Nov 05 2011
Seeing the sights around Ko Samui powered by only the wind in your boat’s sails, rather than a noisy engine, can be truly rewarding. Sure, a speedboat can get you around much more quickly, but this lacks the romance and adventure of sailing in the breeze and savouring the view along the way.
Samui’s weather conditions make it an ideal sailing location year round. Northeasterly winds are predominant between December and April, with stronger westerly winds from May to November. Several sailing charter companies exist on the island, but I have used and highly recommend is Samui Ocean Sports. The owner, Kunta, has been sailing Samui’s waters for more than 15 years.
Kunta manages three boats in Samui Ocean Sports’ fleet: Viva 2, a 26-foot mono-hull sailing boat that can take four passengers; Crazy Horse, a 27-foot racing catamaran that can take up to eight passengers; and Dreamcatcher, a luxury 33-foot catamaran, which can take 18 guests for day trips, or five overnight.
Each year, Crazy Horse, with Kunta and his crew, competes in the Samui Regatta, proving that local sailors have what it takes to challenge the big teams from around Asia, including Hong Kong, Singapore and Phuket.
Samui Ocean Sports offers overnight sailing trips to the Anthong Marine Park and to the neighbouring islands of Ko Pha Ngan and Ko Tao. Day trips and shorter sunset cruises are available for those who don’t have time to spare. Depending on the time of year, Kunta’s vessels are either moored in Chaweng or Bang Rak.
Setting sail from Samui to Ko Pha Ngan on a recent trip* we enjoyed fresh island fruits and ice cold drinks along the way as the crew shared anecdotes and pointed out interesting things on the shoreline to us. We moored about 100 metres from the shore at Haad Yaun and some of our party swam ashore in the clear waters to cool down. Mums with small children and those not so energetic were whisked to the beach in a rubber dingy.
Once ashore, Kunta took us to his favourite restaurant, Bamboo Hut. Be prepared to trek up a hill, over huge boulders and a rickety bridge, but it’s all worthwhile in the end — everyone gasped and wowed over the view. When the food arrived, there was more praise and awe, and then suddenly silence as everyone tucked in to a perfectly prepared spread of Thai food.
Sailing back at sunset and seeing Samui from the boat veiled in a rich orange glow, it was easy to see why Kunta, as a young backpacker in his twenties years ago, decided to settle on Samui.
Samui Ocean Sports
T: (081) 940 1999
Dreamcatcher costs 30,000 baht for a full day for up to 18 people, or it’s 3,200 baht to join a group, including food (lunch at Bamboo Hut or similar). Crazy Horse is 14,000 baht for a full day for up to six people, including food.
* Disclaimer: The writer of this post is friends with Kunta, but the trip was not a freebie. In case you are new to Travelfish.org, please be aware that we do not accept free trips or any other freebies at all. Travelfish.org contains no advertorial.
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