Day two of our sailing trip to Thailand was all about the highs and lows. For each “oh wow amazing” moment there was a corresponding “oh phuk” moment paired with equal intensity.

Lessons learned? We’ll start with some important takeaways then we’ll get right to the details of the day:

  1. Things that you think would be obvious aren’t always obvious. For example, you’d think the only visible large building on Sheraton Island when we were told to anchor across from the Sheraton would actually be the Sheraton (it wasn’t). And that the Sheraton would actually still be in business (it wasn’t).
  2. If a stranger tries to direct you and your dinghy crew to a landing spot because the place in front of the “Sheraton” wasn’t going to work, he may not necessarily have the best advice.
  3. Don’t assume anything. See #1 and #2.

Fortunately, what is now in the annals as “Dinghy Incident #3” was only a fraction of the day. A very wet and scary fraction.

Would we go back again? Yes, smack dab in the Northeast season after the prevailing winds have shifted and with a little more knowledge under our belt. The resort, now The Dusit Thani Krabi Beach Resort and formerly the Sheraton and pretty much hidden from view, seemed terrific! It was featured in The Hangover Two and has several bars and restaurants. Plus, our lunch stop at Koh Roi was excellent with an interesting hong featuring a sizable mangrove forest with large fruit bats everywhere. Definitely worth it!

Here’s the low-down on Day 2. Pay close attention to the “do this not that” advice.

Lunch stop at Koi Roi (08º 11.55 North 098º 36.55 East) – The first order of the day after enjoying the hong at Koi Hong was to head slightly Northeast approximately 4 nautical miles to the small island of Koi Roi. We anchored on the west side of this beautiful island to the south of the rock stack in about 12 meters. Once secure, we headed for the northwest beach. After anchoring our dinghy, we entered a cave-like opening and followed the water path into the hong. We were met with a large, wild mangrove forest interspersed with what we assume were fruit trees featuring bigger-than-grapes and smaller-than-plumbs purple fruits and hundreds of very large rat-sized fruit bats hanging upside down. What we were hoping would be a path to the other side of the island didn’t materialize and we headed back to our beach, ate our sandwiches, and then took the dinghy back to our boat.

Afternoon events and incidents at Sheraton Krabi (08º 02.50 North 098º 45.40 East) – Our briefing instructions were to anchor about 300 meters from the beach, across from the Sheraton in about 6 meters of water and we did just that. Kind of. We were actually across from some other building, not the Sheraton, but we’ve already covered that. We hopped into the warm, clear water to cool off, put on clean clothes for our evening dinner excursion, then enjoyed a bottle of wine in the cockpit. Things were definitely going according to plan! We got into the dinghy and headed ashore.

That’s when things went a little bit sideways.

Unfortunately the tide was also heading ashore faster than we were and the waves hitting the beach looked ominous. As we approached the Sheraton (not really) beach, a pilot of a long boat waved us off and pointed to his right. We assumed that he was helping us avoid the certain bumpy landing due to the waves and we followed his instruction. Bad idea. There was shallow rocky ground where he sent us. Upon realizing this, we pulled the motor up immediately, Charles hopped into the water (and onto the rocks) and those left in the boat used the oars to try to push us away from the rocks. Eventually after about 10 minutes this plan worked, but it was a bit (a lot) scary while it was all going down. We made it back to the boat – completely soaked, mostly unscathed – and reassessed our options.

After about an hour, a change of clothes, and a lengthy language-challenged conversation with the Dusit Thani Krabi Beach Resort we had a new plan. Armed with a better understanding of where the “Sheraton” was located (for those of you planning a trip is actually about 100 yards right of the building you can see if you are looking straight at it) we set out again and safely pulled our dinghy up onto the beach near a small resort motor boat, anchored it safely, and headed into the resort.

So, as a refresher:

  1. Do: Look for the smaller more hidden structures about mid-way down the beach, likely with a boat or two anchored.  Head there, ideally not when the tide is coming in if you can avoid it.
  2. Do Not: Head for the beach near the larger (only) building where all of the long-boats are.
  3. Definitely Do Not: Head anywhere near the rocky outcropping protecting the beach. It is too shallow in all situations.

More wine please! – After successfully surviving our harrowing incident, the crew needed a few glasses of wine. We enjoyed cocktails at the poolside bar then headed to one of the restaurants, Limoncello, for a pretty good Italian dinner. After dinner it was back to the boat, another bottle of wine because we’d earned it, and a second night’s sleep on “Phucket the Bucket”. Given our anchorage we were expecting a bit more of a rockin’ rollin’ night, but it wasn’t so bad. We settled in for the night and slept more than we thought we would.

Was Day 2 the best day of the trip? No it was not.

Was is a pretty darn good day in a beautiful place? Yes.

Yes it was.

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