If you think this is the greatest idea on the planet or at least just a very good one, please like us on facebook.
Posted by Grant Headifen, Global Director of Education – NauticEd.
One of the greatest things I love about my job is the ability to apply the latest technology to the sailing education industry – it is so exciting to be leading the world in this area.
And – today comes as a greatly awaited day for us to announce one of the bigger innovations in not only sailing education but in the entire community of eLearning itself.
I’d like to introduce Nano-Forums!!!!!!!!
Please watch this video and you’ll see why our Sailing Nano-Forum is so innovative and such a benefit to the sailing community at large – You’re Welcome! It represents a MASSIVE investment in technology over the past 6 months. Ummm like really REALLY massive but we think it’s worth it!
We think you will really enjoy it.
Oh and btw since this is new technology to the world and we invented it, we are coining the phrase NANO-FORUM right here right now!
What it ultimately means is that we all now can collectively crowd source information in targeted specific areas and re-use the crowds knowledge for educational drill down topic purposes in a way never been done before.
Just watch the video – you’ll get what we are talking about.
Please engage in the Nano-Forums through out our courses. Look for the SeaTalks button at the top right of every page of the course.
Start by taking the FREE Navigation Rules Course at:
Airline pilots, naval seamen, scientists and scuba divers all maintain a logbook. So why don’t sailors? Because it’s just in the too hard bucket with seemingly no point to do it. Until Now! If you ever want to charter, you MUST have a sailing resume. Yacht charter companies DO NOT accept a sailing certification – they will always ask for a resume which requires you to list your experience and theory courses. The NauticEd Logbook is your simple way of storing it in the cloud for all time. Accurate and up to date! AND you can only gain Rank with NauticEd when you list your experience – it’s why every yacht charter company in the world accepts our resume/certification because they both go hand in hand. To gain the Bareboat Charter Master Rank Certification you simply must have listed an acceptable amount of experience which guarantees acceptance by the charter company. i.e. 50 qualifying days on the water with the NauticEd Bareboat Bundle of courses completed is yacht charter company acceptable.
GETTING STARTED WITH NEW LOGBOOK ENTRIES
At first thought, you might think that entering all your sailing history is too daunting of a task. But it’s not – we’ve made the interface easy and very quick. The big thing is that your last entry is remembered and so you can literally enter a whole week of sailing in 14 clicks. Additionally, you don’t have to enter all the information.
Here is how to get 100 entries done in about 20 minutes.
Start with your most recent years first. How many times have you been sailing this year, last year and the year before? Did you go mostly in the summer and some in the fall, spring winter?
Next realistically start to enter an equivalent amount of days that you probably went this year. Pick dates that would be sort of reasonably close. e.g. if you went sailing say 5 times in the first 2 quarters of the year then pick a day in January, 2 in February, 1 in April and 2 in May. Something like that!
You’ll notice that when making a second entry that the last entry you made is queued up all you have to do is change the date slightly. For past entries, you don’t need to add the non asterix stuff – just the date, the vessel and if you were master or crew. In this manner you can do about 6-10 entires per minute. Now go back to last year and repeat – then the year before. Keep going until you have enough entires that realistically reflect your recent 3-4-5 years of experience. This will take about 20 minutes. If you want to go all out, go for it, invest another 20 minutes.
If you have a few 7 day charters then try to remember the month that you did it in and make the first entry then see the second entry already queued up whereby you increment the date by 1. In this manner a 7 day charter takes about 30 seconds to enter.
This 20 minute exercise will bring you up to date.
How to make a logbook entry into your FREE NauticEd Online Sailor’s Logbook
The NauticEd logbook is maintained for you for free in the cloud and is always accessible by you and anyone you specifically designate with permissions. Additionally it is easy to edit and update. You can do this either online or via our iOS NauticEd App. In the App you can make an instant entry when you get off the boat at the end of the day.
Another important feature of an experience logbook is authentication. We created a CrewMate Authentication (TM) system whereby your logbook entries get reported as authenticated. Read about CrewMate Authentication here. So you want to be setting up CrewMates in your logbook area so that your CrewMates can auto authenticate your entries as you make them (optional but it gives credibility to your logbook).
Finally we are about to launch an exciting new product into our App. It is a gps tracking system that will record and store your daily tracks for you. At the end of the outing the gpx file is uploaded to your logbook and you can see your tracks at anytime in the future. Plus the track stores your miles for you AND this also creates an authenticated entry into your logbook. We expect to Launch this sometime early in 2016.
