Location: Bangkok, Thailand
Hello! Our last blog entry. I can't believe 2 months are over, it's just gone by so fast. We're in Bangkok now, killing time until our first flight tomorrow. So seems like we had seen our first turtle.. now we have seen 2! The second was when we were diving from the speedboat, we went to an unofficial dive site and decided to look for the Tuk Tuk wreck. But before we found it, we came across a massive turtle. The guy we were diving with, Dan, said it's the biggest he's seen. Ed's camera ran out of battery just as we reached it, but I got tons of footage on mine and I nicely agreed to share it with Ed (he also lent me a close up trigger shot.) Oh, Ed got triggered! Another important event to write about. We were diving at Southwest Pinnacle, and he got it all on camera. Our final movies we made ourselves we have on DVD, so we can show you all when we get home.
So over the last 10 days we were doing a lot of diving, there were only a few days where we couldn't dive. Just your average Koh Tao lifestyle really.. if we were diving in the morning we'd go down to Crystal for 7, be back at about 12, go to Zest for lunch, spend the afternoon editing, go down to the bar at night, maybe play some pool, watch some Open Water videos, go somewhere cheap for dinner. If we were diving in the afternoon we'd go to Cappucino for breakfast, buy a chocolate croissant from Zest, edit until about 12, go down to Crystal, dive til about 5, watch the days footage, eat, watch some movies etc. Not bad really! Had a pretty good night out at the Lotus. Ed left early but I stayed with some people we met, after the Lotus closed we went down to the beach to another bar where they had flaming hoops, flaming limbo etc, and many drunk people throwing themselves through/under, into the sea. It was quite painful to watch actually, some people get nasty burns. So we finished our final movies and on Sunday night they were shown at the bar. Mine was shown first when there weren't that many people around (thank god) but there was another snorkel test on that night in which a few people we knew were taking part, so Ed's was shown after that. It was a good night, had a few Sangsom and cokes, chatted with our fellow videographers. It was a good way to spend the last night. We also had our last ice cream from Jams, which has amazing ice cream! How I will miss it. We had our last 2 dives yesterday morning, shadowing the videographers. I got narked at Chumphon! When you go to deep dive sites sometimes you get a whole lot of nitrogen in your system and it makes you act a bit deluded.. it's not harmful though, actually it's quite fun. I had been at the bottom for a while (about 30m) and kicked off pretty quickly, the whole sea started spinning this way and that around me, felt like I was a bit drunk. It was sweet. We had a few fun dives the day before, which weren't very fun for me because I had shitty leaky masks. And we finally got our free things.. a compass, underwater writing slate, dry bag, and a safety sausage.. about an hour before we left to catch our boat to Chumphon. A very useful time to be given them. We also got our free tshirts, which we will wear with pride.
There's nothing else I can think to write about. I'm seriously gutted to be leaving Koh Tao. The good thing about it is that my legs will heal from all the mosquito bites. I've got a few nasty ones that look like they might turn infected. I don't know if we've ever written this but one of our friends had to go to Samui for surgery twice on an infected bite, so I'm hoping they're ok. I'm definitely going to go back, might do a videographer internship.
So guys, I hope you've all enjoyed reading our blog! There's so many little stories and things we've probably missed out but you'll hear all about it when we get home. See you all sooooon!
heyo! Ed here. Interesting few days. We've now swam with and filmed several bullsharks. We also saw an amazingly cool turtle, but unfortunately that was on a fun dive (no camera). We spotted him in a cave, and as if to say hello he popped out and gracefully swam up to the surface for air. We didn't follow him after that, but we signaled to the other divers there was a turtle about but I don't think anyone else spotted him. We've been diving in the mornings most days now, at Chumpon pinnacle dive site. It's probably the best place. It goes down to 30 metres and it's where
all the sharks hang out. They're usually right at the bottom so you tend to have to film them from above (not the best angle), because you have to start at the lowest point and ascend slowly throughout the dive (it's not a good idea to be hovering up and down). The sharks almost didn't seem real when we first saw them. I had to skip the last dive because we both had what we suspect was food poisoning from the cheapest restaurant in town. It is kinda suspicious how they bring the food so quickly as well. Anyway Caz started being sick a lot sooner than I did, and therefore recovered before me and was able to dive the next day, so now she's ahead of me.
Ok about 10 days to go so we'll see everybody soon. Diving every day from now on, and working hard on our video (we'll
probably just have time to finish one goodun').
