This is our first blog from the “slow lane” and the last couple of weeks have been pretty full on here in Phuket. The week started with the Phuket Triathlon. Although we weren’t taking part (ahem!!!) several friends of ours from Bangkok had come down to compete. It’s a pretty arduous event starting with an 1800m swim…

The Start of the Triathlon…followed by a 2 hour bike ride (and Phuket is not exactly flat!) then lastly a 12km run. You can enter as a team (well done Udo, Helen and Jonathan) or as an individual (congratulations Barbara and Patricia). We caught up with Barbara and Udo at the swim/bike transition…

Thanks for the Photos Udo!…but managed to miss everyone else in the crowd.

The following day we all went on a diving trip out to the Similan islands. It’s only an hour and a half by high speed boat (twin 175s) from Khao Lak. The islands are granite with well developed reefs of hard and soft coral in pretty clear water…

Neil and The Similans…we had 20m vis at 20m. The Similan Islands are well known for the big pelagics which pass through there from January to April during the NE monsoon. We were a bit too early for that but the coral is alive with masses of reef fish, clouds of glass fish, turtles and the occasional diver.

Suzy UnderwaterCorel & Some FishI was surprised to see that it’s now possible to stay on Island #4 in tents or small cabins. There is even a small restaurant and the ubiquitous souvenir shop! Presumably this is all coordinated by the National Parks Dept so tourist development of the islands may be controlled, but where the garbage and sewage goes is anybody’s guess.

The annual Kings Cup Regatta is held here during the first week of December to honour the Kings birthday (the King was an Olympic yachtsman). It is an international racing week and yachts and teams come from Hong Kong, Australia, Malaysia and Singapore as well as Thailand to compete. Peter Gallagher, an old mate of Neil’s, came over from Sydney and managed to blag his way on to a 52′ catamaran, in fact he was the skipper…

Pete The SkipperOur Mate RobertHe did pretty well getting line honours in every race and a couple of firsts on handicap. We went out with him last Friday and raced around the islands off Nai Harn, Ralai and Ao Chalong. The major event on board the Distant Drummer occurred yesterday when we heard the putter of our Perkins engine again! This has been the sole focus of our wishes and dreams since early October – to get the engine running and get out of Boat Lagoon…

THE END!Non-Stop Work for NeilAt last we can see the light at the end of the tunnel and hope to be anchored in some beautiful cove on a remote island to celebrate our first wedding anniversary!

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