Adventure time. Sailing the Andaman sea, part 1

Happy at sea and seasick
Happy on the outside, vomiting on the inside

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”.

Super babicka

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.

La Bulle in all her glory
La Bulle since 1988, logo
Her name is La Bulle, the Bubble in French

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.

Andaman sea boat route

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.

Captain taking down the sail
Ship mast, La Bulle
Sperm in the wind
The little red guys help you figure out wind flow
Ship trolley
Ship deck

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.

On the sunny deck of the boat

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.

La Bulle, from Langkawi to Tarutao

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.

Grandmas at sea
The girls manage to look like Romanian grandmothers while protecting themselves from the sun
Diagonal layers of rock
Entering Tarutao

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.

Dinghy by the beach, Tarutao national Park, Thailand
Large leaf on sand, human foot step for size
Tarutao park, Thailand

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.

Standing in shallow water in Tarutao

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.

Sunset out at sea
Sailing in the evening

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.


Cristi si Adriana

El e freelancer bine înfipt în IT și, în acelasi timp, designer, semi-fotograf și snowboarder începător. Ea e o frumusețe de fată, duce în spate tot greul relației, se ocupă de socializare și rețele sociale, și, în plus, gătește excelent. Împreună fac echipă bună pentru că, relativ de curând, au realizat că mai există lucruri interesante în viață și în afară de carieră, casă, masină, copii și contul din bancă. Acum vor sa vadă lumea.

  Currently at home   Dec 23, 2023