NauticEd offers a FREE course in Navigation Rules – it is a fun, entertaining, multimedia online course and will bring you up to speed on what you as a responsible sailor should know. Takes about 40 minutes and is well worth the time. Plus you’ll get to see how cool we are!
This rule is one of the most fundamental give way rules of sailing. It is Rule 12a in International Rules for Prevention of Collisions at Sea (ColRegs) and Rule 10 in ISAF racing rules. Watch the video to learn the answer.
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We encourage all sailors to learn the Navigation Rules – why would you not? The Rules are specifically called International Rules for Prevention of Collision at Sea. They apply to all boaters.
The NauticEd sailing resume is accepted by Yacht Charter Companies World Wide and we are the only global provider to facilitate the International Certificate of Competence (ICC) via online theory and Practical tuition. THE ICC IS NOW REQUIRED FOR SAILING IN EUROPEAN COUNTRIES. [learn more about ICC… ]
Please enjoy the video below created by a joint effort of Virtual Eye and NauticEd.
Here’s a fun little test. If you like it, please LIKE this on facebook – thanks it really helps us grow and keeps people safe on the water.
Also look over there ——-> and LIKE our facebook page. We post really fun and cool stuff on facebook.
Know the Official Rules for Prevention of Collision at Sea
Tap on the answer you think is best in the image below.
So here’s the deal – if you got it wrong or hesitated, you should complete our FREE NauticEd Navigation Rules Course.
Some people have posted really great comments about this image on the facebook post from Not under Command to is B anchored or moored and these are all relevant questions. Well done if you are thinking at this level. There is a dead giveaway in the image here as to what B is doing. Let’s just assume however that the boats are under command – I just didn’t have a good 3d image of people to place in the pic.
HOW TO GET THIS FREE COURSE NOW !
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International Rules for Prevention of Collision at Sea FREE Sailng Course
You’re out there all the time. You look under the sail and you see this scenario above. You’ve got to know what to do instantly. If you make the wrong decision, you could cause a collision with serious damage, injury or death. And it would be your fault because you didn’t take the time to learn and know the rules. I feel like I can give you a hard time here, because the course is absolutely FREE. We made it FREE because the rules are that important. I’ve seen and I bet you’ve seen too many bozos out there.
Here is a question from a Student who posted it on Disqus. I felt it was important enough to post out here for public. Displaying correct lights on boats is important.
Could you please provide more of an explanation for the following:
Although ‘steaming light’ is used extensively, this does not have a definition within the IRPCS [International Regulations for Prevention of Collisions at Sea], the correct definition being a masthead light.
If the tri-colour light can replace the stern and red/green pulpit light on a sailboat how can it be unacceptable to use the tri-colour light with mast head light? If you are under power you of course need your steaming light/ mast head light illuminated. So if you don’t have pulpit or stern lights aboard as you are using a tri colour light how can you do this?
Agreed – lights can be confusing at the onset. In this particular topic, sailors tend to get confused because they think a mast is only on a sailboat. But, a mast head light is also used (and defined for use) on power boats. Take a look at this image shown in the rules. It shows a power driven vessel longer than 50 meters using two mast head lights.
A large Power vessel displaying two mast head lights.
Here is the definition of a mast head light in the rules:
(a) “Masthead light” means a white light placed over the fore and aft centerline of the vessel showing an unbroken light over an arc of the horizon of 225 degrees and so fixed as to show the light from right ahead to 22.5 degrees abaft the beam on either side of the vessel.
Note also that is does not say the light must be at the top of the mast.
For sailboats, a tricolored light is a light described by rule 25(b) in USCG Nav Rules. It is at or near the top of the mast and is for sailing vessels less than 20 meters in length. It is an optional alternative to having the lights down on the hull or pulpits. It faces a white light to the aft 135 degrees plus red from directly forward around to port 112.5 degrees and a green light directly forward and around to starboard 112.5 degrees. This makes up 360 degrees and meets the requirement for a sailboat sailing. When the sailboat turns on it’s engines it must also in addition to the white, red and green above, display a white light 225 degrees facing forward. You can name this light what ever you like but it must exist. These white “mast head” lights are also defined by the distance they must be seen by – it does not mean they have to be at the top of the mast. On power vessels they are typically at the top of the mast because that is what the mast is for.
