The pills sort of helped. You’d never think rocking like a little baby from side to side could cause such turmoil inside. For the first few hours of the trip, a more fitting title would have been „Adventure time. Tummies in revolt”.
As the wind direction changed, the rolling motion stopped and we slowly emerged from our mental cocoons to take on the sea. We’re on a small boat with our good friends Denis and Anja. They’ve owned the boat for a couple of years now and are doing trips around the Andaman sea. They’ve been pouring their passion, sweat, tears and cash into this baby for a while now. To make a good story short, Denis’ father built the boat a long time ago, sold it, the thing went around the world, then Denis tracked it down again in Langkawi years later, bought it and restored it. We’ve been on boats before, working as volunteers (RO), but never far out at sea and never for multiple days. When we got invited, we didn’t hesitate.
It was so much fun creating the logo for La bulle, not a difficult task with such a good name. We printed a large sticker at a print shop in Langkawi, stuck it to her behind, peeled off the inside and painted white over it. Then we removed the rest of the sticker and, voila! Since 1988.
The plan was a 3-day trip around Langkawi (Malaysia) and Tarutao, which is super close to Langkawi, but is in fact a national park that belongs to Thailand.
We first went around the Langkawi coast, always close to the shore. We’ve stayed here for close to 2 years and yet we never really got to see the island looking in. Familiar beaches are enriched with a whole new dimension as we slowly take in the sights.
As we head out from Langkawi, there’s not enough wind to put the sail up, so we’re using the engine to advance. There’s a certain charm to it, but also quite noisy. By this time, we’re both pretty sea sick, sitting down and thinking if this was such a good idea. Our friends are used to the rocking motion and tell us stories of people vomiting over board. The wind picks up, and we’re finally able to put up the sails. I help the captain by getting in his way. I learn new nautical terms and knots that I forget as they are being taught to me.
With the noise of the engine gone, it all turns into quite a different type of experience. The sideways motion is no longer there, we’re sort of gliding and jumping waves. There’s sloshing and splashing below and whistling and fluttering above. And it’s all rhythmical and harmonious and peaceful. We’re getting closer to Tarutao.
We lower the sail and drop the anchor. It all goes smoothly, but I’m always surprised at the amount of stuff you have to consider, like wind, current, depth and so many others I probably have no idea about.
The dinghy dangles behind us. We jump in the water and swim around a bit, but the current is much too strong, so we use a rope to secure ourselves to the back of the boat, then float around the dinghy while water rushes past us. We climb back up and shower. The plan is to take the dinghy round the corner and into this lovely golf with shallow water.
We come to a gate, an opening in the rock, the passageway to small circular golf, enclosed by mountains. It’s a magical sight, almost unnatural in its beauty, one of those places that seem to only exist in your imagination. We take the dinghy in and head towards the beach.
The view from the beach is even better. It feels separated from the entire world, enclosed, safe and cozy. We’re so lucky to be able to be here alone and have the whole place to ourselves. We walk along the white sand beach, then swim in the shallow water.
The whole thing feels even more like an adventure, because we’re pretty sure we’re not supposed to be here. These waters belong to Thailand and we don’t have the proper visas. We’re here illegally and that gives the whole illicit undertaking an alluring aroma of danger and risk. Tonight, this marauder sleeps under the stars.
Deep in the warm belly of the ship, the captain and his crew are fast asleep. The faint scent of Captain Morgan rum and sweet farts creeps up through an open hatch. I stand on the deck, sole connection between the heavens and the sea, mythical creature among the stars, alone and cold. I lay my ancient bones to rest and cover up with a blue blanket. The sea is my cradle.
There’s more. Tomorrow we face a storm, explore the mangroves and feed the gas station monkeys. Read Adventure time, part 2. Storm out at sea.