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The longtail crossing to Koh Adang was wet and rough, with waves breaking across the bows, soaking both of us, but I was in my element - being on a boat and escaping from Koh Lipe.

Longtails are traditional small, wooden boats, often about ten metres long, with high ends and a partially flat bottom, made famous by the chase scene in the Bond film, The Man with the Golden Gun. They feel quite unstable when you first get into one, but having seen them now in rough seas they seem really seaworthy and are used across Thailand by most of the inshore fishermen, as well as for ferrying people between nearby islands. They're powered by the most bizarre outboards ever - 100hp truck style engines mounted on a five metre long driveshaft the driver holds onto, steering like a tiller, even lifting the propeller out of the water and turning it 360 degrees over the top of the boat to maneuver out of shallow water.

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