Dunia Baru is sailing new waters – and as these words are typed, the yacht is bound for the Andaman Sea, west of the main coast of Thailand. She’s due to reach Langkawi in the next two or three days, weather depending, where she’ll be chartered by guests who will sail with her around that island and Phuket, in iconic Phang Nga Bay.
When Dunia Baru reaches Phuket the seascape will be reminiscent – a little – of Raja Ampat. Like Raja Ampat, Phang Nga Bay is a remarkable place and the geological drama that has played out over hundreds of millions of years has created a landscape that is as evocative as it is fascinating. The steep-sided limestone karsts that made the bay famous were once a part of an extensive coral reef that stretched across South East Asia and eventually became part of the Sunda Shelf subcontinent. Over millennia that shelf was broken up and geological forces gradually shaped the peninsulas, islands and bays that feature on maps today. The brittle limestone karsts exposed in Phang Nga Bay, a marine national park, have been eroded by the tides and carved by the rainwater that filters through cracks and fissures, forming the shards of islands and dramatic cliff faces that now draw thousands of tourists each day.
It is possible to avoid the boatloads of tourists (many of who want to see Koh Tapu, or James Bond Island, which was featured in the 1974 film The Man With The Golden Gun), and of course that’s exactly what Dunia Baru will be doing. After all, that’s the beauty of chartering your own yacht, isn’t it?
In the coming weeks we’ll be posting images from the voyage when we receive them from the crew – so please stay tuned for updates.