How We Met

Ariel and I traveled to Phuket, Thailand from our home in Taipei, Taiwan to look at boats for sale.

(I would like to point out here that we were living in TAIWAN and we travelled to THAILAND. These are TWO DIFFERENT COUNTRIES. Taiwan is that “renegade province of China” that you hear about in the news, while Thailand is an independent country 2,000 miles away which is famous for Thai Food, Thai Boxing and just being Thai.

I don’t know how many times non-Asian white types have asked me while on a trip to the US or somewhere how I liked the THAI food in Taiwan! We eat Chinese food in Taiwan. You may also be interested to know fortune cookies don’t exist in Asia, they are an American invention, and that they use spoons and forks in Thailand but chopsticks in Taiwan.

Thailand has about 10 million tourists visiting its beaches and temples every year and is a stunning destination. Taiwan is more renowned for its industry and any tourists there probably got on the wrong plane. Just some random musings. I’m done).

Back to our story. We saw several potential boats but none that really took our breath away. We have discussed getting a bigger boat for the last year since I took Ariel sailing on “Galileo,” my Cape Dory 33. Finally, while walking the docks at Boat Lagoon, we met the owner of “Tehani-li”, a Tayana 52 and went aboard for a look. Wow.

She felt right. We liked the look of the boat with her sleek, Bob Perry lines and the intelligent layout down below. After spending a few days with the English owner and his friends, who were visiting on board, we were invited to go sailing with them over Christmas. This we readily agreed to.

My big concern here was at 52 feet in length, Tehani was more boat than we needed. I also want to make sure that I could handle her. Sailing her was the only way to find out. We took her out of Boat Lagoon down the long narrow and very shallow mud channel to get to the sea.

I was amazed not only at how easily she handled under power but also how big that steering wheel was. Ariel could barely see over the top of the damn thing. How were we two going to sail this sucker when it is just us on board?

We sailed down to the bottom of Phuket Island and grabbed a mooring ball off Cruiser Island Resort on Koh Lon Island. This was a very nice family-run resort with a few pretty cabanas, lovely grounds and a great restaurant hosted by the affable Ray and Tidi Taunton.

It was such a romantic spot that the two elderly guests of the owner on Tehani decided to get married and hold the ceremony there on the island! Ariel and I acted as impromptu photographers as we were the only ones with a video camera there.

On Christmas Day 2001, with Tehani in view sitting on a mooring, we negotiated the brass tacks and shake hands with the owner on the deal. She’s ours!

We were also very happy and attend a party in a condo on top of a hill in Patong over looking Patong Bay New Year’s Eve. I counted 150 boats (mostly sail) at anchor enjoying the night’s fireworks. The locals put on a great display and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.

A few days later I told Ariel what the condo owner had complained to me about: cobras in his attic! Seems like they nest there and he can’t get them out. Yeah, that would be reason enough for me to move, at least.

Finally, we get Martin Holmes at Lee Marine, the local brokerage, to represent us and help with the legal documents and other details to close the deal. Martin went above and beyond for us and we would recommend him to others.