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Thailand, Phuket, December 15th 2007 - February 10th 2008 (with time in Germany in-between) (by Dagmar)
So, when we left Cape Town, South Africa, and reached Phuket/Thailand on December 2nd 2007, Bart and Soleil continued back to our boat LUNA, to Langkawi in Malaysia, by taxi and ferry. I left for Muenster in Germany to take care of my Mom, who had to have her second round of chemotherapy due to her breast cancer. But I didn't expect to find her so weak and fragile. The very aggressive form of breast cancer she had, took its toll. It was heartbreaking to see, how much she had to suffer and apart from that, how brave she was.
Meanwhile, Bart and Soleil sailed the LUNA to Phuket in Thailand, where, with help of our boat friends, Bart took her out of the water in Rattanchai/Phuket, to do some repairs and maintenance.
Soleil missed me a lot. She drew pictures for mom and grandma in Germany and spent a lot of time with her friends Roxy and River from "de Pelikaan". Iris took them to an elephant- and monkey park.
Back in Germany I had to get used to the temperature difference: 34C in Thailand, -5C in Muenster. Everything white outside, a frozen landscape...The first week in Germany I could see all of my Surf-friends. Meike organized a brunch with all of them at "La Provincia" restaurant, in Muenster.
Thank you very much to them and my close friends Andrea, Britta and Betsy to support me all the time and to be there for me, when I needed it the most.
While I was in Germany, my Mom got weaker and weaker. Around Christmas we knew that she would die soon. I was so relieved, when Bart told me, that he found last minute tickets for himself and Soleil, to come to Germany for 10 days. They would arrive on December 27th.
(pictures: my sister Bea with Kim and Nils; my brother Volker with girlfriend Constanze and parents to be in July; Kim, my mom and myself; Kim, Liv and Nils; Soleil and Kim; myself, my mom, Bea, Kim, brother in law, Volker)
During the time, when I could take care of my Mom, we could spent a very intensive time together. She was afraid, due to her cancer, to suffocate. So at the end she couldn't stay at home anymore, what made me feel guilty. But now I realized, that I couldn't give her the care they could in the hospice. The people there were amazing. Myself, my sister and brother stayed there with her, for her last 3 days. They took so good care of us, supporting us in all our decisions. They gave her a huge amount of morphine, so she didn't suffer anymore and she didn't feel her last breath and could die with dignity. The day before she died, Bart and Soleil came from Thailand. That helped me so much. And Bart could say good bye to her, too. We kept all her grandchildren out of it. They wanted to say goodbye, too, but she was looking so different, so thin and fragile. She didn't want that. I am very thankful for the last weeks we had together.
On January 12th I flew back to Thailand. It was heartbreaking for me to leave all the memories behind,... my crying sister on the airport, but I had to go back. We have to sail LUNA back to Holland in summer, selling her there and starting to work again.
Meanwhile Bart and Soleil, who left Germany on January 7th, after my Mom's funeral, had sailed LUNA to Yacht Haven in the north of Phuket. Bart and two helpers were working on the teak deck of the boat. It looked like new.
Our friends from "de Pelikaan" were in the harbor, too. On January 19th, after stocking up with food, fuel and cleaning the boat, we left with them, to explore the islands around Phuket.
Ko Phanak Island, January 19th 2008 (by Dagmar)
First stop was Ko Phanak Island, where you drive thru caves by dinghy and reach little lagoons on the inside.
James Bond Island, January 20th 2007 (by Dagmar)
James Bond Island, the scenery for the movie " The man with the golden gun" with Roger Moore.
The famous rock in the middle of the bay... Hundreds of tourists are visiting the island every day by long boat.
Ko Panyee Island, January 20th-21st 2008 (by Dagmar)
Ko Panyee Island, a whole village on stilts....I brought a farmers hat in one of the shops, which looked more like an Arabic market.
The Muslim community in the village is very big. When the muezzin calls at night, everybody is on the way to the mosque. We had dinner in one of the small restaurants at sunset. The restaurants looked deserted. The long boats are bringing all the guests from "James Bond Island" only for lunch. We had fish and crabs to share for everybody. It was very delicious.
Krabi, Railay Beach, January 22nd-26th 2008 (by Dagmar)
Krabi is considered to be one of the most attractive regions of this amazing country. But Krabi's varied and fascinating province has much more than sea and sand: Towering rocky cliffs, a highlight in the climbing world, caves harboring Buddhist temples, waterfalls, hidden lagoons, mangrove forests, caves with huge chambers....
Railay beaches are split and separated from Krabi and Ao Nang by monumental limestone mountains. Railay has two sides: east and west, and it's settings are simply marvelous: crystal clear waters, pure sandy beaches, lush mountains, rocky islands emerging from the sea.
Tell a rock climber that you're going to Railay in Thailand, and the reply will probably be "wow". The dramatic limestone mountains, that cut the peninsula off from the mainland, make for some of the best climbing in the world. More than 70 sport routes have been bolted, many with mid to high-difficulty ratings, and several climbing operations offer guides, equipment and insurance. So we had chosen "TEX Rock Climbing" and got all our gear together. The crew of "de Pelikaan" joined us.
For myself it was especially exciting, because I know, since I was a teenager, that I am afraid of heights. In Germany, many years ago, I went with friends often to a climbing hall, knowing with every extra challenge, I would get more used to that feeling. I had it once in the past, that I felt glued to the wall and couldn't move anymore, because I looked down and was shocked, how far I got up already. But I did it. I didn't reach the top the first day, but the second and was very very proud of myself.
So have a look at Soleil, River and Roxy climbing. Our kids are amazing, .....but didn't we know that already??
