in Koh Lipe, Thailand

The story actually starts the previous day. We were just bobbing in the waves during the afternoon when I overturned a rather large rock in the water. I didn't think much of it, but about 5 seconds afterward a very long slender needlefish went skipping about the surface of the water, coming inches from my body and really giving me a startle!

I shouted in surprise and two Dutch ladies near us became alert and asked if I was ok. I said yeah a pretty big snake or fish just scared me, but I think I scared him first. We spotted it, confirmed it was a fish, and everyone agreed it was large enough to warrant my reaction 😅 we talked to them for a moment but then went about our business.

Cut to the next day, Karin and I went for our last breakfast at a swanky spot on the walking street that is always packed. People have to share tables unless it's a big group. So we sat down next to someone with empty seats and it was the same Dutch woman, Mirte, from the day before, but this time she was alone. She recognized us and we got to talking.

Her friend left on the morning ferry and she was having a "downtime day" before going diving the next two days. We asker her if she wanted our snorkel masks since we're flying to Myanmar and don't really anticipate needing them for the rest of our travels. She said sure, picked one of the two, and then asked if we wanted to use them one last time.

Karin was happy to sun herself on the beach but I joined her snorkeling. You can see Koh Kra, a tiny island from the Sunrise beach, and it looks like a fantastic snorkel spot, so we set our sights on it and swam out. Mirthe was equipped with a GoPro so luckily we got some photos of this dive!

Once we made it we were rewarded with an exclusive view of Koh Lipe made even more sweet by the timing of our swim. The sun was directly overhead and lit up the ocean just perfect! We walked around the two tiny (I mean tiny) beaches on this island and decided which spot was prime for more snorkeling.

I wasn't so hot on the idea, but Mirte wanted to swim around the whole island. But we'd come so far already I swallowed my concern and we dove back in. This island, not bothered by more than 10 people per day, was absolute prime snorkeling water! We saw beautiful, scary, lovely sea life in the water:

We saw much more than these photos show (it always seems to work that way when you're diving). I saw my first large jellyfish and was glad that the current was not bringing them towards us when I spotted them.

We also saw a pretty significant feeding rock, where a group little fish feed on the algae on the rock, a group of bigger fish feed on the little fish, and ultimately sharks come and feed on the bigger fish!

Once we were safely around the island, I admitted my initial unease at the idea, but was very glad to have made it around the island. She admitted she'd also been wary during the swim, because the feeding rock reminded her of previous scuba dives where she saw sharks. I was glad we didn't run into any while doing a completely unsupervised swim!

Finally it was time to head back to shore so Karin and I could check in at immigration and take our ferry back to Langkawi. When we got back to shore we shared our tale with Karin and she said she had happily soaked in the sun the whole time.

What a great way to end our time on Koh Lipe!