Location: Editing Suite, Koh Tao, Thailand
Hello, quick update while I have free internet. I did write a nice long blog a few days ago buuuut obviously the computer decided to crash and I didn't post it in time. Basically we hadn't been diving for 3 days because I tore a ligament or something around my chest, and I had pain breathing and stuff. I went to various clinics, people listened to my breathing, and in the end it was decided my lungs are fine but there was defo some kinda problem. They also discovered I had a fever from dehydration. So I was given oral rehydration sachets, yum, and some pills for my thing. Good news now, all is fine, and Ed's red eyes have cleared up too, the sea water seems to magically cure them! We dived a few days ago and got some better footage, the next day we couldn't dive because our videographer instructor had to do some filming (lots of open water dive groups to film), we dived again yesterday with a different videographer, and got some even better footage. We just keep improving. Ed got some good shots of a trigger fish (google image it) and I got a good shot of a barracuda, and some other lovely fishes. No diving again today as there are even more open water dive groups to film, so we're up early in the editing suite looking over yesterday's stuff and messing around with the editing programme. Today will probably be another lazy day at the beach, weather permitting. The past few days have been really heavy rain, although it has been improving. It's not right I tell you. I've been getting through a lot of books, so if anyone has any suggestions then please tell me. Not an awful lot more to tell. We're in our last 2 and a half weeks now. I'm not sure how I feel about leaving yet, I'll let you know closer to the time.
PS. Yes. We do get mangos here.
Quick update, im afraid it wont be as massive as caroline's blog essays. I've started budgeting, so I'm spending less and less each day. We can't cook for ourselves because there's no kitchens, or indeed much food in the supermarkets to cook. So we end up eating out for breakfast lunch, dinner, ice cream, crepe and shake (all the essential meals of the day), which ends up costing quite a bit.
Anyhoo, we've just started the videographer course today. We went around the island shooting stuff like waves and puppies and pineapples and motorbikes, and then we had a go at the expensive video editing software (expensive in britain, just a few pounds in the bangkok black market). That reminds me of this joke I used to find funny: why was the photographer arrested? Because he went round shooting things and blowing them up. hoho. Tomorrow we go for the first 2 dives (total of 28 for the course), where we make sure we can keep our buoyancy with cameras in hand, and then film film film. They said we'd be sure to see sharks, snakes and turtles at some point in the course. Apparently some guy saw 15 sharks on his last dive. Thats what im talking about. But they also said he hopped on a turtle and rode it around, so believe what you will. Oh yeah, at the end of the course we have to either make a video for a group of open water divers (the first qualification), or make a general video around 25 mins or more to be shown to many peoples. Sounds like a good challenge.
By the way we're officially at the half way point of our trip. We're hesitating whether to go to the full moon party in a couple days because we're quite tired from and of traveling, but we gotta make the decision pretty soon.
Please somebody record arsenal for me.
Location: Koh Tao, Thailand
Home in Koh Tao now, to the comforts of being harrassed by men with taxis and walking up a huge hill followed by a flight of stairs to get to our rooms. It feels good to be back, it's been a pretty weary week. Ed last wrote in Krabi I think, so the bus eventually arrived to take us to the pier, where we caught the boat to Koh Phi Phi, arriving at 5pm or something. We found a guy standing with a sign behind his back, it turned out to be for our hotel, of course, Tropical Gardens. So we waited for some other people to arrive, and then this guy put the luggage in a trolley thing and dragged up to the hotel, which was a bit of a walk. Koh Phi Phi is similar to Koh Tao, except there are no roads for cars, so there's many bikes instead. It's a lot busier too, better restaurants, more bars etc. Phi Phi was one of the islands hit by the tsunami in 2004, seems to have recovered well. Our hotel was nice, a little wooden bungalow up quite high, niceish view. Walls were pretty thin, could hear everyone elses conversations, but we were only there for one night anyway. Quite expensive too. Dumped our stuff, went for dinner.. the place we ate at was right next to a massage parlour, where two Thai woman sat, and one of them would call out to anyone who passed in a strangely hypnotic voice.. hellooo.. how ah yoooo? sexy ladeeeee.. sexy boooy.. sexy man... yoo want massage todaaaay? they didn't seem to get any customers, I wonder why. We then wandered around for a bit, were handed a leaflet for a bar called the Rolling Stoned, where a live rock band were playing, so we went along there, and Ed found some friends to play pool with. The band were