I am a little over a week away from heading back your way. I look forward to hugging all the little kiddos and inspiring people in my life. All that said I am still having a marvelous time here in the heat of Thailand. It is so hot here that at times I have the impression of melting. Picture the wicked witch of the west melting to the floor and that is me.
Jay's friends Tim and Ian are adventurers of the sea. They have kayaks called Feather crafts that can come apart and fold into a bag, special hammocks with mosquito nets and cooking gear. With their little possessions and floating devices they have been paddling the west coast of Thailand stopping in small villages and exploring the country from a different vantage point. They are now here on Koh Phayam staying at Tonson Resort, some bungalows down the way from our Big Tree resort. For the last few nights we have been sitting back listening to their tails of sea kayaking and enamored with their experience.
This inspired us to rent kayaks of our own and venture into the wild blue waters of the Andamin Sea. Tim showed us how to put our spray skirts on and gave us pointers as to what to look out for and how to navigate our craft.
Me getting into my spray skirt
Tim helping JayWe paddled together Tim, Ian, Jay and I for about 6km then Tim and Ian continued on their way to Koh Chang a nearby island about 30km away. We inched our way towards Buffalo Bay to have lunch. We watched them paddle away with great admiration. They seemed to be one with their sea craft, paddling with great ease and effortlessness. The sea was calm, the sky was mostly clear and it was smooth sailing. We stopped at Mr. Gao's for lunch which consisted of a cheese sandwich for Jay and Tom Kah soup for me. I love Thai food and can't get enough. Often I stare at the menu and find myself in confusion as to what to order as I want it all! Last night I had " Lap Gai" which is minced chicken with a mixture of spices and so delicious and so spicey which I love. I love eating spicy food and that feeling of my endorphins kicking in with the sensations in my mouth. Yum!
We had lunch and left the restaurant around 12:30 in sync with the falling tide. We were all about making things working for us. Our kayaks are beautifully handmade of wood in Songklabury a province north of Bangkok. The deep dark wood is beautiful and eye catching. They are a conversation piece for sure. Back in our kayaks we began the 8 km journey back to Big Tree on Aow Yai beach. The sky had lost it's bright blue hues and was slowly being replaced with light gray clouds, the water was choppier and from behind us we could hear thunder and wherever there is thunder there is lightning. Since I was a child growing up on lake Nosbonsing I have been told to stay away from water when there is lightning. A little knot of concern began to form. We paddled out of the bay and the thunder increased. I looked back to speak to Jay and my eyes grew bigger with surprise. On our way to Buffalo Bay we could see the island of Koh Chang but now visibility was nil and in it's place was a grey dark wall of doom and rain was surely responsible. The urgency to paddle faster took over. The waters were choppy so I had to put mind over matter and paddle with strength and determination. Every time my left paddle pushed it's way through the water I chanted Sat and when the right paddle pushed through I chanted Nam. Sat Nam means truth is my essence and we use it in Kundalini yoga to increase the meditative mind, go deeper into meditation and find our point of dishtri (point of focus). Thunder drew closer and I paddled faster. It was a race between us and her. The shore line was decorated with lime stone cliffs, jungle and small little inlets Every breath taking was lost on this frantic paddler. The ocean is powerful, unpredictable and I am inexperienced in what it is capable of.
We paddled and stayed close together well at least I tried to stay close to Jay. For some reason my kayak kept veering to the right which pointed me towards the middle of the sea in other words the great unknown. It took a lot of effort the paddle through the choppy waves and head wind. We could see rain clouds hovering over the island showering down it's wet pebbles. We felt grateful that it seemed to be passing by us but then the wind shifted and things changed. The clouds came our way, the rain pounding around us, splashing into the dancing water. I then found my fear of lightning. My arms were tired and there was still 3 km to go. At times my kayak rode some waves going in and within my fear I found a little pleasure. Finally our efforts brought us closer to shore. I felt so grateful for the last wave that landed me smoothly and safely into shore.
Once we were safe and sound and under cover I took a great big breath of relief. For the rest of the night I felt so alive and invigorated and needless to say my arms felt as though they could fall off. Today we are meeting Tim and Ian for our skills lessons. Stay tuned. Much love and happiness, Annie :)