Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Living in a Dream

What with one thing and another, I've completely forgotten about updating with news.  Diving has kept me very busy and I'm loving the schedule: 

7:15 - show up at the shop
8:15 - get on the boat with guests
10-11ish - 1st dive
12 - lunch
1:30 - 2nd dive
3 - pack equipment and head home
5 - shower and take a quick nap
Dinner, drinks, and friends - then off to bed to rest up before another night!

Here are some miscellaneous photos from the last few weeks! I've been terrible at documenting things, so they are sparse and random.

Sophie, the sweetest dog ever! She's at Wetzone with Kee.

Sodas piled on a truck. Only in Thailand.

View from Donald Duck Bay :)
Germans really love their speedos. So do Russians. And Italians. And French. And Spanish. Actually, everywhere but Australia and the US loves speedos. This is both funny and scary. I don't think I'll ever get used to it, but I'm learning to contain my snickering and stop outwardly laughing. I'm not perfect, but I'm trying...
Germans tanning in speedos. 
 I've been hanging out a lot with Ploy and Tuk who work at Wicked. Ploy works in the shop and reads a lot of fashion magazines (hence the "Blue Steel" look in the photo), and Tuk is one of the instructors. They live in the Seaweed Bungalows with me and it's a hoot and a half!
Aon, Ploy, me and Sao hanging out. Ploy is has the most amazing poses.
 As always, I'm eating everything and loving it! The food here is really spectacular and I wish I could eat 10 meals a day. I never get sick of it. This is chicken and cashew with rice & fried egg. It's so funny how I've become totally indiscriminate in what I eat. I used to stay away from the runny eggs and water served in pitchers, but now I don't even care. And I'm still healthy! (knock on wood)

Also, I have a gnarly burn on my leg from the exhaust pipe of a motorbike. It's called the "Khao Lak" tattoo and everyone has one, so I guess I'm just a follower on this fashion trend.  I wish I'd gotten it from a bike like this one, but sadly it was from a puny little scooter. Shhhh.
Mom, this would be a fun bike :)

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Dive. Eat. Sleep. Repeat.

I've had one day off since I started divemastering on December 27th. I took that one day off so I could interview with a group in the Philippines to potentially help with coral monitoring and education for ~6 months. Is this real life!?
Sunrise at Richelieu Rock
Sunset at Torinla Island, Surins

I've been working for 4 companies and each one has its own special niche. One is great for day trips to the Similan Islands and includes a tasty breakfast on a liveaboard. One is great for quick trips and has a no-nonsense policy that keeps the day trips short and sweet.  Another has a leisurely trip out with lots of time for sunning and reading. And Wicked Diving has the liveaboard, which I was able to join as a divemaster and get paid for 9 dives in 3 days! WOWIE!

Here are some pics from one of the shops:
Jonas (of Switzerland) with the tanks and the truck at the pier
Kee (of Thailand) and Micha (of Germany) grabbing Coca Cola bottles from the boat

Mojo the dog, guarding the ATV outside the shop
Wetcat, the dive catamaran we use
And don't worry, I'm leaving a little time for fun on land as well! The Wicked staff is still my closest group of after-work friends, but all the shops have fun people with BBQs and drinks after a hard day's work.

Pizza at Amici's, with some very decent red wine! What a treat :)

I think there's a little something on your face? Oh yeah, you got it.
Now I'm on the Wicked liveaboard for another 3 day adventure. I'll be snorkeling and diving, so hopefully won't get quite so tired! But as the saying goes: Dive. Eat. Sleep. Repeat. I'll manage somehow :)

Friday, January 4, 2013

Happy New Year! And On to New Adventures

HAPPY NEW YEARS!! I've worked the last 6 days straight and am about to leave on another 3-day trip to the Surin Islands, so I've been a bit slow in wishing you all a happy new year.  2012 was incredible and I'm so excited to see what 2013 will bring! My first day of the new year involved a catamaran ride to the Similan Islands and a day in the sun snorkeling; the last 3 days have been in the Surin Islands as well. GORGEOUS! 
The view from my tent. What a tropical paradise!
The Mokan people are the only inhabitants of the Surin Islands where they built stilt houses after the tsunami in 2004. They used to live only on boats and are known as the "sea gypsies," and now their permanent settlement shows their way of life in boat building and palm weaving.  I escorted 2 families and one honeymooning couple around for 3 days and had a lovely time; they were very open to new experiences and food, and they were very enthusiastic.  Overall, it's been a FABULOUS 2013 thus far and I can't believe this is my job!

Mokan women selling weavings
Mokan totems

Stilt houses (they have solar panels!)

Boat building

Kitty cat

There are some impressive mangroves right by the tents and we hiked through them during high tide, when baby black tip reef sharks come in to hunt. The sharks are adorable and look like little wind-up sea creatures. Amazing!


The view from my tent at dawn during low tide
I hope you enjoy the photos - I definitely pinch myself and wonder how I'm getting paid (granted, not much... but still) to show people how beautiful Thailand can be.  Come visit! You'll love it :) I certainly am!