Captain Eva welcomes us aboard the Damai Indah for a Saturday afternoon sail off the coast of Langkawi. Cloudy skies and a little rain wouldn’t dare dampen Eva’s spirit, for here is a captain who sails her boat with the same enthusiasm she has for life. Her experience on the water is evident from the fascinating tales she tells about sailing, surviving, and evading the ever-present threat of piracy around the waters of southeast Asia.

But today, it’s just an afternoon cruise with a dozen guests in Langkawi for the weekend. We climb aboard, kick off our shoes and know we’re in for a good time based on the size of the welcome and the size of the bar. The Damai Indah glides out from the dock and heads south to a cluster of picturesque islands. There’s no agenda or schedule — just a smooth sail to a tranquil spot where we drop anchor. For the next few hours we dive off the top of the boat and take turns shuttling to a deserted beach where we hunt for seashells and float in the water.

Eva and her crew cook up a magical meal in the kitchen below deck, with grilled shrimp, chicken and beef satay, fish, rice and fruit. Dining al fresco, on the water around Langkawi with friends old and new, magnifies the flavor of food and life. Reality is forgotten, the sun sets in a thousand shades of indigo, and the Damai Indah tantalizes us with a glimpse of life on the water. Simple, beautiful and dreamlike, if only for an afternoon.

***

Interested? Eva and the Damai Indah can be contacted here. Highly recommended!

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