Day 4 in Krabi felt long yet we did not accomplish much. On this day we went on a tour with Kon Tiki, a scuba diving and snorkelling centre that provide tours and courses. Sheryel and I visited their store a few days back to confirm our snorkelling tour where we initially wanted to take on a diving course to get certified but did not have enough time to do so.
Our tour with Kon Tiki was different from the previous tours where we travelled around on long tail boats and speed boats. This time we took a long tail boat out into the waters towards a large cruise. Climbing out of the long tail boat, we were warmly welcomed by instructors of Kon Tiki onboard. They helped us on to the cruise and I was overwhelmed by the amount of wet suits and dive equipments surrounding the landing. We then ascended a steep ladder up onto the deck where we were briefed by the boat chief. He told us that our trip to the first snorkel/dive site was 2 hours 15 minutes. The cruise had over 60 people ranging from the youngest being a 2 year old European boy to the oldest probably being the retired French dive instructor- all were either snorkelling or diving. The cruise had amenities such as a toilet, a pantry (with free flow of hot coffee and also where they sold Kon Tiki merchandises), tanning beds at the head of the cruise and the deck was filled with cushioned seats surrounding tables that had a huge plate of bananas and cups of electrolyte water for us to enjoy. The electrolyte drink ensured that we were sufficiently hydrated throughout the entire day of snorkelling/diving. We were split into groups and formally introduced to our instructors and they briefed us on safety and the dive site.
We finally reached Bida Island after the long ride and the boat chief announced for the divers on board to get into their wet suits and get their equipments on. It was exciting seeing the divers scrambling down the stairs and busy themselves with their pre-dive rituals. We could then hear splashes as the divers jumped into the sea with their respective instructors and proceeded with their dives as we head off to another part of Bida Island to snorkel. It was my first time wearing flippers to swim and when they say it is difficult to walk in them, you better trust them – I almost fell flat on my face because I thought I was smarter (haha). It is best to walk backwards in flippers so that you would not trip over your own (long ass) toes. Unlike the previous tours where we were told to slowly lower ourselves into the waters, from a cruise we were expected to jump into the water away from the cruise. (I was honestly kinda afraid..) I took a leap of faith and SPLASH! Water filled my snorkel as I reminded myself to breathe and blow the water out. The snorkel group followed the instructor round the rock structure and we were left to snorkel for about an hour or so at an open area surrounded by rocks.
At Bida Island, the view underwater was slightly different from the previous days as well. We definitely saw our friendly friends, the Sergeant Major, but this time we also saw many blue starfishes. Sheryel taught me how to kick with the flippers and how to stay afloat with lesser effort (in my opinion.. staying afloat whichever way just takes way too much effort- other than lying flat on the water) After an hour on my belly and head in the water (beautiful tan lines await), we headed back to the boat and had warm rice with stir-fried vegetables and pumpkin.
Sally and I at our second snorkel site
The second snorkel site was still at Bida Island, but on the other side of it. This time we saw a puffer fish! But I also learnt that puffer fishes can only puff up seven times in their lives before they die, which is why they only do so when in danger and it stresses them greatly. Sheryel offered to help me attempt to free dive as I finally agreed to let go of life vest and cling on tightly to her. On the count of three, we both dived under water as she pushed me closer to the corals and a clown fish (nemo!!!). It was barely 5 seconds before I frantically kicked and surfaced gasping for air (I can’t hold my breath for nuts).
After another hour or so, we were ushered back to the cruise where we were faced with another 2 hour journey back to Ao Nang Beach. This time the journey seemed daunting as there was nothing to look forward to, 2 hours felt like forever. Sheryel got herself a banana muffin from the pantry as I ate my third banana of the day (#Veganlyfe) and we found ourselves seats at the head of the boat. We soaked in the warmth of the sun while we chatted and refuelled with food and water. We also snapped a few pictures before heading back inside where we found a plate filled with yellow ripe juicy pineapples- they were the sweetest I had ever tasted. The snorkels and early start to the day left us tired, we napped and before we knew it we were asked to board the long tail boat back to Ao Nang Beach.
At Ao Nang, we were starving after a long day. Shop owners beckoned us to patronise their stores as we walked along the shopfronts. We finally decided on an Indian restaurant where we had chapati, chickpea masala, potato and eggplant curry dish, tomato and ladyfingers curry dish and pineapple rice – all Vegan, of course! This dinner was the most expensive we had in Krabi, it costed us $32 SGD but it filled us up well and was delicious. After dinner, we walked around the stores aimlessly in hope to digest the food baby that we had just accumulated. We realised as we were walking around that the many hours onboard and the sway of the cruise had left us feeling woozy and drunk.. We were not feeling our best so we retired early for the day.