Sailing the Andaman Sea (Part 2)
I'll Set Sail and Drift Away . . . .
I failed to test out of Youngster swimming at USNA even though I'm a fish. Mainly because I had flown in from the Philippines the night (well really morning) before the test and I missed the cut off by 8 seconds. Which sort of sucked. But hey, an easy A is nothing to sneeze at the Naval Academy. And yes I got an A. One of the tests was to see how many breast strokes it takes you to swim 25 meters. 7 strokes was an A. 8 = B. 9 = C. 10 = D. I did it in 4. The instructor couldn't quite believe it. "What are you a fish?" Well, sort of. Actually, I like to think of myself as a sea otter. Cute, a little bit furry, and just amazing in the water.
So the biggest mistake I made on this cruise was to book the 4 night cruise. I should have totally done the 7 night cruise. It's definitely been an amazing trip. After sleeping in the harbor at Ko Rajah Yai, we got up and did an early morning snorkel before breakfast. Which was great. I specifically bought a GoPro for this trip as I wanted a water proof camera. And it is waterproof, I just don't think it's great at capturing pics of the amazing fish, coral, and other marine life we are seeing. There's no zoom lens, so it's just not that great. But I am taking some pretty cool videos as I dive below the water and swim amongst the fish and the corral.
After breakfast, we headed to Ko Mai Thon. Another island south of Phuket. We were using our engines and with the slight chop the boat was bouncing up and down a bit. I laid out in the cargo netting upfront and just zone out under the sun with the crystal blue water passing quickly underneath me. This is living! As we were looking a good place to snorkel, we came upon a pod of dolphins. Our great CEO (Chief Experience Officer) pointed them out and one of them came really close to the boat, passing back and forth in front of the bow three or four times. It was so amazing. After we found a place to anchor, it was back in the water. Best snorkel site yet. I loved the different types of coral and the fish were amazing. And we spotted a giant moray eel as well hidden amongst the coral. It was really amazing.
After lunch, we headed to Ko Yao Yai, an island just east of Phuket. It was a 3 plus hour sail there (well, sail and motor). It's a Muslim island and we pulled into a small harbor where there are three resorts. A super high end resort, a middle level resort, and a resort that's only for Chinese tourists. Um, okay. But even though it's a Muslim island, they serve liquor! So after a quick swim after we arrived, we got cleaned up and took the dingy ashore for a sunset cocktail. A Maitai of course. As we were sitting on the beach, we could heard the roar of thunder to the west of us and we could see the dark clouds as well. The wind picked up and the lighting was pretty spectacular. We had such amazing weather all week, so now was our turn to pay for it. But we finished our drinks and then headed to a local restaurant for dinner. It was during dinner that it poured, so perfect timing.
I still wake up at 6AM. It's a curse. But it's only me and the cook who are awake so I snap some pics of the island as the sun begins to rise. After the storm last night, the water is so calm. I decide against a morning swim as my swim suit is still wet from the rain the night before. After breakfast, we make our way back to Phuket. As we motor back to the marina, we pass several islands with just spectacular limestone cliffs. So magical. One of the problems with this type of trip is meeting some of the other travelers. One is going to Borneo next, one to Singapore, one to Saigon. There are still so many places that I want to explore and these people aren't helping! It was hard enough to get this trip approved. :-). I definitely want to come back and do this again and do the 7 day trip. It's really been amazing!
After we dock, I catch a cab back to the Renassiance. Where I'm upgraded to the junior villa. #Winning! So nice. The first thing I do it crank down the AC. And take a long hot shower. Then it's time to read on my private sun deck and cool off in my plunge pool. I'm sure I'm going to be punished for my good luck, but I'm just going to enjoy it while I can. I had thought about going to Patong Beach which is apparently where the party is at, but I think I'm just going to camp in my luxurious room tonight. I'll have plenty of partying when I get to Sydney. Plus I'm still sick as a dog. Up next? Darwin, Australia!