Friday, May 4, 2012

Thaibodia Day 12 – Phi Phi Island and Snorkeling

We were getting picked up for our tour at 8:15. We had a good morning. Our breakfast of fruit, yogurt and bread was yummy. While we waited for our ride, Sean talked with some Germans guest at our hotel waiting for a dive excursion and I chased Terryn around. He wanted to go up and down the elevator. I don’t even know how many times we went up and down that thing.

Once our ride showed up we picked up one other couple and then went out to the beach. We boarded our speed boat. The whole morning it had been raining. We picked a seat in the front center. This speed boat was covered by a long big tarp. Unfortunately, the people who sat along the sides got water dripped on them from the accumulated rain on top of the tarp.

The weather was still cloudy and it was drizzling as we set out for Phi Phi island. The ride took about an hour and it was really choppy. We kept bumping up and down over and over. There were about 30 – 40 people on the boat and quite a few of them got sick. It was gross, but luckily I didn’t see anyone get sick. The crew had passed out barf bags to some people. Both Terryn and Jayce fell asleep. Hahahaha. Sean and I made friends with the couple from our van. They were Ben and Downna from the UK. They were pretty fun and funny. As we neared our first stop, the sun had come out and some of the clouds had burned off.

We stopped in a lagoon and went swimming. We were trying to figure out how this was going to work with the kids. None of the lifejackets really fit Terryn or Jayce. I had brought the waterwings with us and we ended up putting them on Jayce. Sean and I put on life jackets. We had Terryn put on his goggles so the salt water wouldn’t bother his eyes. Terryn swam with Daddy and Jayce stuck with me. They were both pretty happy swimming. The most difficult part for me swimming with Jayce was getting on and off the boat. This lagoon had nice swimming. The water was really clear, but it was just deep enough that I couldn’t touch. Sean could touch in places. The bottom was a mix of sand and big rocks.
We swam here for about 15 minutes and then it was off to the next spot for snorkeling. This was going to be the real tricky part. The next spot had a bunch of coral growing on the bottom. Terryn was scared to be in the water here at first. After a little while he chilled out. Then he was able to see the fish in the water and he got really excited. He kept going underwater to find "Nemo".

I had Jayce with me and I was actually able to snorkel a bit while holding him. Sean and I traded once so I could see a little more. I had Terryn ride on my back while I looked at the fish. There were lots of tropical fish, coral and various types of shell fish. I saw a big oyster-looking thing open up and then close again. Somebody reported seeing a sea snake. I wished that I could have actually snorkeled longer, but I was glad I got to see something.

After another 10 minutes on the boat we stopped on Phi Phi island for lunch. They offered a variety of stuff on a lazy susan and we helped ourselves to the different items. The food was okay at best. I think it had been sitting out for a bit because it wasn’t hot anymore.

When I was done eating I took a short stroll along the shop fronts. They had this really cool pedestrian area. There were walkways lined with shops, restaurants, tour places, diving shops, bakeries and lots of other stuff. I ended up buying something that I had been eyeing in Bangkok, but never bought. Terryn played out on the beach for awhile with some of the other kids from our tour. There was an Indian family that a boy that was the same age as Terryn. Then we got back on the boat and they posed for a picture.
It was a 40 minute ride to the next island. It was SUPER choppy. Everyone kept yelling, “Whoa!” and we’d slap down really hard on the water. There was a Japanese family that would giggle every time we’d hit the water really hard. Sean decided to go up to the very front of the boat. As he was walking up there, I saw him totally biff it on the deck. Sean remarked that being up there was like being on a rollercoaster. He enjoyed it, but it was short-lived because Terryn was sitting in the very back of the boat with some people from our tour. I was afraid he was going to fly off the boat or get hurt so I made Sean go sit with him.

Once we got to the last island we all got off the boat. We contemplated bringing our backpack, but then decided to leave it on the boat… which ended up being a HUGE mistake. This tiny island was all sand. It was surrounded by a coral reef. There were chairs for rent and some cafes. I tried to go snorkeling first while Sean stayed on the beach with the kids.

The snorkeling conditions were terrible. It was low tide, the water was really murky and it started raining again. The water was so shallow that you could barely swim over the coral. The water was really murky too so you couldn’t tell what you were swimming into and you could barely see the fish. I wasn’t out for very long before I just gave up. The waves and current would push you around over the coral and I was afraid I was going to get scraped up.

I told Sean about the horrible conditions, but he decided to go into the water anyway. Terryn wanted to go with him. Terryn had fun swimming, but Sean agreed that the conditions were awful.

Then at some point when I was sitting with Jayce I decided to take off his swimming suit. It was windy I thought it would be better to have his wet suit off of him. Maybe he’d dry off and be less cold. I did this and then discovered his swim diaper was nasty. I took him out into the water, but there wasn’t really a good place to clean him off. The waves were getting bigger and stronger and the beach was a mix of sand and broken coral. I clean him off the best I could and then we sat back down for awhile while we waited for the boat to come back. Then it started pouring. I was looking for a freshwater shower at the time and Jayce and I got pelted with the rain. It kind of hurt.

I went looking for Sean after no luck of finding a shower. I was really wishing I had brought our backpack. I wanted a diaper for Jayce and to put on his clothes. The boat took forever to come back in because the conditions were really bad for them to come ashore. The waves were so strong and close together than it made the boat rock really bad. You couple that with the fact that it was low tide and the beach was kind of rocky. They ended up coming to shore about 30 minutes later than they were supposed to. I was kind of miserable at this point. It was windy, cloudy, raining in spurs and Jayce was butt naked and needing a diaper and his pacifier.

A lot of people were having trouble boarding the boat. It was rocking up and down. Most of the elderly people needed a lot of assistance to be able to board. I was getting really impatient because Jayce really needed his diaper and to be wrapped up in his blanket. I was standing by the ladder waiting for this old man to go up the ladder. He kept losing his balance and there were lots of people waiting to board. We were all impatient to get on the boat and back to Phuket. He lost his balance again and took a step away from the ladder. I took this opportunity to jump on the ladder and climb aboard. It took me like 5 seconds to get on the boat. I put a diaper on Jayce, put the pacifier in his mouth and wrapped him in his blanket. He fell asleep pretty quickly.

When I was at the last island, I somehow had gotten a piece of sand or something in my eye. It started bothering me so bad once we were on the boat. I think I ended up rubbing half my eyelashes off trying to get the thing out of my eye. I tried rubbing it out, pouring water over my eye… everything I could think of. It hurt so bad. I could feel what felt like a sharp-edged boulder rolling around under my eyelid. On the boat ride back to the main island I basically had to keep my eye closed. I tried to find my happy place and ignore the small razor-edge debris under my eyelid.

After about 30 minutes we got back to Phuket. We boarded our van and got back to our hotel. We all showered and then went back out to eat dinner. My eye was bothering my so bad, even after spraying copious amounts of water over my eye. We ended up stopping at an optical place and they looked at my eye. They couldn’t find anything and said that if my eye still hurt tomorrow I should go to the hospital.

We had a yummy meal of tamarind shrimp and pineapple baked rice. It was very good. We finished our dinner with some more Thai pancakes from a street vender. They are so good. I could eat them everyday (and gain 100 lbs).

Overall we’d had a good day. We’d wished that the weather would have been better. We joked that every time we go to the beach the weather is totally crappy. L We must be back luck. The tour was really fun though, despite the rain and wind.

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