Today Donna had arranged a day trip for the whole gang to sea kayak to the limestone lagoons off of Mainland Thailand, North of the island of Phuket with John Grey`s Sea Canoes. Of course, nothing goes exactly according to plan. Tyler and his family (Donna's eldest, my cousin) were set at arrive in Phuket yesterday around noon, but flight delays in New York City (!) kept them in Vancouver an extra 36 hours - I am sure that was fun with a baby and two young kids.... ugh. So by noon today, they still had not arrived, so missed the trip. Jaclyn woke up not feeling well, so she and Rick also stayed behind, and our group was reduced to 14, not the orignial 20+ plannned in September.
For the remainder of us, a great day. We had a whole dive boat to ourselves, a ton of food, and a relatively uncrowded sojourne to some incredible cave-accessible lagoons on the inside of the islands. We watched monkeys in the wild, crafted some banana-leaf flower wish-makers (I cant rememeber the thai word for them?)which we floated away at dusk, and then played in the glowing water (seriously, Avatar-like algae that flashes when stirred.... you could see jumping fish 30 feet away, and released sparks by swishing your hand around, splashing sparks onto the cave walls,etc. super cool.) The Hong (lagoons) we surrounded on all sides by high cliffs, completely covered in jungle, and often a tight squeeze to pass through the only sea-worn access.
As we visited near high tide, there was a traffic jam to get out (quickly) while still able, and a very funny episode with my cousin Janelle and Scott stuck prone in their kayak, while her guide argued with another operator who refused to move out of the path, and another guide yelling loudly that he needed to pass NOW as he had a "watermelon belly" man in his boat that still needed to pass through. We did all manage to pass through the narrow entrance, not sure what happened to "watermelon belly man" though, lol.
We didnt return until 10pm, a long and full day, and hopefully Rick and Jaclyn will be able to join Tyler and his family at some point in the next week, though at this point our plans are really up in the air.