For three nights and four days, we sailed around islands in the Gulf of Thailand, near the border with Cambodia, while we anchored each night off the coast of -and visited – Koh Kood, Koh Mak, and Koh Chang. Being on a boat for 3 nights was totally new to my family.
We weren’t quite sure how this would go, how we would adapt to limited bathing combined with lots of sun, sunblock, and salt water. Very limited privacy and one bed short, so that at least one person and the captain had to sleep on the seating.
Add to that one child proactively medicated for seasickness, and our limited knowledge of the places we were going ashore – we actually were taking a number of risks here. As I type that out, I’m amused at our laid back attitudes about all of it and willingness to just do it anyway. We may be a little insane.
However, in the end I have to say, I am so very won over. It was beautiful and calm and relaxing in a way that no other vacation has been. There is some thing about not being able to go anywhere or do anything that makes you let go of all those worries on land and fully soak up the now.
I watched my kids fall asleep in the ‘trampoline’ and on cushioned bench seats. They lay on the roof in the shade of the sail and I watched the sun set with them, and so very many stars come out at night. It was amazing. Once we cut the engines at night, it was still and quiet, with only slight lapping of wave on the side of the boat, and the occasional touch of rocking. Once the moon came out it was surprisingly bright, even thought it was only at about 60% full.
We really were ruled by the sun in ways we just haven’t been before. We only had a couple slots for phones to charge, and those would drain battery if the engine wasn’t running – so phones were kept off, power guarded carefully for times on land and in case of need. Nothing else was charged during the trip. Once the sun went down, we would finish out dinner and then shut down the lights. We would enjoy the stars, the lights from shore, and once we watched from a distance as a fire dancer performed on the beach. But then we would, person by person, turn in on our bunks or fall asleep on deck. Once the sun began to lighten the sky in the morning, one at a time we would begin to stir, slowly coming out on deck. Our captain and the youngest on board always wanting to fish as the sun came up, everyone else coming on deck one by one as they awoke.
The most common sight as we cruised along were people laying around, awake but unmoving – or sometimes asleep – all over the boat. Sometimes there was an Uno or Phase 10 game going at the inside table. Sometimes we had music playing off someone’s phone and filling the boat. With nine of us on board, plus our captain, Dmitri, small groupings ebbed and flowed in different corners. Conversations starting, blending and fading, as we would organically join and shuffle.
If you’ve never done it, I highly recommend it. Husband has been trying to convince me for years we could live on a boat. Now he’s worried I might just call his bluff. A semester as sea – I think that sounds rather nice, actually.
For this trip, we sailed on Meridian, an airbnb rental, with our captain, Dmytry. <<<CLICK HERE>>> to go to the listing for the Meridian.