Sunday, September 14, 2014

Eventful anchorage

Our sedate life at anchor in Chalong Harbour (south Phuket, Thailand) has been punctuated by some interesting and lively events.

Clear skies showed us the brilliance of the blazing white supermoon as it was the closest to the earth while it was full. We never knew that the orbit of the moon is elliptical which brings it closer to earth at times. At the risk of sounding trekky, the technical name for supermoon is the perigee-syzygy of the Earth-Moon-Sun system, just in case you were wondering.

We arrived in Thailand during the rainy southwest monsoon season that brings unsettled weather. Actually as I am writing this, a squall passed through with gale force winds and horizontal rain that lasted an hour. Surprisingly, no boats dragged. The bottom is muddy sand and excellent holding.

A week ago, we had a similar rain event. We opened up a deck watertank fitting and let the rain fill our 50-gallon starboard tank in about 10 minutes! At times, we've been caught by a sudden downpour while out on the motorcycle but we could duck in under cover and wait it out which usually doesn't last very long. At least it's warm.

Then in heavy winds once again, a boat behind us with no one on board escaped its mooring. Jordan thought the mooring line looked chafed. It drifted over to a distant muddy shore and grounded. We unfortunately couldn't do anything to help as water had leaked into our outboard fuel tank so it wouldn't start. We tried the VHF with no response - no one turns them on at anchor here! But fortunately, the boat had the owner's phone number posted on the side and someone from shore called him. The owner was able to move his boat at high tide and re-moor it. We saw its anchor light on later in the evening. So all ended well.

Another night, we awoke to the sound of booms at 01:30. Fireworks are common here but this was different. Jordan got up and looked out and saw that a big dive boat had exploded and was engulfed in flames!

Boom!

As we watched, there were a couple of more loud explosions. It was surrounded by other boats, and being downwind, we were a bit worried that once the boat's mooring line burned, it could drift towards us. But once it burned to the waterline, a couple of police boats tied a line to it and towed it to where it's cremated remains sank to its water grave. We later learned that only 1 crew man was on board when it exploded who promptly jumped overboard and was soon picked up, unharmed.

Wow...it's been an exciting month so far!

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