Day 298, Mon 2nd Dec
Finally, a lie in… then a day walking up & down Phrae- Ae & Klong Dao beaches. Probably a 10k hike, but plenty of stops for lunch drinks & the obligatory cocktails… now this is what we should have been doing for the last 10 months!
A nice sunny day today, and we had grand plans to hire a scooter and drive around the island, but discovered we were actually knackered and would rather just wander instead; may as well make the most of it, the weather forecast is not looking so great.
We were almost stranded by the incoming tide after our beachside dinner; luckily only shallow water to wade across! it made it more of an adventure anyway
First day on the Advanced diving course – Navigation & Peak performance buoyancy. Both went well, but then, if I’d have failed the underwater navigation that would’ve been slightly embarrassing as a former Naval officer & submariner to boot!
Water visibility wasn’t great & the fish life was just ok – the daily downpour arrived late afternoon; by then we were back on the boat. Don’t think that I’m ever going to be in love with this sport, but T seems to really like it… it’s better than sitting in the office.
Did surprisingly ok on my Navigation course with Blue Planet diving today; our diving instructor, Kev, managed to explain how the compass worked – I know it should be easy, but for some reason my spatial dyslexia usually throws my brain into confusion and prevents absorption of any directional information. Peak Performance Buoyancy was not quite so successful, despite my being able to comfortably hover in a cross-legged position whenever I did not need to demonstrate a skill, I seemed unable to optimise my position when Kev was actually watching…
Second day of diving today, a Deep Dive and a multi-level computer dive for our PADI Advanced, and then a fun dive with a rented Go Pro; I quite liked diving with gadgets. It was slightly alarming how similar it felt to be at 12m or 30m though, especially when 30m is considered the limit of a ‘safer’ deep dive. I thought I would panic, but actually it was good.
It is a shame about the visibility, although better than our last dive in Colombia, this is a place where it can get up to 40 meters; we were lucky to get 10… The camera was kind of interesting, but I hadn’t realised there would be no viewfinder, this made the experience a rather hit and miss affair… especially as I didn’t figure out what the button was doing until half way thought the first dive – lots of random videos and strange consecutive photos!
I was looking forward to the deep dive as this feels like something far more advanced; in reality, it was a breeze & I liked using the dive computers (more gadgets!). I think we’ll have to get hold of a manual dive computer to get more proficient on it; not sure I want to just rely on a glorified watch (call me old fashioned!).
Photos did seem a bit hit & miss – Looks like we have about 1 in 20 that were any good!
Visibility hasn’t been fantastic, but enough to not miss out on anything. Had a nice fish meal (Keir eating fish! And not just fish fingers :-))in the local town Saladan; T got to choose her fish (fortunately already dead, not sure I am quite ready to give the death sentence to a live one) so was very happy.
Final day & the one I’ve been looking forward to – the wreck dive (on the sunken car ferry – King Cruiser).
The dive was good, although, apart from some old toilets & a urinal there wasn’t a great amount to see. The second dive on Anemone reef was good – lots of colours & things to see. There was a fairly strong current so it was particularly educational in dealing with that… for T the navigational part was also fairly educational, if not successful!
The current on the wreck dive was a little scary, as was my inability to know where I was without a compass – luckily Kev lent me one, and my buddy has a sense of direction :-).
My plan to explore (and potentially do some light shopping) in town was scuppered by the rain, boo (Hurrah!).
Day 302, Fri 6th Dec
No sight of T’s passport at the British embassy in Bangkok… T’s starting to worry…
Had a chilled day, massage & then met our friends from Chiang Mai (Candice & Will) for dinner on the beach – absolutely lovely.
Finally a massage! It was pretty good too. Dinner with our new American friends was also great, Candice and I decided to make up new cocktails using the fresh fruit shakes on offer
Day 303, Sat 7th Dec
Another chilled day in Koh Lanta; weather was much nicer – it’s such a beautiful bay.
I am persevering in my attempt to be able to swim, managed a whole 6 lengths of breaststroke today – given it is the largest pool we have had on our travels, it was pretty good for me. We even managed to go into town for some (failed – Huzzah!) shopping and dinner, made all the better by the mango sticky rice I found on offer; yum.
Day 304, Sun 8th Dec
Early ferry back to Krabi, and met a lovely French couple, Charles & Charlotte on the transport to town before our flight back to Bangkok.
Up early and off to the boat across to the mainland. Our flight is after 3pm, so we spent a couple of hours having a much needed breakfast with our Gallic companions AND I even managed to find some 85% Lindt chocolate in the airport – it may have been £4 a bar, and probably enough to buy several meals, but it was worth it