Around the Ocean (Part 2 of Similans 2009)

Posted: January 30, 2009 in holidays, macro photography, underwater photography












Call Of The Sea

It's only been 2 days since Similans and already I'm missing the ocean.  Being confined to a minimum distance of a few metres from my toilet doesn't really help.  This is the second day of tummy runs.  I think that's a long time for food poisoning.  It looks like there won't be any butterfly hunting for me this weekend.

When I was much younger and read books about sailors who 'heard' the call of the sea and felt that they must leave their families and their wives and their children to go out 'there', I always thought that's so overly dramatic… what could possibly be so alluring about a vast blue piece of nothing as far as the eye can see?











But I may understand that now.  And that distinction quickly marks between the people who do and the people who don't just mid week through the whole stay on the boat.

There's something about boarding a boat and heading out there to who knows what lies over the horizon.  Technically, we do know where we're going but still… that feeling of adventure is thick in the sea breeze.  And by the 4th morning, if you're about to go crazy from being on a boat, it probably means you're adventurous but definitely not smitten by the sea yet (my dive buddy was going crazy… she said she couldn't talk to the same group of people day in and day out… she needed more variety…).
















I can't put my finger on it.  But nothing makes me happier than waking up in the pre-dawn hours to watch the sun rise every morning and the sun set every evening and spend every single surface interval lying under the blue skies watching the clouds go sailing by.  Every morning I woke up at 4:30 and went to bed at 9.  I hardly watched any TV and didn't drink more than 1 glass of alcohol and hardly interacted with anyone and was perfectly contented with that routine.

The only time I was active and moving on the boat was when I was floating around during my dives, like a large cloud through the thick shoals of fish wafting above the corals.  And that was as much movement as meditation.  I could say I was perfectly content. 












The thai boat crew and dive guides were great and the company I was with were really fun to be with.  😛












Yes I miss the sea.  I was surprised when I didn't even think about butterfly photography once during the whole trip.  It seems and feels like the whole thing was just a filler … an activity or lifeline between leaving the sea and retuning to it once again.

Being on a boat is not without its price though because on the last day (I had a friend who always said that the last diving day of every dive trip is the one day where things will happen if they are to happen.  It also happened to be exactly my Mum's 7th month anniversary and around the same time when she'd passed away… should I read into that I wonder…) I fell down a short flight of stairs leading down to the room where I was living in because I was dripping with seawater.

Because I was holding my underwater photography equipment (I was bringing it back to the room to charge the batteries), I instinctively wrapped my arms around the camera instead of trying to stop myself from falling, with the effect that I bounced off the steps on the back and gained a few large bruises on my rib and just under my hip. 

We didn't spend all of our time on the boat though.  There were a total of about two days spend around Kata Beach, one day before boarding and one day after leaving the Black Manta.











If you told the Tuk Tuk drivers to send you to Kwong, they'd know immediately where to go… because it's just that famous.  The price is not unreasonable either.  And the food's great.  I seriously don't think my food poisoning was due to them because I didn't eat their food the one day before I started having these runs.

Phuket is a really colourful place.  One of the main highlights was the street food (yes that might have caused my food poisoning)… which sometimes looks a bit dodgey but taste great all the same.












They also have major fan base for motorbikes.

Their wet market is excellent.  We had gone all the way near the hill just to get ingredients to make Mojitos.












Below are a shot of the dive guides just missing the lady Thai guide who is not in the picture.  She was really shy and I didn't get a chance to talk to her other than a few smiles.

The left most dive guide sleeps on the top deck on the mattresses in the photo I attached earlier.  Every morning before the sun rose, I'd come upper deck and find that he'd just awakened.  When he'd gone downstairs, I'd take over the mattress because it was still nice and warm and wait for the sun to rise.



























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  1. What a wonderful trip, and photos that can stir a little envy, haha! I remember, my most beautiful and happy trip was to a mediterranean island, in the south of France. It was a perfect trip – and I returned with the worst food poisoning, ever, from blue mussels. I was indescribably sick on a 14 hour train ride back, with 8 hours of waiting in a terrible café, in-between. It took me ten weeks to fully recover (thanks again to autohaemotherapy =D). But it was still worth some of the happiest memories of my life.

  2. P.S. Wouldn't sailing around the world be nicer for you than going by motorcycle?

  3. WOW!!! Ten weeks!?!? That's a really loong time!
    Yep I'm not regretting my trip in spite of still running to the toilet.. .even now… it's the third day already… 😛
    Actually, you are right… think I would love to sail around the world and put a motorcycle on the boat as well so that I can ride out and explore the land when I'm taking a break from exploring the sea… that way I'd always be free to go anywhere as I please 😀

  4. Fantastic concept!!! Great idea! Like that you can come down by motorcycle from the North Sea to see me in Cologne! :DYep, those were terrible ten weeks. My immune system had broken down completely after this exhausting ride back, and I added one infection after the other on top of the poisoning and just wouldn't recover. It was the third and worst time I had been sick after blue mussels – never had a single one ever after.

  5. That sounds horrible. Well today is the fourth day running for food poisoning… still haven't gone out to shoot butterflies today… really just sitting pretty at home… zzzZZZzzz.. 🙂
    Shellfish are major food poisoning culprits.. some to think about it.. I had a whole plate of them (what they call locally as lalas) in Thailand before I left..hmmmm

  6. Ah, that sucks. Maybe you should see a doctor, if it doesn't get better? Though going to see a doctor with the runs… I am sending some healing thoughts!

  7. liyafendi says:

    Looks like you had a wonderful activity. Where is that ocean? Was you at Thailand?

  8. Hahaha!!! I did go to see a doctor… I had to grab a cab home because there's no way my stomach could have waited the whole 1.5hr public transport home! 😀

  9. It's around the Andaman Ocean. 🙂 Yes we were out there somewhere near Thailand on a liveaboard. 😀

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