Krabi, Railay Beach, January 22nd 2008 (by Dagmar)
Hat Phra Nang, a wonderful white beach is fronted only by the up-market Rayavadee Resort. A huge cave extends from the cliff, ending halfway up the Taiwan Wall, one of the most challenging climbs of the area. At the base of the limestone cliff is Tham Phra Nang Nok, a cave which houses a shrine at which locals place phalli, as offerings to the holy princess for good fishing. The story is, that in the third century BC a royal barque foundered in a storm off Railay and Indian princess Sri Guladevi drowned. Her spirit took up home in the cave and still grants favors to those, who pay respect.
For the really adventurous and fit, there is a trail from Railay East to the holy Princess pool, a hidden lagoon inside the cliff. With a slippery slope, moldy ropes and unprotected climbing down 5m walls, it's not for the faint-hearted, if visually spectacular. So here it came again,...another big challenge for myself, down the steep slopes, hanging on ropes.....
...but what a spectacular view...an emerald pool hidden in the mountain. The kids were already out of sight, when we reached the bottom of the lagoon. On the other side of the lake was a cave. A backpacker once used it, putting candles in the cave, a hammock...We heart dark drum sounds...the kids were playing the stalactites and stalagmites in the cave....sounded unreal, like a temple in the lagoon.
In the evening we met our friends from "Zwerver" again, and altogether we went out for dinner at Railay Beach.
Krabi, Railay Beach, January 24th 2008 (by Dagmar)
The day to explore one of the caves in Railay....up the cliffs, into a huge chamber, up the bamboo ladders, up the ropes...
...to the way higher opening on the other side, which is used by climbers to descend to a lower trail...
Krabi, Railay Beach, January 25th 2008 (by Dagmar)
Bart rented climbing gear from TEX and wanted to descend from the cave, we were hiking yesterday. Soleil and I stayed on the beach eating fresh cut pineapple and corn. The women selling fruits on the beach were doing a very interesting shape out of the pineapple to take out the seeds. They were amazingly fast in doing so.
Klong Muang Beach, January 26th-27th 2008 (by Dagmar)
Before we left for Klong Muang Beach, we all three had a very relaxing oil massage in one of the little huts on Railay Beach. Iris and her friend Emma recommended it to us and it was great. After midday we left for Klong Muang, the anchorage in front of the Sheraton Hotel. We wanted to swim with the 5-year old elephant girl, which visited the beach every afternoon at 3pm and in the mornings at 11am.
We had a lot of fun with the elephant girl, which is very playful, loves the water and kids as company. Soleil fell in love with her. After swimming and a sand shower on the beach, the elephant girl was ready for a real shower. The owner allowed Soleil to give it to her. The elephant sucked up all the water and gave Soleil a shower, too.
We had anchored right in front of the Sheraton Hotel. So we decided on Sunday morning, to have brunch there. Afterwards we had a nice cool and refreshing swim in the hotel pool.
At 11am the elephant girl showed up again, recognizing Soleil from yesterday. She got elephant kisses and hugs with the trunk.
But around midday it was time to leave the bay towards Phi Phi Islands.
Phi Phi Islands, January 26th-27th 2008 (by Dagmar)
Everybody was talking about the Phi Phi Islands in the South. But we didn't like them so much, to many long boats, diving charters, way to touristy for us. We spent overnight at Koh Phi Phi Leh, the scenery for Leonardo de Caprio's movie "The Beach". The water was crystal clear. We had lots of fish schools around LUNA. Bart and Soleil fed them with bread.
In the early evening I felt suddenly very sick, with fever, a migraine strong headache, nauseous. I thought that I had a head cold, maybe to much sun. But I am always very careful with that.
Krabi, Railay Beach, January 27th-31st 2008 (by Dagmar)
The next morning we left for Krabi again, wanted to do some more climbing. But not for me. Moorea and Ohana Kai joined us there. The following days I felt weaker and weaker, couldn't leave the boat at all. Bart and Soleil did the lagoon trip and climbing with the Ohana Kai crew.
Bart, Soleil, Bruce, Lisa and Tristan descending down from the cave.
On January 31st, Thursday, we left Krabi for Ao Chalong in Phuket. I had the feeling that I needed to see a physician to get checked.
Ao Chalong/Phuket, January 31st-February10th 2008 (by Dagmar)
Friday morning in Phuket, we went to the International Hospital. By that time I was so weak, they put me into a wheelchair upon arrival and then for the following 7 days I had to stay there, getting one IV after the other. I had Dengue fever, with all symptoms, headache, fever, nausea, vomiting, inner bleeding. I got very scared, because I was so weak, couldn't eat. The physician told me I would get worse for some days and around Wednesday the following week, I would be way better. He was right. I could leave the hospital on Thursday, still weak, but in a good mood. Iris, Vincent and the Ohana Kai crew visited several times in the hospital. Thanks for your friendship. I value that a lot.
When we left the hospital on Thursday, January 7th, I was sooo hungry. We had Sushi at the mall in "Central Festival". What a treat after all' this hospital food. In the evening we had dinner on the beach in Ao Chalong with all' our boat friends from "de Pelikaan", "Ohana Kai" and "Moorea".
It's very good to be back onboard LUNA.
On Saturday, February 9th, we had a pre-birthday celebration for Kelly-Girl from "Moorea". Her birthday will be on the 11th, but by then we will be already on the water sailing towards the Maldives. So we had a surprise dessert party for her on "Ohana Kai".
"de Pelikaan" left already on Friday for the Maldives. We, that's Moorea, Ohana Kai and us started on Sunday, January 10th to cross from Phuket/Thailand to the Maldives and reached the islands 11 days later. See you on our Maldives page.
Last modified: September 02, 2008