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Turtle free, Turtle Island

December 10, 2009

Can you guys see the picture of the Leopard Shark at the bottom of the last post?  I’ve uploaded 25 sweet photographs to my Media Library on WordPress, but I can’t seem to open it up to the front page.  Can anyone more tech savvy lend any advice?  Worst case scenario, I’ll put the photos up on facebook and you can check them out there.

In any case, life carries on here in Thailand.  I’ve left Ko Phi Phi and have since arrived on Ko Tao, or ‘Turtle Island’.  The island itself is great.  What wasn’t so great was the trip over here, just like ever other bloody car ride I’ve had since I first arrived.  Once in Krabi, we took a large tour bus to Surat Thani, the southern port to the Gulf of Thailand.  At first it was sweet.  Myself and the rest of the Ko Tao passengers were the last to board and since the coach class was full up, we got a swank bottom compartment with a large, circumference style bench in front of a fold down table.  It was comfortable with 5 of us all around and then 4 minutes later, we stopped to pick up four more passengers.  Half way through explaining Euchre,
“Where the hell do they think they’re going to put them?” I asked out loud.
“Uh oh” was the reply as they try to push open the door, blocked by our bags.  This Argentinian woman pokes her head in, takes one look around and exclaims,
“We paid for 4 seats! Where are our 4 seats!? I want to speak to whoever’s in charge!”.  Clearly, she hasn’t been in Thailand long, I think to myself as my bench mates and I prepare for a most uncomfortable change.  Now nine of us are sitting in this now despicable bench as we pull over for more customers.
“Are you kidding me??”
“I don’t think there’s any sort of cap for this trip.  I’m pretty sure they’ll pack us in, ass to ankles until we make it to Surat Thani”, someone speculates.  I don’t know where the other customers got to, but it wasn’t in with us.  To alleviate to stress, they screen Terminator Salvation, dubbed in Japanese.  Great.
The boat ride to the island was a gas.  It’s the most refugee I’ve ever felt, being loaded into the top deck of a cargo ship with a ceiling no more than 4 and a half feet high.  Flanked on either side was a row of mattresses, a super long pillow and a number at the top every 14 inches.  That 14 inches is your precious space and mine was totally swallowed up by my freaking luggage.  I felt like a princess and emasculated at the notion of having to defend my gear and the 40 kilos of instructor materials.  I’ve decided I’m mailing half my stuff home.  The boat left at 11 at night and arrived somewhere around 6:30.  That same day, I handed out 25 CVs to as many dive shops as I could (ps, I’ve decided not to bother with the 3rd person dive references.  Just don’t tell immigration!).   It paid off because I’m 2 days into an Open Water course.  Three students and a promising outlook for further work.  I’ve turned down 3 other freelance jobs in the 2 days I’ve been here.  I’m happy with my decision to come to Ko Tao.  I’ve taken out a month lease at a simple, yet grungy bungalow room at the far north end of the island, built on a cliff.  It’s literally half of what I paid on Phi Phi and the view is stunning.  There’s a lizard of some sort about a foot long that lives somewhere in my ceiling.  I’ve seen him a couple times and we regard each other with a polite nod.  At the very least, I’m done with those ‘croak till 3am’ frogs that lived in my garden back on Phi Phi.  I also have a motorbike for transportation.  The roads on Ko Tao are quite treacherous in some cases and it’s usually best to stick to the paved road up the West side of the island.

I broke my vow of silence over this blog to some of my mates in Thailand.  Like I said, it wasn’t meant to last and it’s actually quite interesting to hear from other dives professionals who are living in the same environment.  I just don’t want this ballooning out of my control *gulp*. 

I hope you’ve enjoyed the material thus far, and if such is the case I repeat – my blog is in contention for the ”New” Canadian Blog Awards ‘09.  The link is here : 
Vote today!


From → Posts

  1. jenny mook-sang permalink

    simple yet grungy. wonderful life you lead there will-ben.
    still laughing. by the by, your blog has won one of the coveted spots to move on to the next round of the canadian blog awards. i believe you’ve placed second in the last round. congrats!

  2. jenny mook-sang permalink

    Hey will-ben, this is the new link to the final vote in the Canadian Blog Awards.


  3. Sue H permalink

    Hi Ben. Just got onto your blog and have really enjoyed your stories. Been thinking of you since your Uncle Doug and I got to do a 45 min open water dive in Curacao two weeks ago. Absolutely loved it.
    Have a great Christmas. You know we’ll all be thinking of you and wondering how you’ll celebrate.
    Take care. Aunt Sue.

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