Here is a sailing vessel under sail only with a tricolored light
Tri-colored lights on a sailboat
On a sailboat less than 50 meters in length, a mast head light (white under power light) can by just “up the mast” anywhere. It’s not part of the tri color. It is white and faces forward 225 degrees and is to be used when the sailboat is under power. You also might be confusing the term mast head light with the two all around red and green lights at the top of the mast. These are not mast head lights. They can be used in addition to the hull or pulpit mounted red green and white. The rules prevent a top of the mast tricolored light AND the two all around red and green at the top of the mast. This would create confusion and may be your source of confusion. i.e it is unacceptable to use the tricolored and two all around red and green lights. Again the mast head is white 225 deg forward facing to be used under power only.
Here is a vessel with the two all around red and green lights.
The Vessel sailing “on starboard” is utilizing the optional two all around red and green lights.
Here are the rules as stated: Rule 25 – Sailing Vessels Underway and Vessels Under Oars
(a) A sailing vessel underway shall exhibit:
(ii) a stern light
(b) In a sailing vessel of less than 20 meters in length, the lights prescribed in Rule 25(a) may be combined in one lantern carried at or near the top of the mast where it can best be seen. [note this is the tricolored light]
(c) A sailing vessel underway may, in addition to the lights prescribed in Rule 25(a), exhibit at or near the top of the mast, where they can best be seen, two all-round lights in a vertical line, the upper being red and the lower green, but these lights shall not be exhibited in conjunction with the combined lantern permitted by Rule 25(b).
International Rules for Prevention of Collision at Sea FREE Sailing Course
We also have a Paper Book that you should order and keep on your boat for reference.
The book is a stand alone excellent explanation of the Rules of the Nautical road and is a good and quick easy read. It has additional really cool features. Through out the book you will see QR Codes. When you scan any QR code with your mobile device, the book element comes alive and shows you animations and videos.
If you like our trip – please LIKE it via facebook and g+1 it – thanks it helps us grow.
This is the continuing NauticEd Staff and friends Thailand Sailing trip with The Moorings on a Catamaran 4600.
Last night we slept anchored up next to the beautiful Rai Leh beach which was an excellent stop.
Our Anchorage at Rai Leh beach
This morning we set sail (actually motored because there was no wind) south in search of a good snorkeling spot on the way to Ko Phi Phi.
Note that I am taking these chart pics off the Navionics Asia App which we used exclusively through out the trip. We did not use the onboard Chart Plotter. The iPad app is so much friendlier.
South From Rai Leh Beach to Ko Phi Phi
First stop was Ko Dam Khwang. On the way is Koh Dam Hok with its unique chicken head rock
Ko Dam Hok Chicken Head rock
We stopped on the north side where other tourists were also snorkeling. Actually compared to our next stop at Ko Mai Phai it wasn’t that great just to be honest. A few of us got nailed by jelly fish and the tide stream was flowing pretty hard so we elected to move on in search of the perfect snorkeling spot. But we did have some fun in the dinghy. Notice the expert foot steering whilst I held the GoPro.
Fun snorkeling with the dinghy
But just before we left Koh Dam Khwang we went off the back of the boat with a few pieces of bread. Awesome colored fish were everywhere.
Fish at Ko Dam Khwang
Next stop was Ko Mai Phai where the ultimate reward was awaiting us. We anchored in the sand so as not to damage the reef and swam to the reef. The snorkeling was spectacular with Sea Anemones complete with Clown fish and clams, fish
Ko Mai Phai Snorkeling Was Awesome
The snorkeling was spectacular with Sea Anemones complete with Clown fish, clams and tons of fish.
Posted Day 3 of our sailing trip to Thailand at http://www.nauticed.org/sailing-blog/sailing-in-thailand-day-3/
Back on the boat and the wind started to build. Wow – yah finally. Hoist up the John B’s sails (Beach Boys)!
We set sail on a close haul for Ko Phi Phi but we were enjoying the sailing so much we purposefully overshot the island by 5 miles just for fun. We tacked over and did a nice reach onto the southern bay of Ko Phi Phi. We motored right up to the water dock in about the position marked. Water tank fill up was 1500 bhat (kinda expensive $us40) but it was well worth it. The girls were starting to complain (not really).
Ko Phi Phi
Ko Phi Phi is a very alive town with tons of tourists (tons). But with that goes lots of good thai food and lots of night life.
