A long tail (as they call the local style of boat) ferried us across for snorkelling around the incredible shaped island. We’d been gazing at it for days from the beach in front of our hotel. As a national park, you can’t stay there but it’s well visited.
On entering the water Louise spots a Lionfish straight off, Damian a leopard shark. We also saw many Sea Anemones, with their collars in various states of closure, and all sorts of other fish. We visited several choice spots around the island. Damian got good at diving down and holding his breath (thanks JdP for the free-diving practice). We swam past Viking Cave, where Sparrow’s nests are harvested twice yearly for use in Chinese bird’s nest soup and a significant part of the local economy.
We by-passed a surreal sight: don’t bother with The Beach, or fictionalised Maya Bay. There were hundreds of people and too many boats from nearby Phuket. The damage was evident on the seafloor where we tried to dive nearby, the speedboats churning up the sand, destroying the coral.
Not to end on a depressing note: last stop turtles. Well turtle (singular), spotted by Ellie, our gang of snorkelers in turn alerted nearby scuba divers. The poor thing really got a lot of attention while it fed on the bottom, but it didn’t seem to mind at all.