One Life - Sailing through the Malacca Strait between Thailand and Indonesia

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Who: Stéphane & Leena
Where: Between Indonesia & Thailand
Multihull: Lagoon 440
Facebook : @onelifecatamaran
We left the island of Sinabang at dawn for a two-day crossing to the island of Sabang at the northern tip of Sumatra. We decided not to stop on the west coast of Sumatra, as a strong northwest wind was forecasted a few days later and it would then be difficult to sail against it. The cape of Banda Aceh is like all the capes potentially exposed to strong winds, and the current is sometimes tricky. We rounded it in the middle of the night - fortunately without strong wind or current. We entered the small port of Sabang at first light. The 80-foot (25-meter) depth does not allow for anchoring, but a few buoys are available for boats, although only one is equipped with ropes. The small town was slowly waking up. A group of women was doing exercises in the harbor square. As for the fishermen, they were busy on their boats which are a different shape here compared to the rest of Indonesia. They are carved like a clog and painted in bright colors. Sabang is a charming little town. We had one day to go through the formalities and to stock up on food and fuel. We particularly appreciated the welcome of the authorities: at immigration, we were welcomed with coffee and small cakes, as we waited to get our passports back. The staff at the port office were also very welcoming and efficient. The harbormaster invited us to have a coffee in order to get some feedback on the reception in Sabang. We then left for Phuket. A few hours later, the ballet of the tankers started. We were in the Strait of Malacca, a place that was once the epicenter of the spice trade. Today, a large part of the world’s trade passes through there. Then the coast of Thailand emerged in the distance, and soon we found ourselves, at dawn, near the first islands off Phuket.

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