchor, the skies became black as night as a huge front rolled in from the west. The rain came down in lumps and the wind, not to be outdone by the rain,

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Graham and Mollie stand soaked to the bone shortly after dropping anchor in the harbor outside Pan Yi Village

picked up in earnest and blew like there was no tomorrow. Thankfully, my son Will managed to drop the anchor shortly after the show began and it dug in tight. We quickly retreated down below and except for the occasional anchor check, we didn’t come back on deck until the morning.

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Bali Hai, owned by Jonthan and Dot King swings at anchor at Pan Yi Village

I had remembered seeing one other boat at anchor before the front rolled in and now, as I was enjoying my first cup of morning coffee, there she was, just 50 yards or so in front of us. She had a familiar look to her and it didn’t take me long to determine that what I was looking at was a Jeanneau. Now me being me, I couldn’t not go over and say hi, so I climbed in the dinghy, fired it up and ran over and knocked on the hull. And this is how I met Jon King. I liked Jon right off the bat. He and his wife Dot, had sailed here from Australia aboard their Jeanneau 44i, Bali Hai and now were enjoying the good life cruising around Southeast Asia. Unfortunately, we never met Dot who was off in England visiting relatives but we ended up spending a lot of time with Jon sailing in tandem around Phang Nga Bay.

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Mollie and Will in the bow of a longtail that we hired to run us around  to see the sites

One of the things that makes sailing in Phuket truly magical are the islands themselves which are composed of limestone. Very often these islands will rise high in the sky but the interior will be completely hollowed out from years of weathering. This weathering sends the limestone into the sea tuning it an emerald green. And while the water isn’t crystal clear the snorkeling is still great.

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Graham Fenn aboard our chartered Jeanneau 469 anchored in some unknown harbor

It’s hard to sum up this trip in just a few words but when it comes to cruising or really any adventure, there are always two important elements that make the adventure great. One is the destination and the other, the more important one, is the people you meet along the way. If you like adventure, I highly recommend finding your way to Phuket as we did. And while you’re there, discover the locals for they are what really makes the experience truly memorable.  On we go…