Back when I was a teacher we used to make a lot of Venn Diagrams to compare and contrast concepts, so I made one for you illustrating the long boat boarding procedures.
As you can see there are two ways to get on a long boat; you can walk out to the boat with your luggage on your back or you can take the tractor. The method one chooses depends mostly on one’s perception of what the cool thing to do is; do you throw on your pack, take off your flip flops, and wade through the mud or do you pull up your purse straps and roll your suitcase on to the tractor trailer.
I noticed as we were taking the tractor to the long boat to the ferry (a distance of about a hundred yards), that Tony and I were the two oldest travelers in the bunch (we have been throughout our trip) and I was happy to be at an age when I didn’t feel the need to get my feet dirty just because I might be perceived as a “tourist.”
One of the nice things about getting old is that one really doesn’t care what anyone else thinks anymore. I used to wonder (when I was in my forties), how bathing suit clad overweight women could be so comfortable and confident poolside with their cellulite riddled skin and jiggly appendages. Now I know.
Once on the ferry there are two more options; up top or down below. Kelly pointed out there was air conditioning down below so Tony, Kelly, and I headed downstairs. Kelly has had a full grasp on the merits of being “uncool” since she joined band at age 10 which is why both of her eyebrows are still intact. Ralphie and Kip joined a group of girls up top; stretched out on the deck with their suntans, flawless skin, and B cup bikini tops.
We had a nice view of the boys through a window from our bank of life jacket draped airline chairs down below. We shared the downstairs with a mom, her small daughter, and the ferry crew (this to me is an indication of where one wants to be – also note that the middle part of my Venn Diagram shows a group of hotel employees taking a tractor to their long boat and WEARING life jackets – I say when in Thailand do as the locals do).
About midway between Railay Beach and Koh Phi Phi, pronounced go pee pee, (about an hours journey), the waves were enormous. From our dry, air conditioned, and very cool seats we watched the passengers outside pounded nonstop by the force of the water as the boat slammed repeatedly into the waves. And then one by one we watched the pretty group throw up (or puke as one of our Thai crew referred to it from down below). After being sprayed by a young blonde’s vomit, Ralphie disappeared from view. Tony was worried, but I reassured him that Kip would let someone know if Ralphie had been thrown overboard.
As we disembarked, Tony said, “I think that may have been worse than leeches” and I wondered to myself if there was an airport on Koh Phi Phi.