Saturday 19th January

This morning we awoke to find ourselves at anchor in deep water off the village of Nathon on the island of Ko Samui. This inactive volcano is part of an island group on the Pacific Rim at the entrance to the Gulf of Thailand.

In the past the island was important for its coconut industry though today fishing and tourism are more important. It is suggested by the local tourist office that monkeys were used to climb the trees and harvest the nuts!

At the time of the silk and spice roads coconuts and spices would have been carried from the island in shallow drafted wooden boats to the trading ships anchored off shore just as we are today. From here the products of this island and of the Malay Peninsula would have been transported to Malacca and Singapore.

Today was the first time we experienced continuous rain for several hours and poor visibility.

The island is covered with rainforest which reflects its location in the Tropics. The high humidity, high temperatures and high rainfall throughout the year produce this tropical vegetation.

We are now underway across the Gulf of Thailand to a port near Bangkok.

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