Amazing sailing mission to Ang Thong National Park

Amazing sailing mission to Ang Thong National Park

29 July 2014 at 13:52

 SY Freedom Fargo

On the morning of the 19th of July Captain Alf and I, went with the taxi to pick up our 2 island cruises customers for a 4 day Ang Thong cruise from their hotel. They were from Switzerland and on a very impressive 8 month trip around some amazing countries, Thailand and Ang Thong National park being one of those great destinations. We made our way by taxi to Hin Wong bay, loaded the dingy with bags passengers and crew and made our way to the Sailing Vessel Freedom Fargo prior to beginning our passage to Ang Thong. The weather had been against us on previous trips but we were determined we were going to make Ang Thong this time. Once again the wind was not really in our favor but relieved and excited we made it to Ang Thong. Looking forward to what the next day has in-store I cooked dinner. After dinner we noticed Bioluminescence in the water, which our customers had very much been hoping to see. Excited by the glowing water, we put the ladder down so Benjamin could snorkel through what looked like millions of stars floating in the darkness below. After a great day full of excitement and wonder we settled in for the night.

Main island in Ang Thong, Dusky Langur’s

The next morning we carried on to our destination of Ko Wua Talap. We had a hearty breakfast under way and when we arrived we dropped anchor, took the dingy ashore and tied up to the floating dock. We then began the descent to the look out, About 30 mins in to the hike we saw Monkeys, Dusky Langur’s to be exact. There was a family of them very close to the track in the trees. Some large adults, small babies (orange in colour when born they turn black when adolescent)

Dusky Langur Monkey family

There were a few adolescents in the group and they seemed curious one began to approach and he came closer and closer. I reached out and he touched my outstretched hand, he was very gentle. Another slightly larger one soon joined in and before I knew it he was licking my finger. There seemed to be a little sibling rivalry for our attention as they pushed each other out the way. It was the little ones turn and he very gently nibbled on my finger. It was an amazing experience, the group slowly moved away further in to the bush.

Monkey magic

Hiking to the look out for incredible views of the Ang Thong islands

We continued to make our way to the top of the look out. There are 3 look outs on the way to the top and they continue to get more and more breath taking. The track is steep and is covered in boulders and tree roots, there a ropes tied between trees to help pull yourself up. When we reach the top we are rewarded with an amazing view of the national park and its beautiful mountainous islands.

National park views

Look out

We carved up a juicy watermelon and rehydrated with bottled water before making our way back down the island’s mountain. We see and hear fast speed boats arriving from Koh Samui and enjoyed the peace and quiet of the jungle while we could. We arrived back on the beach and enjoyed fresh coconuts sold at one of the beach cafes. After the Coconut it was time to go explore Bua Bok Cave a little further down the beach, with its beautiful stalactites and stalagmites.

We had the whole cave to ourselves. After the cave we returned to the beach and made our way back to Freedom Fargo to have a lunch and a well deserved rest after the morning’s very rewarding activities.

After a small break we set sail for Ko Phaluai the largest island in the national park, of which only half is National park. We dropped anchor in a small bay and took the dingy ashore and went for a swim. After a satisfying dinner we noticed Bioluminescence in the water once again. We got in the dingy and drove around, trails of Bioluminescence lighting up the water as we created a bow wave and wake with our boat. Suddenly schools of fish erupted under the water causing the luminescent creatures to explode like a fire works display and before we knew it schools of fish were flying thought he air and landing in the dingy. Laughing like children we try to fend them off. I was armed with a jandle (flip flop) but the fish kept coming. We throw the fish back, turned around and drove though them again enjoying every minute of the light show. (No Fish were harmed in making of this Show)
We returned to the boat, had a few night caps and prepared for bed and another exciting funfilled day.

Sailing to next island destination in National park for Amazing cave exploration

After breakfast, we got ourselves organized and loaded the dingy, we went around the corner from where we had moored the boat and entered a cave via a small hole and a rope leading down the hole into the darkness. We spend about 3-4 hours in this Amazing huge cave system that made its way in to the mountain side. Full of stalactites and stalagmites, terraces and crystal clear cool water running though it, we got lost in this amazing underground world and lost all track of time. Excited every step of the way to see what was around the corner, We went further in to the cave than the Island cruises/sailing Koh Tao team and possibly anyone had every gone before, not sure when or if we would ever reach the end, we continued on and on. We walked, climbed, crawled, waded and swam through the cave listening to and watching the small cave bats fly over head. Not sure how much further we had to go but feeling as though the end was near we began to sing “This is the end” by the Doors.

Cave

I continued around the next corner just to see what was ahead when I heard my boss yell “STOP” “DON’T MOVE” I turned around to see his torch light being shone on a snake in strike/attack mood less than two metres away from me. Very slowly I backed up and the snake also surrendered, gracefully slivering up the wall. (We later discovered it was a harmless cave snake called a Ridleys Racer) We ask our customers if they want to continue in which they both reply “No” in very confident voices. So we turned and made our way back out of the Impressive cave, still not having conquered the end we can only wonder what is around the next corner.
We came out in to the hot sunny day light and made our way back to the boat. We had a late lunch and Motor sailed to the northern end of the National park for our last night. We dropped anchor and sheltered behind Ko Nai Phut. We had another lovely night of great conversation with our world traveling guest before retiring to our bunks. We set sail in the morning and had a very pleasant sail back to Hin Wong Bay on Koh Tao.

We arranged a taxi for a our Guests and said our good byes.
I Cleaned the boat and got the beds made and ready for the next cruise, due to leave the next morning. I made my way back to Mae Haad to do the shopping and provisioning for the cruise.

The morning of the 23rd July we meet the next lovely couple originally from Montreal, Canada and we set off on our next adventure. Much the same as the last cruise with close monkey encounters, amazing views, plenty of food, wine and great conversation. We additionally enjoyed a great guitar music session on the beach, followed by a dingy trip to an enclosed lagoon for some great snorkeling. Another successful and fantastic cruise. There is so much to see and do in The Ang Thong National Park, every trip is different and I have a feeling I have just scratched the surface and I am very much looking forward to my return. If only to see my Dusky Langur friends, explore more of that great cave and sail though beautiful islands vistas.

Article written by Rachel Morrison, Island Cruises

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