M/V AKAMA
Not all those who wander are lost
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At anchor off Koh Pethra on the West Coast of Thailand. The arms off the sides of AKAMA are stabilizing gear to reduce the rolling while anchored.

We found this cactus growing high above the water on the side of a rock face at Koh Khlui, Thailand

Here we see a local ferry, the smaller boat, exchanging passengers with an inter-island ferry in the Butang Islands. Note the extensive safety precautions (not).

Just after we took this photo at Koh Kradan, Thailand, a storm blew up and these boats, plus ourselves and many others had to quickly find a safe anchorage.

On the West Coast of Thailand, it is not uncommon to find these fishermen's' shanties, often perched on a rock face and nearly inaccessible, except by rope ladder from the sea below.

This is the biggest Spanish mackerel that we have caught to date. They are good eating.

On the West Coast of Thailand and Malaysia there are many Hongs. These are hollow islands, usually accessible only by small caves, like the one in the photo. Some are open to the sky and others are dark caves.

Here we have entered a small hong, via its cave at sea level. Once inside, we are totally surrounded by rock, but above us we can see the sky. This hong is a small island, hollow in the centre, like a doughnut.

Some hongs are just caves that can be entered from the sea. They are totally dark inside until someone turns on a flashlight. This one had spectacular colours. We hope that they come through on the computer screen.

Once through the small hong entrance, one often finds sizeable flat water lakes. Note the limestone formation, typical of the area.

To make a longatail boat, start with a boat, put a gimbal on the stern, and mount a diesel engine on the gimbal, no mufflers please. Then, put a very long propeller shaft right on the flywheel. Voila, the long-tail boat. They are noisy, fast and fun. We have even seen some really big ones with V-8 engines; you can hear them coming from miles away.

 

Island boasts several nice marinas. We stayed at Boat Lagoon, which is the nicest and closest to town. We could not get the whole thing into the photo.

This particular rock is revered by the locals...for its shape (grin).

Near the rock the locals have constructed this rather touristy shrine. We encountered another such shrine on a deserted island that was endowed with a similar rock...whatever works!

We don't know what sort of tree this is, but when we found this one on Koh Chong Lat we just had to snap its picture.

This beach is replicated all over SE Asia. There are countless beaches and no tourists, or even locals at most of them.

The boat in the photo has just gone through the entrance of this hong at the appropriately-named Koh Hong.

These boats are equipped with powerful lights and big generator sets. At night, the squid are attracted up to the surface by the light, where they are caught.

Here we have a water taxi in the Butang Islands of Thailand discharging passengers onto a ferry boat.

Just off Koh Lipi we encountered this beautiful boat. It caters to well-heeled tourists who want to do what we do, for a limited period of time, and in style.

If absolute luxury is ot your style of tourism, then how about a cruise on this rather funky boat. We spotted it at Koh Racha Yai, where the water is pure and the snorkelling is great.

These tourists are at the tail end of a flotilla of at least a dozen kayaks. Taking tourists through hongs is big business in Western Thailand.