And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good.

Genesys 1:21

Indeed it is good to be under the water but getting there still has its adventure. Today’s started with a massive breakfast of omlette, waffle, chocolate croissant and regular croissant with PB&J. I was definitely in my happy place. This resort (Santhiya Spa and Resort) is definitely beautfiul. But there are a few beefs. #1 being I was sold a sea view room and 95% of my view is tree and a TINY little sliver of the horizon is ocean. If you happen to be here do not be sold room 1501 as a sea view room.

As a throwback here is a photo from 15 years ago when I last visited Thailand


Back at my room it was a liesurely time writing my blog and getting things ready for my dive trip. This included packing up every slice of clothing I have minus a bathing suit and a pair of shorts. Everything else was definitely sweaty and dirty. So today was find a little Thai lady with a rock in the stream day and get my clothes laundered. So I pack everything up and head down to the front desk. The kindly young gentleman from the night before had told me, “easy 10 minute walk around rocks and then to dive shop”… notice the word “around”… Well I share this info with the front desk woman working this morning and she basically gives me the same directions but finishes them off by telling me that at the end of the next beach I need to turn right at the red umbrellas then left and wander my way through the village and at the 7-eleven (yes Gino no more 7-thirteens) bear left (I KNOW she said left).

OK, this sounds easy enough, she says it should be a 30 minute walk. Well, HA! I say to that and was actually thinking it because my 200+ pound bald american ass does not move anywhere as fast as these svelt seemingly infatigueable Thai folk.

So off I go, I get to the rocks at the bottom of our beach and I don’t see a way over so she did say “around”. Well, thank God it was low tide as I ended up scrambling through tide pools, over slick rocks and all sorts of stupidity but I finally make it around the rocky headland.

From there its a pleasant (albeit HOT) walk down the beach with about 18 pounds on my back (camera gear, regulator and clothes) so as usual I’m sweating my butt off. I reach the red umbrellas and head up to what I thought was the main road. I don’t see any 7 eleven but I know I need to go left towards the next beach over. You see, my resort is at the left most tip of two crescent shapped beaches. between them is a BIG rocky headland. Well this was what I was trying to get around, over, under or past in any way I could to get to the second crescent shaped beach. Well, as is everything I run into here, its STEEP hills straight up. I start up and find a little bench to sit down on. I consult my phone and it looks like the little patch of buildings that the young lady said I should wander through is directly to my left UP the road.

So off that way I head plodding step step step..step……. step. Then a golf cart comes along and he the worker says “hop in, where you go”. I show him where I am trying to get to and he says ohhhh… wrong way, but I show you shortcut. Damnit, why did I listen. So we cruise up up up steep Steep STEEPER hills and then he pulls over at a stairway that is mostly overgrown and looks like it descends into a WWII Japanese pill box. But trusting soul I am off I go and he cruises away. Well all of about 10 steps later I come to a gate … you got it… locko…. no way around as its steep hillside and I’d kill myself if I tried. No way over. They built this barricade properly.

Well, its back up the stairs and I’m standing on a resort road … I could go right.. thats downhill but away from where I need to be. I could go right. Thats UPHILL but towards my destination. In for a penny in for a pound right. So I start off up the hill and the road starts to turn back to the right, more to the right, more until I am finally headed back the direction I came. I happen upon a cleaning lady and try to ask her how to get out of this resort but all she can do is point me to reception.

That will do and down the hill I go RIGHT BACK TO WHERE I STARTED!!! ARGH! I pop into reception and ask them directions. The very nice young woman there says, we have taxi … why do I have to be so stubborn, I was told it was walkable, I’m going to walk it damnit… So I ask if it was walkable, she says 2km, not bad at all. She gives me directions to the exit of the resort (turns out this was 10 feet from that bench I sat down on remember?) and follow road around. She neglected to say … follow around MOUNTAIN. So you got it, its uphill we go. I swear I’m going to have calves the sice of volleyballs by the time I get home.

I’m getting buzzed by scooters and cars and you name it and I am in the middle of NOWHERE now but I know I’m headed the right direction just by dead reconing alone. So I continue. Do-rag on my head to keep the sun off (no I still don’t have a hat) and I’m actually feeling much stronger on this climb than the others.. who knows why, maybe my mental stubborness is helping here.

I finally make it to the top of the hill and then its all down to the village below. A relatively short stroll later I’m wandering through the village and hanging a left towards the beach and then I’m rollin’ up (completely soaked head to toe in sweat) to the H20 original divers sign on the sie of a building.

So I walk up, and say hi to the guy who was clearly an instructor and I was clearly interrupting his class but frankly I didn’t care at this point. I say, hey, I’m suposed to dive with Sophie (my friend from Egypt) today and I need to do some paperwork with Alis (whom I had been in communication with for weeks setting this up). Well the guy can’t find Alis but says she was right here a minute ago and to sit down at the bench next to the cafe next door. Of course it is at this time I notice the cafe is also a guest house and they have all kinds of laundry hanging in the back room. So I go to the grandmotherly lady at the front desk (no sweets for me in Thailand just smiles). And ask her if she does laundry service. She says “you want make laundry”… YES! I’ve made it. So we negotiate that she can have clothes done by 8pm same day. I empty out my backpack and then go sit down and text Alis about where I am.

She says “what are you looking at?” SHIT. I’m in the wrong spot I know it. Well it turns out they have TWO locations and the one I was supposed to be at was really a 10 minute walk down the beach from my hotel. No need to do the resort tango up and down hills and then around the mountain to grandmothers houswe. ARGH… I feel stupid.. I feel embarassed.. but then I see my friend Sophie (So for short) walking in the water from the boat and all is washed away. She gives me a HUGE grin, a wave and runs up and gives me a big hug. A friendly face is always so nice.

Well Alis shows up, I pay, sign my waivers and onto the boat and out to Sail Rock again we go. Today however I am diving with Sophie whom I know is an awesome guide and likes to go slow which is perfect for me trying to take pictures. And the viz today was much much much bettter than yesterday. I think I got some better pics today, but my vdieography still needs work as does my attention to shutter speed and focus as I’m finding some blurred pics and some motion artifacts. But I’m my worst critic. Here are the best of them:

After diving they drop me off at the beach and I meet Jan (from Denmark) walking from our group towards Santhiya and I ask him if he is staying there as well.. Yes he is. So I say, I sure hope there is an easier way back than scrambling around the rocks (becuase it is now high tide and well I don’t know how you could have done that). He sort of smirks and says oh yes, there is a path right there. Points striaght ahead and you can actually see stairs that lead AROUND the rocky headland. Its not even and up up up. Its 4 steps up.. and level path across and 4 steps down.. literally 2 minutes for what took me 15 earlier today.. Boy do I feel stupid agian. Oh well. I say goodbye to Jan as he is not diving the next day but on Friday, stop and grab a large beer from the bar and head up to moy room just in timem for the skies to open up with thunder and lightning.

The rest of the night was spent editing photos (I didn’t do a great job but not too bad), and then a lovely massman curry dinner with rice and a beer, back up the room and crash out for night.

More dives tomorrow which is a bonus, bcause they were supposed to be cancelled due to bad weather but because it came in early we’re clear to dive tomorrow.

4 Replies to “Finally Under The Sea (you know you want to sing it!)”

  1. Thank goodness for the laundry lady! That was my question too. Looking forward to more dive pictures. These videos have bubbles-I like!

  2. Do those schools of fish touch you when they swim by. Are there any elephants to ride here? Love the retro picture. Glad to hear you clothes came in!

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