Returning back to the yacht, again we experienced the large tides. We had left the dinghy high and dry on the beach with the fore thought to tie it carefully to the rock wall. When we returned later it was happily floating in 2 feet of water. Thanks to our handy tide app we knew at all times what was happening tide wise.
We had to anchor out quite a way because of all the yachts in the bay. 15 meters would mean a little over 3 scope on the all chain anchor. I checked our pocketGRIB wind App and saw no wind coming over night so anchoring deep wasn’t a concern and by now we were pretty confident that the Bruce anchor was holding very well in mud.
If you’re thinking that taking a sailing vacation is pretty cool, NauticEd is a world expert. We’ve been just about everywhere and can help you select the best place to go – the best charter company and make a no cost to you reservation.
Over the next two months Yachting Education have 3 offshore Sailing opportunities between Bahamas, Ft Lauderdale & Annapolis.
Here are the some brief details;
1. May 18-23 Marsh Harbor to Ft Lauderdale via “Atlantis”
On board Sunday night 17th for sunset cocktails and am departure. Voyage will head south from Abaco Isands, overnight ocean passage to Eleuthera and a visit to Spanish Wells. Nassau & Atlantis on Paradise Island for a round or two at the casino or a visit to the waterpark & aquarium are must sees. Berry islands on our port heading to Bimini to clear customs & immigration then our second overnight passage will have us crossing the Gulf stream and arriving in Ft Lauderdale early afternoon on Friday 22nd. $2250 per person ( max 5 students )
2. May 25 to June 1st
Depart Marsh Harbour to Annapolis MD USA. Eight (8) Day Ocean sailing delivery opportunity. Bring your sense of adventure, sea legs and fishing gear as we head north to USA. We will be at sea for at least 4 days so for those considering a life of cruising, this is a GREAT way to safely taste the ocean life. $2500 per person ( max 5 students )
3. June 6-14
Depart Ft Lauderdale to Annapolis MD. Nine (9) days onboard combining Offshore passages along Florida, Georgia & Carolina coasts before traversing the ICW from Beaufort NC to Hampton VA then up the Chesapeake to Annapolis MD. A fabulous diversity of navigational challenges, port entry planning and scenic beauty….oh and bring your fishing tackle!
$2500 per person ( max 5 students )
A single berth premium is available upon request
Voyage lengths will vary however students looking for offshore blue water sailing experience will benefit from these unique mile-building voyages. Students will have the potential to gain NauticEd & RYA coastal skipper certifications, including ICC endorsement.
All passages are under supervision of RYA Yachtmaster Instructor and Yachting Education Principal instructor Mark Thompson.
Trip includes all meals, snacks and soft beverages, shared accommodations, linens, towels, safety equipment and course materials. Students will be required to participate in all aspects of the day to day running of the yacht, including meal preparation, navigation, stand day and night watches, and be suitably experienced and qualified to undertake such a voyage.
This will not be suitable for beginner sailors or sailors not familiar with or able to undertake offshore conditions. Dates, vessel and voyage particulars are subject to change.
This is Day 2 of our Sailing trip with the Moorings in Thailand.
What a great evening that was last night – anchored up completely remotely next to Ko Ku Du Yai with the delicious dinner of shrimp from the local fishermen. Here are our crew boys peeling the shrimp.
Peeling the Shrimp last night
Here is today’s charted itinerary
Sailing in Thailand -Day 2 Itinerary
In the morning, we headed south weaving through the spectacular islands.
Spectacular Islands of Thailand
First stop was Ko Phak Bia for a snorkelling stop and where I snapped this great shot of a typical longtail boat used extensively by the Thai for fishing, lugging tourists and anything on the water. The boat has a car engine mounted on a balance with a direct-drive long (long) drive shaft coming out the back. You can see the saltwater cooling lines out the back into the water. To steer, the driver pushes down on his balance handle lifting the spinning proper out of the water, he then swivels the entire engine and drive shaft and places the proper back in the water. The sight of a spinning proper waving through the air makes you want to stay very clear away. This type of boat is used extensively throughout Asia. The efficiency lies in the ease of maintenance. Car engines are relatively cheap and easy to mount. I imagine the Mercury dealership has a difficult time penetrating the market.
Thai Long Tail boat
Then further south down to the very impressive (2nd) Ko Hong. At high to mid tide, this hong is filled with water and you can dinghy in and have a delightful swim inside the impressive hong approximately 300 m in diameter. We had to anchor outside the hong in fairly deep 20 meters of water with a falling tide. The boat had 50 meters of chain so we let it all out. The winds were extremely light and so I felt safe with a 3 to 1 scope. Would have preferred 4 to 1 with all chain.
