Saturday, 16 January 2010

Voyage Phuket - Langkawi - Phuket

Departed Phuket on monday afternoon. The day before I did the immigration, Customs and Harbor Master clearance at Ao Chalong. It is an hours drive by car and maybe another hour to jump through all the hoops in the one stop shop. All and all the officials were very friendly and gave good advice of how to go about moving in the Kingdom and about their rules. For Rajaram that was signing off to go and attend to a death in the family I had to process at the Phuket town Immigration Bureau a so called "bonding out" of crew. It has to be followed or the crew in question can be barred entry from Thailand in the future. The Officer will type out a form that is stapled to the passport and at the airport must be presented on exit to the immigration officer and then signed in his presence.

One of Yacht Havens charter boats in the Channel

Weather was fine again when we departed on the 11th and we steamed onwards to Langkawi where we arrived 12th Jan in the morning. Marina wanted me again to moor stern to as the N-S jetty was occupied. So, I did but the anchors came down very poorly due to some twists in the chain and I did not manage to get enough length out. We heaved up the sb anchor and re-lowered it while pulling w/ the tender boat. The result was barely satisfactory and we let it be.

As usual I was met on the jetty by John Orr, our agent, and I gave him our arrival documents for processing as I was a bit busy with the anchor. After getting port clearance done I headed for Penang with Jira and arrived back 2 days later.

Once onboard again I checked what was pending and seeing all was more or less done I asked John to clear us out so we could get back to Phuket and get on with our pending jobs.

Before leaving I tied again alongside bunker barge Tuba VI and bunkered up fuel. I managed to have a chat with John and once all set we dropped John off at the jetty and set our heading for Phuket. The weather was bad due to a low pressure in the Gulf of Thailand so we were hugging the coast in order to get some sleep. Next morning we arrived outside Phuket town where I tried to anchor, and I did, but the seas were just too rough to stay there.

I landed ashore at the Rassada fishing port and picked up my hire car from the B2M guys and headed for the Ao Chalong one stop immigration shop with Jira. Meanwhile Saini heaved up anchor and started towards Yacht Haven. We did not have a berth available there so I decided to anchor there for the couple of days until the berth was supposed to be free. Luckily Zara called me and told that I could come alongside next morning so I was happy not needing to sit at anchor for the 3 days that she had told me earlier.

Once at the immigration he wanted to se us all but I explained that the boat was sailing for Yacht Haven so I could only bring everybody here next morning, that was ok. Then in turn was the Custom clearance and while I was sitting in front of him his mobile phone rang and I could hear that Jo-Jo from APS Phuket was asking him not to clear us in. The Officer replied to her that "Jo-Jo, Captain has all papers in order, I can't do what you ask for". Well, so much for mafia antics in Phuket as we managed to clear in with no pain at all. All the praise for the officials refusing to act corrupt and advancing the Thai tourism industry.

Next day we made a beeline to Ao Chalong again and did our face checks in 5minutes and were done. In the afternoon we hoisted anchor and moved alongside A-dock as usual. All is well onboard.

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