Fishies and the ‘big blue’ – Snorkeling on Koh Chang
I cannot put myself in a little bungalow situated less than a stone throw away and not get myself in the ‘big blue’. I love the ocean and as you know from a previous post, I love water. I love SCUBA diving beyond any words can express. However, there is something about snorkelling that I love. I guess its more natural cos as you dive to the depths, you soon need to resurface to once again breath. Like a dolphin, a whale or a turtle. I like this.
So, the day started the night before with making the booking at my guest house with Buzzas on Kai Bae beach. An awesome lil place with hammocks, clean tidy bungalows and right by the beach. And and and, they have puppies. Puppies are cute. I want one. Anyways, as I digress, we booked the Attipol Tour for a mere 500B. This equivalent price to a poound sterling included equipment, pick up, boat, drinks and drop offs. Amazing. Innit?
So, the day of the pick up and i’m getting woken up by the Thai driver because i’m not waiting where I should be, instead I was fast asleep in bed. Oops! I blame the heat rather than the laziness. So, tired, grumpy and wanting horizontalness, I jump in the truck and we proceed to pick up M&M. They jump in the front and off we go along the snaking coastal road towards the pier at Bang Bao. We fast forward through the Scooby Doo market and get directed onto a boat. A large boat. A large boat with lots of people and blue. We’re off. Woo! Hmmm…. a little weird. Normally my morpho is here and now I have my mum present. Weird. But but, good. I think… yeah a little weird.
As the boat chugs along at speeds slightly faster than my freestyle pace we finally arrive at an island that had been extracted from some tropical postcard. The sands were white and the shallows were unbelievably turquoise. I gather my equipment. Hmmm…. no fins. You cannot expect a turtle to go swimming with no fins, or a dolphin for that matter. All I have is a mask and snorkel. Disappointment arose as it did with a similar snorkelling trip on Koh Lanta. Wait… fins 100B extra. Sold. Done. On and in the big blue I go. I love jumping from boat to blue. The stripy fish immediately present at any sign of boat action (renamed by my mum as humbug fish).
As with most snorkel trips in Thailand, and South-east Asia, it was like the scene out of the titanic just as it sunk. Non-swimmers flapping and fluttering around in the waster with bright illuminous buoyancy aids on. Arrgh.. time to get out from this and go find some fishes on my own. I’m always on the lookout for the little odd fish I can find so once i’m in, my face stays in the water as I make the most of this tubed extension of my trachea. I remain on the surface unless I see or sense something that intrigues me and then my chin ducks, my waist bends and my legs raise in the air sending me 10m below the surface. You submerge quickly so equalizing the ears has to be done just as quick, something that makes snorkelling a littler harder than SCUBA diving. Some moon wrasse, barracudas and butterfly fish. Hooonk!!!. Out. Away we go. Next island please!
On, in and under. Again, quickly losing the titanic passengers (including my mum), I calmly fin away around the corner and eventually covering the whole of the island’s parameter. Parrot fish, traveilly, pipe fish. Awesome. Hoooonk!! Out. Away we go. This time its lunch. Always good for a mouth that has been tasting seawater all morning. Omelette, rice and stir fried vegetables and fruit to finish. Quick rest for the food to sink and then on, in and under once more. I lose M&M for 10 minutes and then come across my mum. We share some points at the fish and suddenly I have gone off on my own.
Hoooooonk!! Ahh shit i’m late. Back to the boat I go only to hear Mark shouting where’s your mum. We both look back and she is about 50m away coming around the corner. Everyone is on the boat accept us two. Hahaha. My mask and snorkel gets thrown aboard and I freestyle out to her, log roll her over on to her back, grab her bouyancy aid and tow her the 50m back to the boat. Win! We are both on board. Better late than never innit?
What now? One last stop at a beautiful beach and chance for the tourists (or Russians) to buy some refreshments at an overly priced (Banana shake 50B!!!) shop on Koh Wai. We sat, we chilled. Honk! Back to the boat we go and the boat slowly chugs back to Bang Bao pier as we tuck into some delish rice soup and get even more scorched by the burning sun.
Returneed. Satisfied. Alive. Win.