After fueling up on Carnation Instant Breakfast with water (kindly provided by the Canadian contingent), we threw our packs into a longboat and motored toward Koh Phi Phi Leh at the early hour of 8am. The hope was to arrive at Maya Bay before an armada of tourist speedboats. The water was just rough enough to make the journey fun.
Our approach to the bay lead us along sheer vertical limestone walls. The anchor was thrown ashore, we hopped off, and had ” the beach”? to ourselves. It was smaller than I expected, and there didn't seem to be any tall coconut palms curving out and over the sand. Despite my distorted expectations based on movie magic, Maya Bay was gorgeous. The sand was fine and white, the view out over the water amazing.
I walked off the beach on a little sandy path, and ran into a guy who had camped overnight. Apparently all the tour agencies offer it with drop off at 4pm and pick-up the next morning around 10am. I made a mental note to consider coming back in a few days to spend the night. The boatmen and girls wanted to head off again, so I took a quick swim, and we left as more boats started appearing.
The first snorkel stop was rough. I wasn't paying attention to the current, and after a few minutes in the water, I was 10-20 meters from the longboat. There was only one pair of flippers available, and I didn't have them, so my attempts to swim back were in vain. My preoccupation with not drowning meant I wasn't having much fun snorkeling. It was a short stop though, so I waved to the boat to pick me up and we continued our island tour by visiting a secluded bay enclosed in limestone walls.
We took a few leaps from the boat and swam around the turquoise waters. The second and final snorkel stop featured calmer waters and lots of little fishies.
I was a lucky guy to be sharing paradise with Josie and Katharine.