Three of the female crew abandoned us and headed off on the kayak into the hong.
Paddling into the Hong
Then we headed off in the dinghy. This is the entrance.
Ko Hong entrance
And this is inside.
Inside Ko Hong
We moved on to the famous Rai Leh Beach which is renown strangely enough for rock climbing. But also the Thai version of food trucks. Below, all the boats park up on the beach and serve up delicious Thai food albeit, I did notice a few hamburgers scattered in the menus. A pleasant walk from the beach cuts you past the peninsula headland taking you the other side to a long row of very nice resorts and restaurants. This place is a good stop.
This photo of Phra Nang Beach is courtesy of TripAdvisor
We anchored in 2 meters of water at low tide being careful to let out enough chain to accommodate the 5 meters of depth sometime in the night. The cliff behind our anchoring point was incredibly impressive with 10meter long stalactites.
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Course to Steer Calculation
Given the last Rate and Direction problem, now calculate the CTS (Course to Steer) to go to the safe water mark RW “NH” and the TTD (Time to Destionation)?
Answer is posted below. BUT please give it a go first to test your current knowledge.and post your answer to our
Here is the Answer plot (no cheating – give it a go first) (no really) (oh come on really – give it a go first)
CTS and TTD plot
In this answer plot we used 1/2 hour for the time frame. Thus with current flowing at 1.8 knots in 1/2 hour the distance the current will push you off course is 0.9 nm at 17 deg T. Your speed is 5 knots through the water so in 1/2 hour you would travel 2.5 nm.
In the answer plot I have done it two ways. Both work equally as well. First I drew the desired track from the eFix through the buoy RW “NH”. The first vector I plotted was from the eFix to Point A using the current vector (0.9 nm at 17 deg T). Then from Point A, I scribed a 2.5 nm arc to cross the desired track. This gives me position C. I drew a line from Point A to Point C. This gives me what is called a water track. Designated by 1 arrow (mnemonic “water has one”). I measured this direction which is 118 deg T. This is the CTS (Course to Steer). It means if your boat heading is 118 T then your ground track will be from the eFix position towards point C AND towards the Buoy RW “NH” since it lies on the same line.
The distance from the eFix Position to Point C is 2.5 nm. Since you will travel at 5 knots this will take you 30 minutes. NOTE: it is just by pure coincidence that this is the same speed as the boat through the water in this case. i.e. the way you find the boat speed over ground is to measure the distance from the eFix to point C and divide by the time. In this case it just so happened that the distance from eFix to Point C is the same distance as Point A to Point C. You can imagine it would be totally different if the current direction was 30 deg T instead of 17 deg T.
NOTE: also I have solved the problem using the vectors in a different manner. First I scribed an arc 2.5 nm out from the eFix Position. Then I brought in the current vector so that the end was touching the desired track line and moved it until the start touched the scribed arc. This result satisfies the condition that the boat must move 2.5 nm whilst the current brings the boat back to the desired track. The start of the current vector creates Point B. Then I drew a line from eFix to B to create the water track. The water track is the heading of the boat. The heading is (and must be) exactly the same as before at 118 deg T.
This second method, just to me, seems to make more sense of a vector triangle because I can see the boat starting from the eFix and heading out at 118 and getting dragged back to the desired track line. Maybe it’s just me. In any case the triangles are exactly the same. I believe however, that using the first triangle method may be more accurate in real live plotting because you draw the lines from exact points. In the second method, you’re moving that current line to satisfy the two conditions. My brain however, thinks the first method looks weird. i.e. the current drags you all the way out and you have to crawl back. In either case this is not reality. In reality, your boat just follows the desired track. If your mind can handle the first method do it that way.
Next part of the problem is to calculate TTD – the time it takes to get to the buoy.
That’s easy – the distance is 3.2 nm. At 5 knots this will take 0.64 hours = 38.4 minutes.
Now could you solve this problem if the was ALSO 10 degrees of leeway with the wind out of the North?
Permission for a rant? (if you know me, I break out in rants every now and then. It’s a collection of thoughts and I tell you its a rant so as not to offend – ie don’t read this if you’re sensitive)
This problem should be second nature to you. In reality, you’re probably not solving these problems everyday whilst sailing and it’s why some people think they can get away without knowing this stuff. However, this is fundamental to sailing and I think it is irresponsible (strong word – I said it was a rant) to not be able to lay out the method to solve this problem. Laying out the method means you grasp the concept which is the most important to understanding and keeping you out of trouble.
