|New gulet sails from Andaman waters|
Capricorn was built in Bodrum, Turkey and acquired by a group of friend from Brussels, Belgium, last year. The traditional silhouette of this wooden ketch inspired their imagination for adventure and tropical sailing. Having purchased villas in Phuket, they decided to bring the boat to Thailand and decided to offer yacht charters with villa-stay holiday packages.
Being adventurous and wanting to avoid the high price of shipping, they choose to sail to Phuket across the Red Sea and Indian Ocean, which was quite an endeavour for a gulet. What started as a romantic passage of the Suez Canal, dreaming of Hercule Poirot and Agatha Christie, became a real adventure in Eritrea and turned into a nightmare when they reached the Southern Red Sea. From bargaining their whole stock of diesel available in the Assab Harbor, Eritrea, to negotiating a naval escort with the French Navy in Djibouti they and ending up with a real pirate attack south of Yemen, Capricorn had a movielike passage to Asia.
But Capricorn was born under a lucky star and made it to Phuket, but not without a few bullets in its roof. After an in-depth refitting and a proper registration under a Thai flag, the boat is now available for yacht chart fulfilling the dream of its owners and proving that even the most improbable project are worth following.
Her first outing in the Andaman Sea was attending the King's Cup Regatta as a visitor. Capricorn invited a few friends and VIPs to look at the race from the comfort of its vast and comfortable deck and saloon. Bangornrat Shinaprayoon, director of the Phuket TAT office, joined the party with all her staff. It was a unique opportunity to discover the world of yachting at sea, after her visit to the Monaco International Boat show in September. This truly demonstrates the commitment of TAT in supporting the yachting industry in Thailand.
Also present in the outing were: Josef H. Raess, director/owner of the Phuket Paradise Hotel (far left photo below); Mr Sergey Nesterenko, developer of the SeaViewVillas at Naithon Beach (second from end, far left); Mr Guillaume Chaillot, Manager of the Royal Phuket Marina and his wife (middle wearing white and blue); and members of the Phuket press corps.