Sunday, 19 April 2015

Our First Trip To The Coral Island,

and we were on our way,


 in a baht bus,

 everyone was excited,

 as we made our way,

 through the small towns,

 
 and villages along the way,

 then the hills started,

 I know I have mentioned this before,

 on previous trips here,

 but the roads here are so steep,

 it is almost,

 unbelievable,

 not for the nervous car,

 or motorbike rider, 

 then back to an even keel,

 as we went past,

 a few more small towns,

 and villages,

 and then here we were,

 at Bang Bao pier,

 we made our way along the pier,

 that has a number of side streets, like this one leading to the hospital,

 past the dried food stall,

 and this vacant plot that we remember from our last visit,

 lots of shell craft products,

 then I came across these, striped saltwater catfish, (Plotosus lineatus), which are sometimes kept as pets in marine aquariums,

 it seems strange to see them as a food resource,

 all along the pier there are place that you can sit at and stay,

 theses are some of the big boats,

 that go to the coral islands, 

 there are so many to chose from, but today we wanted a smaller boat,

 even smaller than this one,

 this was ours, our own private speedboat, it may seem a little over the top to have hired our own boat, but in reality when buying 8 seats on a big boat the cost of hiring your own elusive boat is not that much more,

 so we settled in for the trip,

 everyone was excited,

 and this is a first for Dad, Lyn and Daisy May to go on a speed boat,

 we pulled away from the jetty,

 picking up speed as we passed the other moored boats,

 no prizes for guessing who was enjoying the ride,

yes the girls,

 as we hurtled along the wave tops,

 the sign on the engine cowling says it all,

 we soon arrived at the first island,

 and made our way past the jetty,

 we were going to anchor just offshore,

 I have to admit I do not recall the name of the island,

 but it was beautiful,

 with a long white sand beach,

 so mask and fins on,

 and in they go, I was still fluffing around on the boat, 

 when I saw this pleasure craft motor past,

 I have to say I did admire the skills of the captain,

 steering the boat and fishing at the same time!

 a quick family picture then in I went,


to the wonders of the undersea world, 

so many beautiful corals,

and dangerous animals to look at,

but these sea fans are quiet harmless,

which was just as well as there were lots of them here,

a few butterfly fish swam by, 

then I noticed some of these,

now I know that stamp collectors are known as philatelists,

well I am one,

and that people that study insects,

are known as entomologists,

but what do you call someone who studies and looks at Tridacna?

yes clams,

there were so many here that they were almost joining arms to grow,

I remember back in the 1950s I read and saw a story about a diver that had his foot caught in a giant clam that stopped him from returning to the surface to breath, I do not know how it ended but the vision of giant clams has been with me ever since


and there were so many here,

the island we were on,



then we made a move to another island,

Daisy May and Dioshane having a great time,

so on to the next island an under we went,

there were more than a few wrasses where,

and you guessed it, 

lots of clams,

I really do not know why there were so many in one area,

but they were,

I guess you could call this clam heaven,

then I was attacked by this little guy,

it appeared the clams were in his territory,

and he was defending them,

and when they were as beautiful both of these,

you can understand why,

but not only are the clams coloured in blue,

there are so many other shades that they are in,

we then went to the next island,

all in the ocean,

and feed the fish,

Daisy May is still a little concerned, well it is her first time out of her depth,

but as soon as we start to feed the fish,

and they start to come around,

Daisy May was all happiness and smiles,

as were the fish,

so with that and a quick look,

at a sea cucumber were were off,

to our next island,

and a sea fan,

and I guess I should have mentioned, lots of clams,

this is where we were, it is terribly remiss of of me but again I do not know the name of this island,

all know was that it was beautiful,

as the family went for a swim,

to be fair there were not many corals or fish,

but Daisy May enjoyed it,

next stop, the cat island as we call it, the view from the jetty looking to the right,



and to the left,

what a great place to park a boat,

and forget about the troubles of the world,

and where better to sit,

than just here?

as I am am sitting there a boat makes it's way past the island,

and this is why we call it cat island, there are cats everywhere,

then our midday meal,

chicken fried rice and fresh fruit all included with the price of the boat,

a look towards the end of the island,

and to the jetty where the boat was moored,

now here is a thing, we are surrounded by coconut palms, but when Diana asked for a fresh coconut to drink we were told that none were available, I guess they must be out of season,

then off to our next island,

as the V6 takes the strain,

and here we are,

we have never been to this island before,

which I guess is one of the advantages of hiring your own charter boat.

so here we all are,

smile!

I have to say it was all uphill for Daisy May, as he had never seen the sea before and was really out of her depth,

and it did not help when some one said that there were pirates,

on this boat,

but all was well in the end,

I made my way along the beach and found this example of shell art,

as the 'pirates'

 boarded their ship and left,

in the centre of the picture is Dad is making his way back to the boat,

what a lovely island,

with so many trees that had seen so many storms,

with trunks and branches scoured by so much salt water and sand, what tales they could tell of great storms in the past,

now here is a thing, most locals out here want to spend a day on the beach with plenty of sunshine, swim in the sea and not get brown, what to do? answer, swim in the sea under the shade of a tree!

a last look at the island,

and we were on our way home,

full ahead both! well one,

we were soon heading into harbour,

past many of the houses,

and restaurants that line the dockside,

and just so you know these are the two lads that took such good care of us, many thanks to them both,

they had even telephoned ahead, to make sure the baht bus was waiting for us,

what a great day out,

so home for us,

up hills,

 and down dales,

and we were soon home,

 after a shower and change,

 we called in here, this is the travel agent we use when we come to the island, just a few minuets walk from Paddy's Palms,

 and this is where we were walking to,

 the Sea Bar for our evening meal, 

 it was quite late when we arrived,

 but not to worry,

 there were still dinners arriving after us,

 we naturally had a table for 8,

 I stayed at the table,

 whilst Diana and the family had a look at what was on offer,

 and there was lots to chose from,

 for tonight we gave the fish a miss,

 and went for a squid,

 Daisy May was still so happy about today's trip in the ocean,

 I was so happy that 2 glasses of wine arrived,

 twice!

 then the first plates of food arrived, steamed mussels,

 tempura onion rings,

 garlic bread,

 2 plates of pork slices,

 prawn tempura,

 chicken kebabs,

 prawns with garlic,

 scallops with garlic,

 and of course the squid, plus lots of rice,

 everything was perfect, 

 then the show begin,

 two young performers,

 lighted sticks,

 and with great agility twirled them both kneeling down,

 and standing up,

 then we approached the grand finale,

 as the flames got brighter,

 one of the performers stood on the others shoulders,

 and lite the night with light, 

 to round off the evening we all had a slushi,

 or an ice coffee,

 and wait for it, a banana split,

which disappeared in no time! with that we made a move back to the hotel and as it was late and we have an early start tomorrow, so with that we were all off to bed.