An adventure on a fishing boat to Koh rok. A 2 1/2 hour boat ride in choppy sea conditions.
There were 20 tourists on this little boat and the waves were quite big. The first stop was koh rok snorkeling point where we were given an hour to snorkel before lunch. The sea looked rough and the current seemed strong. I didnt fancy going in but I thought I’d rather be in the water than on a rolling boat. I jumped in and swam towards the shore with my mask and snorkel. There were a lot of fish and some damaged corals but the visibilty wasnt that great from the churning waters that kicked up a lot of sediments. I used to dive a lot decades ago but I stopped cos looking at damaged corals upset me. Earlier on the boat I gave a polish couple a lecture about swimming with fins near the corals because the fins will break off corals and people have a tendency to step on them when wearing fins. A lecture which should have been given by the boatman. One cannot expect tourists to know how to treat corals if they have never been taught. Corals are fragile living things not rocks.
As I neared the shore I decided to turn back to the boat. I had had enough of snorkeling. I took off my mask and started swimming back to the boat. It was quite a track and im a strong swimmer. About 50m before I reached the boat I heard a cry for help. The polish lady was in trouble. I hesitated. I was tired. I discovered something about myself today. I didnt want to be the hero to save her. I scanned the waters and there were 2 people with life jackets nearer to her than I was. I hoped they would turn to help her. They were oblivious. I looked at the boat and saw the boatman finally noticed the polish woman. They started to get ready to jump in to get her but they were further away than I was to her. I had no choice. I swam to her whilst shouting stay calm. I am coming to you. I did my life saving course almost 30 years ago and I have never had to use it until today. I turned her on her back and I secured her under the arm across her chest. Relax. I have you. I swam with all my life towards the boat. She stayed calm and relaxed. Im not sure how long i swam with her but i was exhausted. My mistake was I changed my grip on her and she panicked. She grabbed my throat and started pushing me down. I had to release her grip whilst fighting to stay afloat in the rough sea but I managed to. Got her back into official tow position. At that moment. I could see the boat man was about 3 metres from me. Only a few strokes away. I swam as fast as I could towards them. Made sure they had a hold on her and released my grip. I caught my breath and swam back to the boat. I struggled. I was shaken. I did what I do best. I curled into my corner and stayed there. Not too long after she reached the boat with the boatman. She looked pale but relieved. She went to squat next to the railings and hurled over the edge of the boat. I felt sorry for her. Where was her husband. He was nowhere around. Oblivious to the saga. He appeared later without much care nor concern about her.
The boatman came to thank me. He said I am strong. Second thing I learnt about myself. Yes I am. I am strong and I am a survivor. Am I lazy? Yes absolutely but when push comes to shove I will buckle up like a soldier and march on.
With this thought, I went to sleep until lunch time.
The rest of the day was uneventful. Life went back to normal on my island paradise. …