Stormy Boat Ride to Koh Tao

We arrived in Thailand after a bad storm, which flooded quite a bit of the country. We went island hopping from Koh Samui to Koh Phagnan to Koh Tao, each time on a large ferry catamaran. The first two journeys were smooth, but the storm picked up the day we left for Koh Tao and the seas were rough. There was rumor that they would cancel the ferries for a few days (And they did AFTER our trip). We sat on the top deck and about 10 minutes into the trip, we were hitting gigantic swells. To cope, our friends did different things. One friend put music on, closed her eyes and sniffed hand sanitizer to avoid feeling sea-sick. Another friend talked incessantly to new friends we had met on the first ferry ride. At first, I tried to join the conversation, then I tried to watch the horizon, but that wasn’t good when it would disappear below us or jump up as we plunged into a wave. Also, people were starting to line the side of the boat, puking over the side. I saw one person vomit into the wind, and get puke on someone else. So looking up was just reminding me how sick I felt and I just got quiet, stared hard at the speckled deck of the boat and sang softly to myself. After about an hour, the swells got bigger and it started to rain. We didn’t want to go inside because we knew it would be worse in the hull, and I saw a few people fall while trying to maneuver around the boat, so I stayed put. There were times when we would drop 30 feet, and the engine would stop. At this point, I determined that the boat was definitely going to sink. I mentally prepared myself for what that meant – freezing cold water, losing my backpack and personal items to the bottom of the Gulf of Thailand, but hopefully we would be rescued soon.

Finally, we pulled into port, and it was time to unload. As we descended inside, the smell of damp air and vomit filled the cabin. We knew we had made the right decision to stay up top. We held our breath as we merged with the crowd to get our bags and deboard. Outside, the streets were flooded up to our knees in some areas and our sea legs were wobbly under the weight of our soaked backpacks. But we were happy to wade through on solid ground. I think it took us a good half a day to dry out. The next day, the rain continued to flood the streets, so there wasn’t anything that we could do or see (we couldn’t take advantage of the world famous snorkeling of Koh Tao), so we just had a spa day, getting back to back $5 massages and drinking tea.