Monday, 14 April 2014

12th April 2014

Snorkeling trip today!!!   We hired the Crystal fishing boat to go out diving/snorkeling around the island.  This time our route took us to 'Tanote Bay' which was Chloes choice as she'd not snorkeled around it the other day.  While we all went off snorkeling, Simon set up all our dive equipment and then when got back was practicing his free diving.  He managed to get down to over 11mtrs ..I was impressed.  Free diving is something I don't really find appealing to be honest as I'm not that good at holding my breath.  On our way to our 2nd location, Aow Leuk, we had lunch. I'd bought some tuna & egg rolls and Fi had bought some tasty water melon and banana's.

Iona and I went for a little dive.  She used my alternate air source. She did brilliantly.  We went down to around meter and we saw multiple fish, starfish and sea cucumbers .  The only time we came up was when Iona signaled to say she had a sore mouth from my mouthpiece as it was too large.  Once back at the boat, both Chloe and Iona went for a little surface bubble with me in the middle using my snorkel and we ventured all the way into shore and back again.

While this was all happening, Simon and Chris went for a dive and Fiona followed myself and the girls around.

Our last stop was Three Rocks. Simon, Chirs and I all went for a dive while the girls and snorkeled and jumped in from the boat.  We planned it so we'd be out of the water by sunset  ..but due to heavy cloud cover, there wasnt much of a sunset.

Going out on the boat for the day was just lovely.  It's really relaxing and picking when & where you want to go is just bliss.

Back at Crystal, salty and damp, we sat and had a few beers and then headed to 'Pranee's' for food.  Being out on the boat for most of the day is pretty exhausting, I don't know how the girls kept awake.

11th April 2014

A slow start to the day for me.  I got up around 9.30am,  made a cup of tea for Simon and I and then sat and watched 3 episodes of EastEnders (sad I know)  Simon, as usual  had been up for a few hours working away on various projects.

Today, we were all going to just chill and relax.  I ventured over to Haad Tien around 1pm and joined the girls in the pool, playing various games and seeing how many widths we could swim underwater.  The pool was pretty full compared to last week, a lot more families and children.  A little annoying seeing that we didn't have the whole pool to ourselves :-D

Later in the afternoon Chris hired a canoe which he, Chloe and Iona took out while Fiona and I snorkeled behind.  We did managed to see a few black tip shark which was brilliant but I really wanted to find Terry the Turtle. 

Friday, 11 April 2014

10th April 2014

It was an early start for Simon, Chris and I as we were all off diving.  Meeting at Crystal at 6.45 was a little bit of a struggle but after a coffee, we were set to go.  Steve, one of the video chaps was free, so he said he'd be delighted to film us and would show it at Crystal tonight at 7.30pm lovely!!. to come!!!!

Our fist dive was at Twin peaks, just a casual dive around the deeper part of the pinnacle where we bumped into a huge school of barracuda.

Our second dive was on the Wreck, the HTMS Sattukut

Launched in 1944, this battleship was commissioned by the U.S. Navy and used in the occupation of the Japanese islands during WW2.
Almost 50m in length lies between 22m-30m

As for Fiona, Chloe and Iona, they were off to a Thai Cookery class which didn't start until 10am.  As we came up from our dives, we were wondering what they were doing and how far they'd got with their dishes as after our dives we were going straight up to the cookery class to sample their delights :-D

Dives over and back on land, We washed and packed away our kit and headed to Zest to buy 3 large cappucino's and 2 mars bar shakes for the girls and headed to the Thai cookery class.  Si didn't come as he was working doing another eco dive that afternoon.

On arrival, the girls were munching through some No Name vegetable & Papaya salad that they made.  They'd kindly saved some for Chris and I and there was even some No Name vegetable for Simon which we later took back to Crystal for him.

As we made ourselves comfortable, the girls finished off their Pad Thai Prawn and Red Thai Chicken
and presented everything before us, everything smelt and tasted delicious the time we'd tried a little of everything, we were rather full :-D    

After a short walk back to Crystal we jumped in a taxi and headed back to Haad Tien for a lazy afternoon by the pool and a bit of snorkeling/kayaking to see the black tip shark that swam around the bay. Unfortunately we still didn't see Terry the Turtle.

Sun kissed and showered, we caught the 6.45pm shuttle bus into Mae Haad and walked slowly down to Crystal bar.  We were all petty excited to see Chris's movie.  Steve had done a brilliant job and we will be downloading it soon, for all to see.

