Sunday, 30 November 2014


we had an early start,

 as we were going island hopping with Karl and Mary Ann, but first breakfast with Nick and Maureen,

 after saying our goodbyes to Nick and Maureen who were going to spend the day on the beach, the baht bus picked us and other holidaymakers up including Karl and Mary Ann and took us to the jetty, which Kai Bae speedboats use,

 it is by a beach side resort,

 tempting though they are these islands we will pass by,

 just 2 of the fleet of boats operating out of here,

 the parallel jetty,

 we all arrived and were told 5 minutes,

 which was enough time for a couple of pictures of Karl and Mary Ann,

 and we were on our way, I seem to remember this is the same Captain that we had last time,

 this was the longest leg of our journey,

 on our return it was shorter stops between each island,

 so into the water we went, well I jumped in first,

 followed by Diana,

 normally we are mobbed by fish, but this morning we had a bit of a disaster, I went to the 7-11 to buy a few loves of bread to feed to the fish, but they had sold out, 

 as had the other shops we tried,

 so we were at the mercy of the fish wanting to come to see us rather than us attracting them with free food,

 but it was still great fun to watch the fish,

and each other,

 a quick check to see where we were,

 then back under again,

 the water here was very clear,

as we made our way around a few Sargent Major damsel fish,

  who called by to see us,

 and seemed happy to pose for the camera,

 we made our way over the reef,

 keeping clear of the spiny sea urchins,

 until we found the sea anemone garden,

 this is just the name I give to this area,

 as every rock,

 seems to have more than it's fair share,

 of  anemones and fish,

 near by 2 Eight Banded Butterflyfish, (Chaetodon octofasciatus) were having a feed,

 a school of fish passed us by,

 going back to the anemones,

 I spotted a blue clam, 

 dive over,

 time to relax,

 in no time at all we were anchored again,

 the water looking blue and inviting,

 one of the crew free diving,

 first fish on the dive a moon wrasse, (Thalassoma lunare),

 followed by another one,

 they seemed to be everywhere,

 although it did not photograph so well,

 in the centre of the picture is a beautiful piece of blue coral,

 also on this reef there were a number of fan worm colonies,

 called Christmas Tree Worms(Spirobranchus porites),

another moon wrasse, (Thalassoma lunare), comes to take a look,

 then changes it's mind at the last moment,

 I have not come across this fish before,

 in the aquatic trade,

 so other than calling it a yellow headed wrasse, I do not know what it is,

 another damsel fish gives us the once over,

 then we are joined by Karl and Mary Ann,

 all set,

 Karl had brought along,

 a Sony underwater camera, and was free diving,

 whilst Mary Ann,

  like us kept to the surface,

 I managed to take a couple more pictures of the blue coral,

 which really did look so blue,

 and chanced upon another colony,

of Christmas Tree Worms, (Spirobranchus porites),

as another moon wrasse came for a look,

I noticed a new smaller growth of the blue coral we had seen before had started to grow,

near some of the Christmas tree worms,

another wrasse,

whose name I am not familiar with came nearby for a feed,

dive over and back to the boat,

a helping hand needed,

we then stopped in the bay for lunch,

the boat parked near to the shore,

the island in a National park, the price of admission is included in the price of the day trip, which is 1,400 baht per person, also included is water, a couple of food dishes and fresh fruit,

when larger boats visit there is a long floating jetty to disembark on,

a panorama of the bay,

I was considering doing a Tarzan,

but the thought of spilling my beer put me off the idea,

cold beer, warm sun, contemplating the ocean, what could be better?

giving Diana a cuddle,

and food, 

Karl and Mary Ann settled down to eat on one of the swings, it was a help yourself affair with boiled rice, omelet, a noddle dish and also chicken and vegetable plus fresh fruit,

we stopped here for about one and a half hours,

I went for a wander,

it was just so nice out here,

I was looking for fish, but none had come in this close to shore whilst I was looking today,

so grabbing the camera I had a look at one of the nearby streams that for the time being had stopped flowing,

and saw,

yes you guessed it, a dragonfly,

it flew off and resettled long enough for me to zoom in on it, wings forward for a rapid take off if needed,

meanwhile a heron was stalking it's prey,

but had no luck whilst I was watching,

Karl takes a selfie,

of himself and Mary Ann, then back on the boat to the next island,

so life jackets back on and a liquid refreshment,

and we were back in the water,

just before Diana joined me some one threw some left over food from lunch in to the water,

as you can imagine the fish loved it,

we started our swim,

this island seemed to have huge numbers of small bait fish around it,

they were everywhere,

which was fine with Diana,

and OK with me!

Diana decided to take a few pictures of me,

adjusting my mask,

then the damsel fish paid us a visit,

we also spotted some blue damsel fish, (Chrysiptera cyanea),

new for us on this trip a saddle rabbit fish, (Siganus guttatus),

another pair of butterfly fish on the look out for food,

we were then mobbed by another school of bait fish,

we spotted a few more rabbit fish,

3 or 4 in one group,

then this lonely soul swam past,

our second to last stop,

to what we call cat island,

as there seem to be so many living here, the bay that we are visiting,

standing on the jetty looking to the left,

and right,

the boats waiting for our return,

Diana had a coconut,

a beer for myself, 


Karl and Mary Ann relax on a swing,

the cats today,

just did not want to pose,

or look at at the camera,

 today we only saw 2 of the white ones,

 it was just too much effort to say hello,

 then back on the boat for a visit to the last island on our itinerary,

to Monkey Island,

so called for obvious reasons,

 look out behind you!

 our day over it was out of the boat,

 and a short walk to where our taxi was waiting, it looks like there is a party here tonight,

 we walked past a shrine,

 which every home or business has somewhere in it's grounds,

 on our way, 

 we had arranged to meet up with Nick and Maureen on Lay Lay Tong beach as we call it,

 for our evening meal along with Karl and Mary Ann,

 opposite the road to the beach, look out for this tree,

 the trunk is huge and looks like it is made up of Strangler Vine or Fig,

we meet up with Nick and Maureen,

Diana hiding from the sun as it was low on the horizon and shinning directly at us,
which is what I should of done earlier in the day as my nose and the top of my head felt decidedly well done,

Karl and Mary Ann had popped back to their hotel, just a few hundred yards away,

 whilst waiting at the table I noticed this gentleman,

he was practising moves for the fire show later this evening,

towards 6.00 in the evening the first parts of the bar-b-q arrived on the beach,

and the display of foods on offer,

the fire took in no time but then they used paraffin to light it,

spoilt for choice,

 as the sun went down,

 and there it was nearly,


 a small fishing boat makes it's way home, in case you are wondering I never retouch any pictures like this for colour, contrast, etc, what you see is exactly as it comes out of the camera, the only different is whether I hold the camera vertically or horizontally, the camera does the rest,

time to chose the food,

decisions, decisions!

Diana made hers, a pina colada,

as for our food, a steamed fish,

bar-b-qued prawns,

and chicken kebabs and that was just for us!

more food arrived all of the time,


it took some time for the chef to catch up with the orders, but soon everything arrived,

the evening then warmed up, literally,

with the start of the fire show,

the performers used wooden sticks or ropes with the ends binded with rags soaked on paraffin,

the show was spectacular, finishing in a flurry of sparks, we said our farewells to Karl and Mary Ann as they were leaving very early next morning and wished then bon voyage, for us we were in a taxi and back to the hotel in no time, what a great day out, if you get the chance to go on the speedboat trip to the islands go for it, as I mentioned it is 1,400 baht per person including admission to the park and a lunch, but back to us, a couple of nightcaps and we were all off to bed.