Thursday, March 29, 2007

honeymoon tales: running aground

It was our last day at Ko Yao Noi and I fell on my ass trying to carry my pink suitcase out to the boat. Jim made fun of me because I liked to wave at all the passing boats. About 200 yards before hitting Bang Rong Pier, I waved to passing fishermen in a long-tail. One hundred yards from the pier, our ship ran aground. It was low tide. Our captain tried to loosen the ship, but nothing was happening.

It seemed like all was lost. We wouldn't make it to the pier and our driver would probably leave. We'd miss our flight to Hong Kong. Then the passing fishermen who I waved to earlier came floating up. Our captain exchanged a few words with them, then he was gesturing for us to get out of his boat, and onto their boat. Did I mention that their long-tail was still full of the morning's catch?

No matter, the pier was just in sight, only 100 yards away. Jim and I squatted on a board, inches above a pile of prawn and still-flopping fish. My Hello Kitty suitcase sat up front, a big pink beacon that yelled, "Silly tourist approaching!" Jim didn't seem to be enjoying the rescue, I didn't know until after our adventure that he was worried about me freaking out. Did I mention that I get creeped out by live fish?

Minutes later as we approached the pier, I heard the sound of a long-tail motor roaring to life. I turned to see the captain had managed to work his boat free. We waved goodbye as he headed back towards Ko Yao Noi. I turned to face the pier and my face connected with the bow of a docked long-tail boat. I tried to keep my balance, keep my footing on the bench I had been squatting on, but I fell back and avoided stepping on their catch by inches. I stood up, fighting through the dizzyness, eager to get off the boat.

Hands were offered and with my free hand, I grabbed on for dear life and hoisted myself off the boat. In front of me was a foot-wide expanse between the pier and whatever rickety wood thing I had been standing on. Holding on to my pink luggage, hoping to not lose a shoe, I closed my eyes and jumped. I made it to the other side, where a crowd of bored locals sat drinking and watching the two tourists who had to be fished out of their long-tail.

Within minutes, our driver arrived. "Have you been waiting long?"

"No, we just got here."

We sat in the back of the car, relieved to be underway, glad that we had a little adventure and not one that disrupted our itinerary. Then I saw it - a monkey, perched on a car parked at the entrance to the pier. No, two monkeys, wait, three. And they were posing, like the "see no evil, hear no evil and speak no evil" monkeys. I can't wait to return to Thailand.

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