Example: Last year whilst sailing from St. Lucia south to St. Vincent we saw a sailboat way to the west almost on the horizon about half way across. He had left St Lucia and held a compass heading towards St. Vincent. In the meantime, we calculated a CTS and sailed in a straight line over ground to St. Vincent. His path was a complete arc which took him miles off course. Our path was the shortest distance between two points ( a straight line). I’d call this guy a crappy sailor – I know this because of another rant that I wrote about the same guy when it comes to a crossing and give way situation later on as we approached our bay on St. Vincent [see that blog article and story].
Don’t be a crappy sailor – sail with knowledge. It might seem like a selfish rant to get you to buy more courses – maybe or maybe it is and an attempt to reduce the number of crappy sailors out there. NauticEd courses are ridiculously amazing value and after taking at least our Bareboat Charter Master Bundle of courses, I guarantee you will not be on Neptune’s naughty list.
Personally, I’m impressed with the European community and requiring the ICC for all sailors. The ICC requires the above type knowledge. When you’re sailing in Croatia, Greece, France etc, on a Bareboat Charter, you’re nervous enough. You don’t want all the other charter skippers having limited sailing knowledge. If you know they all have the ICC, you’re going to be a lot more comfortable in a crossing situation.
NauticEd has taken it a step further by not only providing the ICC but offering the Bareboat Charter Master bundle of courses. These courses really ready you for a proper safe Bareboat Chartering Experience.
Do you have you United Nations Sailing License (the ICC) yet?
If you’re looking for the ICC license, visit NauticEd and take the RYA Day Skipper Course.
Ok, raise your right hand and repeat after me “I promise to go sailing in Thailand before I kick the bucket”.
The NauticEd team has just completed a familiarization trip in the Phuket Thailand cruising area. The only complaint that we had was the same one we always have – why did we do only 7 days? 10 days I think is a minimum required amount 2 weeks even better.
Phuket Sailing Area
We chartered a 46 ft catamaran from the Moorings. The 4600 has 4 cabins and 4 heads and thus 8 of us went. It has plenty of room with a huge covered outdoors back deck and dining area and huge front trampoline area. Myself, I’m very partial to catamarans for such an adventure trip as you always have plenty of room to stretch out and find your own space even with 8 people on board. And because the daytime living area is all one upper level, you never have to spend anytime overheating below decks. My opinion, sail a mono hull at home and at your local yacht club, but sail a Catamaran on a vacation. Side note, if you’re intimidated by a Catamaran, no worries, NauticEd has a Catamaran conversion course that will fill you with confidence.
NauticEd Crew and friends
The Phuket area is a real gem cruising ground on this planet and is not to be missed. Of particular note is the distinct Tower Karst type islands. One such was made famous by the James Bond movie “The Man With The Golden Gun”. The island Khao Phing Kan, is part of a small island cluster about 13 nautical miles NNE of The Moorings charter base. Such spectacular island shapes are formed by the dissolution of soluble rocks such as limestone. And in fact, the whole area is loaded with these crazy shaped islands. Many islands also have a hollowed out center that you can access by swimming in, by dinghy or by walking through a cave entrance. The hollowed out area is called a Hong and they are truly spectacular to see.
Moorings Base to James Bond Island
Our itinerary was a quick 7 day sailing trip around the area stopping to document, photograph and report back. Much of our downtime was also spent cooling off in the delightful 88 deg F water and sampling the scrumptious local Thai food.
Check in time at the base on the northeast side of the Phuket island is 4 pm. Thus we elected to leave from our Kata Beach jet lag recovery base in the south of the island at noon in a large taxi van who took us to the Big C Supermarket first where we bought provisions for the boat (Important Note: You can not buy booze between 2pm and 5pm in Thailand so take this into account when shopping).We arrived at the base at 3:30 whereby Jeff, The Moorings Base Manager announced our boat was ready. The crew split into two with half stocking the provisions and the other half doing a local area chart briefing. Jeff then did a boat briefing. Whilst I’m very familiar with the Moorings 4600 catamaran, it is still prudent to take the proper time to go through the boat noting locations of everything like windlass reset switches and water tank switch over valves plus learning any special nuances of this particular boat. (I will never fathom why boat manufacturers hide the windlass rest switch – go figure!)
