Our second day in Koh Tao, we planned a day long island hopping snorkeling trip starting with the lovely Koh Nang Yuan island where a beautiful strip of sand connects two tiny islands and the endless blues of waters on either side. It was gorgeous to say the least. While I learnt later that this is a natural occurrence in several beach countries, this was my first time and it was one of the marvelous things I have the chance to experience. On either side, you could face and tiny waves come in crashing at your feet. There was not much else I could ask for.
However, the weather came in every now and then to play a spoilsport and by the time we were to leave the island for our next island Mango Bay, the ocean had swelled up to twice its size. Since our boatman seemed quite confident we stepped in to our boat. As soon as we got in he started pulling out life jackets and asked us to put them on and we were all left speechless. Biting all our words and fears we quietly put them on and as we left the bay and the boat rocked away making its way to the endless ocean.
The boat took it one wave at a time and every single landing crashed a little more ferociously than the previous one. The first few crashes were fun as water sprayed from all sides but as it went on and on, our hearts lurched up and down along with it as well. As we moved further and further away from the land and all we could see was the blues of the water, an uneasy silence spread across the boat like we all had started uttering our prayers at the same time. Luckily, we were moving away from the storm and the waves settled in after a good one hour by which time we were drenched in water but also washed away with relief with the gentle rocking of the boat. They should use the word “Gentle” in bold and italics when the phrase is used for without the gentleness its plain scary. But it made for one memorable experience in retrospection.
As we moved away from the storm, we realised that the bay was completely inaccessible due to the storm. We swiftly moved to our next stop. But since we really wanted to snorkel, the boatman suggested anchoring the boat further away from the bay and asked us to jump into the ocean with our life jackets and gear and asked to snorkel away to our hearts content. He insisted that there was nothing to fear and to be very honest after that rocky boat journey all we wanted to do was reach land and kiss the sand but we figured we might as well do it all the way.
The bravest of us all jumped first assured us she was not dying and one by one we got into the waters and it was enchanting. The waters were crystal clear and as the boatman poured in more and more fish food from above, we managed to catch a varied school of fishes and I also captured my first underwater video, thank you Go Pro for that.