Tag Archives: snorkeling

Observe, Do Not Disturb

Have you ever wanted to hold a giant silky soft fish?

It goes against my training as a diver, “Observe, DO NOT Disturb”.

I knew it was wrong and just like my recent rebellious photography at St George’s church, I loved it anyway.

I do seem to be breaking the rules more in my old age.

Debra and Stingray

What’s worse for divers than touching a wild animal?

Feeding it!! (We did that too).

Southern stingrays LOVE squid.  They adore it.  They love it so much they will let two people hold them as long as they are in company with the squid bringers.

greg and debra

They love it so much they use a professional vacuum amount of force to suck it out of your hand.

I’ve never experienced anything quite like it.

Would you hold a squid under a vacuum cleaner if it was wild and free?

And in the 50 or 60 dives I’ve done over the years, I’ve only seen one southern stingray and a few spotted eagle rays.  Well, once I saw a school a devil rays and there were about 25 of them but I was snorkeling and I didn’t get to touch or feed them…

Today I saw, felt, touched or fed about 20.  And I need you to understand the ones we got pictures with were the SMALL ones.

They rubbed on my legs in greeting like a cat waiting for a can of tuna.

The biggest one even hip checked me, perhaps because he could.  Perhaps because he had a bit of a pre-squid feeding frenzy.

I was giddy for hours after.  In fact, I still feel a little in awe.

Greg and stingray

Move over monkeys, I have a new animal for the top 5….

P.S.  We only had 10 people with us because we asked our hotel owner to book us any day, any time, when the cruise ship people would not be there.  I’ve heard they take up to 200 people.  That would not be enjoyable.  I preferred our 2/1 stingray to people ratio.


Where I Spent My Birthday…

My family has been asking me about my birthday.   How was it?  Where were you?  What did you do?

I told them, “I was in Thailand, how could it have been bad?”

My mom said, “What’s so great about Thailand?”

That got me all excited and we had a long conversation about what IS so GREAT about Thailand. However, I could have just shown her this…these three amazing islands connected by sandbars that make three incredible beaches.view point Koh Nangyan, one of the most photographed places in Thailand. That is where I spent my birthday. That is, after the 2 hour scenic boat ride on this spectacular boat (no questions from Greg today about if this boat was sea worthy or not. He didn’t even raise an eyebrow when the captain asked everyone to come stand at the front of the boat because there was an extremely low tide and he needed weight at the front to be able to back up).todays transportationThen I went diving here, with my own dive master…(and yes, I could DEFINITELY handle living in one of those houses).I could handle living hereAnd saw loads of cool fish! Including this one, which my dive master spotted so we immediately swam the other direction.  Because he can shoot poison, and that would have ruined our day…striped trigger fishI also saw a school of 2000+ fusiliers (I’m NOT exaggerating). They were beautiful, even as 2000 separate fish, they functioned and moved as one. It was a amazing movement,  a dance or a symphony of fish!FusiliersMeanwhile, Greg snorkeled, with a break in his mask, but he said it has never fit better.greg snorkelingDerek and Mona snorkeled, got some sun on the beach and then hiked up to a viewpoint. This could be my dive boat coming back to the islands.could be my dive boatThen we all met for lunch. Afterwards, Derek, Mona and Greg left for a snorkeling trip. I went on another scuba adventure to Twin Rocks where I saw lots of shaded bat fish (really big ones) and lots of small sea slugs that look like giant nudibranch.sea slugAfter my second dive I went for a walk along the beach.beachThen met up with everyone for our 2 hour trip back to the beach at Koh Samui.the beach at Koh SamuiAfter showering, Derek and Mona treated me (and Greg) to a fabulous dinner.  It always feels a little weird to eat fish after I’ve been snorkeling or diving all day, but this fish tasted really good, so I quickly forgot my guilt!  Also pictured is our cashew nut chicken, basil chicken and massaman curry.cashew chicken and lemon chilli fish

basil chicken

massaman curry

birthday drinks

My birthday cake this year…one of my favorite desserts! No, I didn’t feel bad that there was a flower instead of 34 candles!my birthday cakeSo mom, “What is so special about Thailand?” Everything!