|and float down stream
It is not dying
It is not dying....
I am hanging out in this huge 2 bedroom suite in The Marriott Mai Khao Beach and need to check out in less then an hour to get to the Ferry to go to Koh Phi Phi Island. I am chilling in the lap of luxury and figured I should touch base with all of you real quick and post some pictures while I had the use of a computer and a decent Internet connection.
So, after my last entry, I left Karon Beach and caught a ride up to Khao Lak which is about an hour or so north of Phuket Island. I checked in and met up with a friend - Lizzie - whom I had met back in Gili Trawangan this past summer. She is back working for the Sea Dragon Dive Center and that is the outfit I was booked to go diving with. I chilled out for the weekend working on the tan, eating great food and in a twist of fate watching "Football" ( No, not the NFL, the kind we yanks call soccer) on Sunday. I cheered on with Lizzie as Tottenham beat Arsenal. Strange very strange.
Sunday afternoon my two friends, Amanda and Marion showed up. We originally met in Bora Bora scuba diving and they traveled half way around the world to meet up again and go diving. We left that evening by taxi for a 2 hour ride to the port where we met up with the crew and climbed on board the MV Andaman. This was to be our home for the next 4 days and nights.
Sunday was also a special holiday in Thailand - Loy Krathong - which is celebrated on the Full Moon of the 12th Lunar Month (usually November). The Thai people make these beautiful floats out of banana leaves and put incense and candles and offerings inside and then float them down streams, rivers, a lake or the sea. It is symbolic of the damage/pollution we have done to the water and is asking forgiveness. They also believe that you send your troubles away with the float and clear the way for a new year. As our boat left the harbor we were sent off with a big explosion of fireworks and then we each made a Loy Krathong offering to the sea. Very, very cool.
The scuba dive trip was amazing. The Thai crew were so fantastic. The food was exceptionally delicious. The dive staff (especially Lizzie) were incredible. All the other guests were a joy to meet and get to know. And the diving - WOW! We did 13 dives over a 4 day period in the Surins, Richelieu Rocks and the Similans. All the diving was interesting and note worthy but the standout by far was Richelieu Rocks! World class diving at its best. I would have swam around with my mouth hanging open in awe if it wouldn't have contributed to my drowning. There was so much life and so much going on that I could have spent the entire trip just diving the rocks.
Talk about a tough life. On board you wake to the sunrise, go diving, eat, sunbake, go diving, eat, sunbake, nap, read, go diving, eat, jump off the deck into the sea, nap, go diving, eat again, relax, enjoy the company of others, and then drop dead asleep after all that hard work! Rinse and repeat for 4 days. Nice.
Once back on land things got even tougher. Amanda, Marion and I went down to Mai Khao Beach and checked into the Anantara Resort & Spa. We stayed 3 days in our own Private Pool Villa and I have to say that it was maybe the nicest room I have ever stayed in. Definitely a little slice of heaven. We lounged around the pool, ate long leisurely breakfasts, enjoyed Happy Hour in the Bubble Bar and dined at Sea.Fire.Salt. The first time in my life I experienced a restaurant with a Salt Sommelier. Fascinating. I dined that night on Sea Bass cooked on a chunk of Himalayan Salt. Mmmmmm.
So, I am easing back into reality, well at least my reality, by spending the last few nights in the Marriott. It was nice to have a washer and dryer in the room. I plan on spending the rest of this week down on the island of Kho Phi Phi (it is were they filmed The Beach starring Leonardo DiCaprio) and trying to get in the water a few more times. I head out next weekend for the Philippines.
The adventure continues....