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Home > 2014 Myanmar Sailing > Pilot Whales and an overdue shower

Pilot Whales and an overdue shower

The days just keep getting better and better on this trip. I’m not sure if the trip has been planned this way, if I’m getting used to life on a boat away from everybody, or if it’s just the way it is but I’ve just got back to the boat after spending a great evening on Macleod Island to round off what has been a very eventful day.

We had another beautiful sunrise this morning. Unfortunately the sun itself was behind the island but all sunrises and sunsets are beautiful in this part of the world. After breakfast it was time to say goodbye to Swinton Island which was a shame but we were treated to more sailing under wind power rather than using the engines. According to Marie we’ve sailed more in the past 24 hours than the last few trips have all week which is great.


Breakfast before departing Swinton Island


Mike enjoying a final view of Swinton Island

Hein and Win

Hein and Win raising the main sail

Part of our journey today was across a channel which was in the region of 60 – 70 metres deep and during the short time it took us to cross so much happened. First we saw a few dolphins which, usually would make me smile for ages, but we didn’t have time as Mike soon announced that he had a fish on his line. We stopped the boat to allow him to pull it in but he had a lot of trouble. We weren’t sure whether the trouble was due to the fish wrapping around the rudder or whether it was just that there was a big fish on the line but this question was answered very quickly once a giant Oahu fish was brought up on deck.

The fish was so big that it would be enough to feed us for the rest of the trip and feed the next trip completely but the excitement didn’t stop there as the catch hadn’t even stopped wriggling when we were surrounded by a pod of Pilot Whales which didn’t come close but stayed with us long enough to get a few photos. However as quickly as the excitement started it stopped when we left the deep channel on our way to Macleod Island.

Mike catching dinner

Mike catching dinner

Pilot Whales

Pilot Whales

MacLeod Island

Me relaxing on board the boat at MacLeod Island

Macleod Island is the only island which has any tourism infrastructure on and is the site of an expensive resort containing a few dozen beach huts, a bar, and bungalows. It’s also set in a beautiful setting but none of this excited us on the remaining couple of hours of sailing today – what we had our sights set on was the showers at the resort.

When we arrived we decided to fit in one last snorkel before heading for the showers as we were told that the waters around Macleod Island were a prime spot for spotting turtles and this was too good an opportunity to miss. We were taken half way to the snorkelling area by dinghy but swam the rest of the way as we had to be quiet so as not to scare the turtles away. I stuck pretty close to Mike as he has eyes like a hawk and said he spotted turtles the last few times he snorkelled here. My plan almost worked as after about 10 minutes Mike called me over saying he had spotted a Hawksbill Turtle but unfortunately it had disappeared by the time I swam over.

The snorkelling here was the best of the trip so far and we saw lots of fish and some beautiful corals. Unfortunatley I didn’t take my camera with me as it acts a buoyancy device and the images are awful but Ashu took his so I’ll try to fit some of his photos in my blog. I was sad when it was time to stop snorkelling but I knew that it was soon time for a proper shower!

Life on a boat is fine but due to the nature of sailing you don’t really have much of a chance to shower. It’s possible to rinse the salt off using a hose on board, and to cool off by going for a swim, but there is no way to have a proper shower which is one of the reasons the trip stops at Macleod Island. The showers aren’t traditional ones we would expect in the west, instead they are situated right on the beach allowing us to enjoy the beautiful scenery while using them. I spent a long time showering as my hair was a mess by this point but by the time I dried off and met the others at the bar I had never felt so clean in my life. Ok that’s probably an exaggeration but it was nice to feel clean for the first time in a week! Another tip if you come on this trip is bring a towel that’s big enough to change under unless you want to get naked on the beach when changing into your proper clothes. I’ll add that to my list at the end of my blog.

MacLeod Island

MacLeod Island

Shower Time

Beach shower

There isn’t a dress code at the resort but I decided to dress up a bit and wear a shirt as dinner tonight was a sit down meal in the resort restaurant so I thought it would be a nice touch. However before dinner there was enough time to take advantage of the wi-fi at the resort to get in touch with the outside world for the first time in a week, and we all decided to take advantage of the resort bar. I decided to hit the cocktails and had a couple of Caipirinhas then finished off with an Amaretto Sour which were all quite expensive but worth it!

Dinner tonight was a Myanmar Tealeaf Salad followed by a seafood curry which was nice although it was a little pricey and came to $50 along with my cocktails. Although I didn’t mind as the whole atmosphere on the island was amazing. There we were in a largely deserted archipelago, on a beautiful island, sat on a veranda having drinks and that’s what travelling is about and why I decided to come on this trip.

Dinner Time

Dinner Time

Tea Leaf Salad

Traditional Myanmar Tea Leaf Salad

After arriving back on the boat I realised that I left my swim shorts drying on the back of my chair so asked Hein if he could look for them when he went back to get the second group. Officially they didn’t find them but it takes a lot for me to not notice things and I just saw Marie and Hein hoist something up the mast and it looks suspiciously like my shorts but it’s too dark to tell for sure. I’ll just get up tomorrow and play along anyway as that’s a good prank and at least they’ll be dry as it’s quite windy tonight.

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