really good, stayed til about midnight then back to hotel. The next day we checked out at 11am. The night before we'd booked this camping tour at Maya Bay, where The Beach was filmed, which looked really good. So we waited until about 4pm, when the boat came and took us and about 30 others to the other island of Phi Phi. We stopped at a place called Viking Bay just outside Maya to snorkel, seems pretty tame now compared to diving! Didn't see any sharks as we were told we might, so just had a swim about for 20 mins with the fishes. Jumped back on the boat and into Maya Bay. The big boats can't go right in because it's so shallow, so from there we had the option to swim in or get the longtail boat in. Ed and I and a few others chose to swim in, but most wussed out and got the longtail. It looked pretty close from the boat but it was FAR. I was pretty exhausted, it took a long time. By the time I reached the shore everyone else was setting up their tents. Apparently, during the day you can't even see the beach coz there's so many people, but as we arrived everyone else was leaving, so we had the whole beach to ourselves! It was really amazing, it's so beautiful. After we set up our tent we explored the island a little, behind the beach is massive jungle so didn't go too far. Dinner was served as it got dark, what we were told was snake and figured out was actually chicken, rice, veg. We sat down on this massive mat on the beach with a light in the middle and everyone formed their own little circle, we made friends with a couple from London and 3 girls from somewhere else. It was a really great night, we got a free bucket of sangsom Thai whiskey (80%!) and coke, then Ed and I shared a vodka and pineapple bucket, good times. Twas a good laugh. There were a ton of things on the ad that we didn't do, but no matter. The tour leader was a German girl called Britta who sat with the Thai people and got stoned, after a while, she came over to join us and play a drinking game which involved a cup, loo roll, a cigarette and a coin. This other hilarious Thai guy showed us a magic trick, was pretty cool. Eventually we retired to the tent, and then realised we had pitched it on a hill. Great. Had a decent nights sleep anyway, I woke up during the night coz the sea sounded really rough, I thought we were gona get dragged away, so opened the tent to peek out, all was safe. The next morning we had breakfast, put away the tent and enjoyed the morning sunshine before setting off about 9, by that time others had already began to arrive. So all in all it was a very good night. The trip back to Tao was long and uninteresting, so I won't write about it. We got the overnight boat from Suratthani, not nice, 100 people crammed in like sardines. Got home about 7am, to Zest for breakfast coz Blue Wave weren't open to give us our keys, then back to bed at 8am. Lovely!
Been mooching about the past few days, went to Sairee last night. I'm getting bored of doing nothing. Hoping to start videographer course the day after tomorrow. This would have been a better entry but I'm not really enjoying writing it, duno why. Hopefully next time will be better.
Thank You May.
Robbie and I have been playing pool non-stop in Bangkok, betting with the local Thai men 100 baht a game. At the end I'm only 100 baht down, but Robbie was several 100s down because he foolishly started upping the stakes. Between Robbie and I it was 6-6. We kept saying 'this is the decider', and then we'd play one more and itd be even. Meanwhile, Caz was very bored. On our last night, Caz and I went to see this decent rock-cover band who seemed to like Guns N Roses. The singer was funny looking. Before we left Caz bought a new bag and a Koh San Road t-shirt, and I bought a TinTin in Bangkok t-shirt.
du du du du du
sorry these thai guys are playing a game next to me in the cafe, it looks to be indiana jones cracking his whip and sea urchins on the beach. Catchy tune.
ok anyway, so we then got the overnight train to Surat Tani (forget how to spell that), and then a cheap bumpy bus to Krabi. We're now waiting for the boat to Koh Phi Phi. Can't wait to get back to the islands!
p.s. check out photo land 3
Location: in the livingroom, UK
May here -
Had a bit of trouble around 4oclock, my dad came back from sainsburys with quite a lot of frozen food, but most of the frozen food from the previous shopping didn't get eaten, and we don't have a very big freezer. Anyway, after trying to squeeze in 2 boxes of pizzas and a bag of peas continuously, I realised it just wasn't going to happen, so i removed them and then all kinds of packaged meats fell out, it was horrible, really, like some kind of horror movie. One piece of flesh looked like a loin. Anyway I managed to sort it out by deciding to take some ice cream out and have a bit, luckily, to my shock, my father wanted some too. Remembering the phrase 'last one there is a rotten egg', i jogged into the livingroom with my icecream leaving behind the trauma and stress of the freezer. I never looked back.
You can still see to this day, my father on his hands and knees by the freezer, scraping out the ice, wishing he'd never had that scoop of delicious vanilla icecream.
All for now.