Has it really been six months since we parked Blue Heeler at Krabi? Time sure does fly. We returned to Krabi after our whirlwind visit down under and found Blue Heeler a little dusty but nonetheless in pretty good shape. To avoid any excessive mildew over the wet season, I left a few open bottles of bleach on the boat and installed a dozen anti-damp containers in various cupboards. Sails were removed and stowed, and cupboards left open to air out. It was nice to also catch up with the crews from Infini, Imagine, Persian Sands, Landin and Simply Sensational.
Unfortunately within the final six hours in Melbourne I had a silly accident, carelessly ripping a gash in my finger on a rusty nail requiring eight stitches. I was lucky not to rip out any tendons, but nonetheless having an injured finger stitched up and pointing all the time is inconvenient on a boat. After a week I took the stitches out and now, a month later I’m left with an unusual anchor shaped scar on my index finger but it’s almost as good as new and ready for work. Krabi Boat Lagoon Marina is in the middle of nowhere so to get anywhere requires a vehicle (although I understand that the marina will commence Sunday boat runs to Krabi Town for a small fee). For anyone considering staying a short while at the marina, it’s probably easier and cheaper to hire a car from the airport for the duration of your stay. As we didn’t need a car for a long period, we hired a car through Krabi Car Rental for 1000B per day. They conveniently delivered it and picked it up from the marina. The drive to Krabi town is an easy 30kms away along the three lane Highway number 4 before turning left along route 411 into Krabi town. Along the way are Tesco/Lotus, Big C and other stores for a variety of foods and supplies. Our six month boat entry permit was due to expire at the end of September and we had to renew it for a further six months. All we did was take our boat paperwork to the Krabi Customs Office located by the riverside near the evening food market, and a friendly young fellow provided us with an extension, surprisingly we didn’t have to pay a fee. Krabi town’s evening night market is worth a visit. While we indulged in hot and tasty chicken satays, we strolled around, looking, breathing in the aromas and returning smiles of the friendly locals. The following day we drove to Wat Tham Suea, the ‘Tiger Temple’, located a couple of kilometres off highway 4. With an elevation of 600m the climb to the large 300m Buddha at the top of the mountain is via 1272 arduous stairs. In the 30+C heat, the slog certainly had me gasping for air. Water is available at the top to fill your bottles, and there are toilets on the way up too. It’s certainly worth the climb for the magnificent views of Phang Nga, Krabi town and south towards the marina and beyond. Afterwards we continued the drive to the end of highway 4 and turned right the short distance to the Makro wholesale grocery store where you’ll find a good variety of food; particularly useful for bulk purchases. The Tesco/Lotus hypermarket I prefer for smaller shopping trips. The beer was cheaper there too. Fortunately we were asked to arrive at Phuket’s Boat Lagoon Marina a couple of weeks earlier than expected so it was a relief to leave Krabi and head towards Phuket for the next three months of work.