By the time we were finished, we still had a small amount of time to set off to a nearby island. However, we all elected to not rush ourselves and instead properly set the crew into vacation mode. Too many times on boating trips like this I’ve been in situations whereby things got rushed which usually ended in detrimental results – even if is a slightly stressed attitude artificially created by the need to hurry. Instead, we decide to have a really nice Thai dinner at a local restaurant a few hundred meters from The Moorings base which was a culinary delight. Possibly one of the best Thai meals I’ve ever had actually in a really nice covered open air tastefully decorated restaurant. One thing to note in Thailand, you never have to be concerned with the cost of eating out. Dinners usually cost around $us5-7.
In the morning, we told the crew to have big long showers since it was to be the last long wasteful shower for a week. We then refilled the water tanks and headed out for our visually enlightening adventure.
First stop Koh Hong about 10 miles north. In Thai, Koh means island. So this was an island with a Hong in the middle. We got out and did a little sea Kayak around this.
Next stop “James Bond” island – you go there to get the picture and get out quick because there is literally 500 tourists all on the island at one time. Since James Bond island is at the top of the bay where several rivers drain, the water there is slightly murky from silk. The crystal clear waters which thoughts of Thailand conjure up begin about 20nm further south. Thus, again, get in, get the picture and get out.
The Man with the Golden Gun
Of note also, that when sailing in Thailand you have to be especially aware of the tides. There is a 3.5 meter tide (depending on the moon phase), but no worries, we had the World Tides 2015 App which allowed us to be constantly vigilant of the tide cycle. This level of tidal range means that as Captain you have to know at all times what the tide is doing especially when anchoring and when beaching the dinghy ashore. At James Bond Island, to be safe I snorkel dived the keel to ensure that The Moorings had set the offset on the depth meter accurately. During the boat briefing, they had told me that the offset was set to the bottom of the keel but you never know what the last charterer has done to the electronics, so it is prudent to check. The offset was indeed the keel bottom and so a mental note was made, zero means ZERO.
When anchoring at James Bond island the tide was dropping with about 1 meter in the cycle to go and so we had to anchor about 1 km out and dinghy in. But the stop is worth it at least for the photo and the “I’ve been there” bucket list checkmark
Speaking of tides, what goes with big tides is tidal stream currents. Thus, care needs to be taken when swimming in areas prone to current like close to islands and between islands and shallower areas. Also of note was that navigation is affected by tidal flow. There was a distinct difference at times between COG (Course Over Ground) and Heading.
Once the requisite pic was accomplished we headed southeast for a quick stop at Koh Roi where we randomly discovered a dried hong accessed via walking through a cave hole in the 100m high rock walls. Inside the hong, we discovered a camp of fruit bats (yes “camp” is technically correct when referring to bats) hanging upside down in the trees. This was pretty cool but got slightly eerie when they started getting a little upset at our presence – time to leave them to their uninhabited and peaceful island. What an awesome experience that was.
Inside the hong, we discovered a camp of fruit bats (yes “camp” is technically correct when referring to bats) hanging upside down in the trees. This was pretty cool but got slightly eerie when they started getting a little upset at our presence – time to leave them to their uninhabited and peaceful island. What an awesome experience that was.
Ko Roi and Ko Ku Du Yai
Next door is another island called Ko Ku Du Yai where there is a designated overnight anchorage area. The anchorage is in a channel between Ko Ku Du Yai and another close small island. There was a decent amount of current between the islands so initially I was concerned.
I turns out that entire area in the north of the bay has a mud bottom and thus The Moorings base has installed “Bruce” type anchors on their fleet of Thai based boats. Good choice as the Bruce is well suited for mud (see the NauticEd Anchoring a Sailboat course).
One of the competent crew elected to stay aboard to handle any anchor dragging issues due to the current whilst the rest of us dinghied to the island’s hong then did a little circumnavigation where we google eyed all the impressive lime stone stalactites on the cliffs. Right after sunset we were treated by an impressive show of a cloud of thousands of fruit bats coming out to hunt.
For dinner we had fresh (fresh fresh) shrimp that we had expertly caught through out the day (actually purchased from local fishermen who would chase us down in their longtail boats), chicken bbq’d on the back deck grill and a delightful salad.
Fishermen selling shrimp
That was it for Day 1. It was a lot of fun.
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