Welcome to the all-new roaring 20's upgrade, me fisherooing M8s
Now that we are moving into a new decade and from our hot & wet season to our hot & dry, tourists are very noticeable by their absence. Hotels are complaining about a very poor 50% “high” season occupancy and just about everyone who is used to servicing the usual flood of visitors are now catering for a trickle and that was before the end of the month which brought our latest Chinese import “Coronavirus”. Every “high” season it’s something different, and the list grows and grows and grows and-
Why is the bloody Baht so strong? Rice and sugar mountains are bankrupting farmers and all the many other exports, such as vehicles and rubber, being much more expensive, yet still the financial pain goes on for the farmers, tourists and the tourist industry. All this and the construction of hotels continue at a pace, compounding our annual water shortage problem, as the main reservoir is well down and the “dry” season having only just begun. Inscrutable Thai logic!
January was a lot windier than normal which had, from a fishing point of view, both advantages and disadvantages. Good points being, with the wind it was not like fishing in a sauna and the water surface was cooler bringing fish closer to the surface. Bad news was “white horses” surface waves mean that lures on the top of the water are more difficult for the fish to see.
So now - Tips for the Trips:-
Thai crews often have little English and just tend to get on with their jobs which unfortunately is often at the expense of customer- care as they are unable to tell you things you might like to know or are too embarrassed to ask, knowing the answer will still be unintelligible.
For example:- most of our boats have “Bluetooth” speakers and you probably have your favorite music on your phone but the crew will often not think to mention it.
If you have younger children who are a bit bored and you are out in calm conditions, ask the captain to let the “wee one” drive the boat, it relieves the boredom and is a great photo opportunity.
Locally, no lines can go out within the bounds of Chalong Bay for like many other places in the area this is “National Park” regulations, NO commercial fishing. The same applies to the Similan Islands, where lots of new regulations apply, and Koh Ha / Roc where the fishing can be great but only outside their National Park “limits”.
When heading towards the “Racha Islands” the most popular “local” series of hotspots, you are heading south and the big windmill on your starboard “right” as you leave the bay is not, as some wags will tell you, “air-con for the Russian tourists on Nai Harn beach”.
May you all have a happy Brexit