After a couple of G&T's we headed down to Whitening to eat and then it was home to bed

9 April 2014

Today, Fiona, Chris and the girls chilled out at their resort while Simon, after sneezing most of the night got up early and headed off to the Eco office to continue with work.  After last night’s meal at ‘Yangs’ Si’s tummy wasn’t so good, so I stepped in for Simon and took a few DMT’s (Dive Master in Training) on a Coral Watch survey  (taking note of the lightest/darkest parts, and which type of coral it is, and then submitted it on line) 

After a very hot and sweaty day, we met Chris Fiona and the girls at ‘Hacienda’ (leisure park) around 7pm for dinner.  We ordered some Nacho's to start with and then I shared a huge Ham and Pepperoni deep pan pizza with Iona.  Everyone else had their own Mexican style meal apart from Si, who had his usual veggie pizza :-D

Great impression of a Rabbit fish Chloe ;-D

Even before dinner the girls were very keen to play mini golf.  So how could we refuse :-D

The course was really well built, not easy in the slightest.  A few safari animals awkwardly positioned on the greens.  We only few disastrous holes where we all gave up after 8/9 strokes but apart from that, it was very entertaining.  Iona even managed to get a hole in one!

I'm sure I should have been up on the winners podium ;-)

Thursday, 10 April 2014

8th April 2014

Last nights BBQ pretty good.  With all bbq's, the food took a little longer than expected but Simon did a splendid job.  I don't quite know how he did it, as it was so hot, we were all moaning about the heat.  He is amazing!!! earlier on in the day, he'd made a delicious potato salad.

We'd invited a few folk over to join in the festivities, Tim, Steve, Linda and Chinese Mark who isn't actually Chinese, he just speaks it.

This morning I woke at a reasonable time and ventured upstairs to find Si at the kitchen sink, washing up. We had no water last night, so we were unable to tidy up/wash up.   It always happens at the most inconvenient times.

Anyway, today we hired Crystals newest addition, a little fishing boat which you can hire out and go snorkeling/diving on.  With just 2 crew and the 6 of us, we set off around the island stopping at a few bays as and when we fancied.   The first bay we decided to stop at was 'Hing Wong'  At first we all went for a bit of a snorkel and then Simon and I took Chris for a dive. 

"Where have all the fish gone?!"

"Argh ..they they are!"

'Tanote Bay' was our second port of call.  No diving this time but we all snorkeled.  Tanote Bay has a huge rock which you can climb and then jump off, roughly 10 or so meters high.  We saw a few hesitant jumpers and Chloe even managed to see a naked one.

Our Final stop was 'Pottery' a lovely and unappreciated dive site.  It's very shallow and an ideal location to take Fiona and Chris for a lovely dusk dive.  We saw an incredible amount of life.  Moray Eels, Puffa Fish, Trigger Fish, Blue Spotted Sting rays to name but a few

I knew that the girls, especially Chloe were eager to drive the boat, so when Suk (the captain) handed the ship over, with very little instruction  ..we were all very nervous and ever so impressed :-D

Then it was time to head back... grab a Singha beer... and retire all very very tired...!

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

7th April 2014

After pottering at home for an hr or two  …I hopped on my bike and cycled to Haad Tien.  It’s not too far but it’s pretty hilly and I usually turn up ‘fresh as a daisy’ not!! 

It’s been brilliant turning up, girls in the pool, Chris and FI have my lounger and fresh towel ready:-D 
If we get bored of the pool then we just snorkel off the beach looking for black tip shark and Terry the Turtle ..which we’ve not seen yet...

That evening we decided to have a bbq at our house... It was good to show the family where we lived and for them to put everything into prospective.  

6th April 2014

A slight change of plan from the normal today.  Chris, Fi and the girls were going to come into town to do a little bit of shopping and perhaps have a little bit of pampering done :-D
We met at Zest, a lovely little coffee shop just after 12.30 and had a cappuchino and then headed off shopping as Chloe wanted a hat, postcards needed to bought and I needed to get Simon another pair of sunglasses after his last pair broke.

After walking in the baking sun for a couple of minutes, we quickly decided to go and get our nails painted.  When we walked in the shop, it looked as though no one was there but appearing from behind curtains and chairs, the Thai ladies welcomed us and before we knew it, feet were being washed and filed and we just had the hard job of choosing our nail polish color.  Iona decided that she wanted different colors on each toe, Chloe went for alternating colors and Fi and I just kept to one color.   It’s so lovely having someone paint your toenails for you.  It transforms your feet completely.

 Meanwhile Chris decided to opt out of having his nails done so went off to buy some postcards and relaxed while writing away at Safety Stop with a small Singha (Thai beer)

Nails painted, postcards written, we ventured off around the shops again.  It was so hot today and not being able to jump in and out of the pool, the girls really noticed it.  After  popping into to wave at Simon in the Eco Koh Tao office and a few clothes shops  ..Fiona and I marched Chris into the Royal Thai Massage to have his feet scrubbed/fixed and as the girls wanted a few braids put In their hair, we popped next door to the hair dressers.