We came to a decision, after perhaps too many days of too many margaritas (is this even possible? Yes it is. I’ll tell you when you’re older), that we wanted to spend a day on the water, exploring caves, jumping off boats, swimming with monkeys, and learning more about life in Thailand. You know, cause when we returned and people said “so how did you spend your days in Thailand?” we’d have a response that wasn’t “lying in the sand like a beached whale”. So, our plan to spend the day with John Gray’s Sea Canoe was born.
We were driven to the port from our hotel (in a car that played “Bleeding Love” endlessly, what a way to start the morning, LORD) to start our day adventure. The sky was blue and the sea was green as we boarded the boat.
On the boat
From there, we were assigned guides and boarded the sea canoes to do some exploring!
Katie, myself, and our guide on the sea canoe!
Exploring the caves was pretty badass. (Not as badass as the dragon tattoo I got later. See? Told you there is such a thing as too many margaritas. Don’t worry its not a real one and has now faded off my body.) The entrance to many caves were so low to the sea that we had to lie down in the canoe so we could slide in. This photo (although poor) sort of gives you an idea of what I mean…
Coming out of the caves
The best part? Not having to paddle..
We explored bat caves, which were completely dark aside from the light of our guides headlight, we saw monkeys swimming (!!!), and saw mud-skippers (the fish to first decide they’d had enough of water, and walk on land). For those bird watchers or nature lovers out there, I saw: horn bill birds, crimson sunbirds and a strike breasted woodpecker. (I hope those are correct, I tried to make note of them so I wouldn’t forget!)
After we finished exploring, it was back aboard the boat to thank the gods of the water for our day by making an offering. This was the most interesting part of the experience. We each sat with our guides to learn how to make these offerings, which are a routine part of many Thai peoples life (and an aspect Katie and I had learned a bit about during our time in Bali).
Our guide starting the offering
Complete with candles and intense
Me and the finished product
Then we had a lovely dinner aboard the boat (I cannot rave enough about Thai food!) and watched the sunset.
Thailand, why you so purrty?
After dinner we boarded our canoes and paddled out in the dark to lay our offerings in the sea. We were told, as we lit the candles and incense and released the offering into the sea, that we were also throwing away the negatives in our life. As we watched the offering float through the waves, a thunderstorm boomed in the distance. The luminescence lit up the water around the boat. It was truly a beautiful scene.
(Although the offerings were mostly made from natural resources, after we had the experience, we brought them back to the boat with us so as to leave no sign we were there.)
The day was an amazing experience until the end. Then it was back to real Thailand life… of beers & being a beached whale.