February 8, 2023
Today is snorkel day! Heading out to Koh Haa and Koh Rok via speedboat for a full day of snorkeling. I met Tin Adventure Sea Tours on the beach, where we all piled into two large speedboats. The driver his the gas and we were off!
First stop was Koh Haa. I know it’s an island but for some reason it felt a lot more remote than I expected. We rode at a high speed for 40 minutes before we made it to the island. When I looked around there was nothing but water for as far as I could see. Don’t lose the boat!
One by one we jumped in the water with our snorkel masks and flippers. It’s a good thing I’ve snorkeled before because there were no instructions. Just get in the water and go.
They told us we had 40 minutes to snorkel. I assumed I would be back in the boat after about 15, but I stayed out there nearly the entire time. There was so much to see. All kinds of coral and tons of colorful fish of all sizes. I only came in once I checked my proximity to the boat. When I looked up, I didn’t see our boat, I saw a dozen boats. With a foggy mask, I had absolutely no idea which one was mine. I figured I’d better start working to find out. Swimming back to the boat, my hand brushed someone’s side. I paused to see what I touched and he paused to shout “Jesus Christ!” No chill from the panicked man who’s imagination conjured a shark coming for him 😂
Once back on the boat I wished I was in the water. The waves were intense and the boat was significantly rocking side to side. Koh Haa is a series of tiny islands with nothing to protect it from the waves. I was very eager for us to get moving.
En route to Koh Rock a couple people started feeling sick. I don’t blame them. The book frequently caught a little air before slamming into the water. We hit with such force it made my back hurt. I started dreading that my boats on Thursday to Phi Phi and Koh Yao Noi were speedboats. I think the whole boat was relieved when we made it to Koh Rok.
At Koh Rock, we dropped a few sick people at the pier before driving off to the snorkel spot. This one seemed even better than Koh Haa. The waves were much less intense and I saw a little more sea life. This spot had a manta ray and many sea cucumbers. I snorkeled the entire 40 minutes.
We had lunch on the beach at Koh Rock. Massimon Curry, vegetables, and fresh fruit. I chatted with a couple from Switzerland who have been traveling for the last year. They started in Central America, then went to South America, the United States and Hawaii, Fiji and other Pacific islands before getting to Asia. Lena quit her job, and Adrian works remotely 20% of the time. They spoke very highly of Guatemala, and they said I’m the second Ohioan they’ve met, so they need to go to Ohio 😂
After lunch we had an hour and a half to explore the island before we left. I checked out the beach and then found a nature trail at the back of the island. I hiked the whole nature trail. Hike might not be the most appropriate word. Climb might be better. There were loads of stairs the whole way. Halfway through I debated whether I would make it back on time. The viewpoint from the nature trail was unique and unspoiled though. I don’t know if anyone saw it except for me today.
At 2:00 we got back in the boat for our last snorkeling session. The boat was about 75% full as others who no longer wanted to snorkel stayed back at Koh Rock. This time we had a 50 minute snorkel session. This time I saw an eel, in addition to all the similar scenery.
Back in the boat, and back to Koh Lanta. Great day 👍
After I showered I went back up to the walking street for dinner. I grabbed another chicken kebab from the same man who made yesterday’s. Once again, delicious. Then I saw a stand for Ichigo diafuku, Amy’s favorite treat. I picked up two, one for me and one in memory of her. Not as good as in Pai where they used real strawberries.
I walked around some more, again, deciding to go back to my beach to watch sunset. I said hi to Joe and Mickey who I met at the hostel the other night. Joe’s an American with a scooter injury and Mickey is a German who doesn’t want to claim it. He prefers “home” to be wherever his backpack is.
I watched sunset, then crashed in bed at about 8:00. All my snorkeling caught up with me!