Saturday, 12 January 2013

And the Speedboat Trip From Hell.......


WOW!!! Where do I begin? Maybe, possibly the fact that my family and I are still here to tell you this story.

January 02nd, 2013, will certainly be a day that will be etched in our memories forever.

After another week in paradise, we once again farewelled the tiny Island of Koh Lipe, vowing to return again next season and were ferried out by long tail boat to the pontoon to catch our speedboat transfer that would take us to Pak Bara Pier, for our next adventure.

Farewell paradise..xx

Looking back, It hadn't been a great start to the day, the weather was overcast and drizzly, my 4 year old nephew was still vomiting and recovering from his bout of 'The Christmas bug', that had now passed through his immediate family.....luckily our iron clad stomachs hadn't picked this up. Im not sure if the copious amounts of 'Coca-Cola', that this soft drink free nazi Mother force fed upon her children was what helped the situation, as I had recently read that drinking 'Coke' kills stomach bugs...It was definitely worth a shot!!! And my husband had already made a trip out to the pontoon by long tail boat as our luggage was Langkawi bound...DAMN, I could have done some serious shopping with our fabulous travel Insurance policy!!!

Okay, luggage sorted and eventually we all boarded the speedboat. Safety Mum insists on her children wearing life jackets (which my eldest children absolutely detest.."It's so embarrassing Mum... and we are like the only one's on the boat wearing them...and no one else has to"..just the typical whinging that I'm sure you parents can all relate to.

The beautiful Thai people always laugh at me as I dive for the nearest life jackets ( as not all speedboats carry enough or any lifejackets on board) as they think to themselves, who is this 'LOCO' woman???

Anyway, safety check complete and my 4 precious children were all clipped in and were about to depart for the next chapter of our 'Thai' adventure.

The last 2 days on Lipe had been very unusual for this time of the year, with rain, wind and quite a rough ocean, which we had never experienced before, It's always so very calm, we even had waves, crazy right??

The speedboat finally departed, with quite a rough start and for the first 30 seconds we were squealing with delight as the waves crashed into the cabin absolutely soaking us. My thrillseeker baby boy William was loving it, pretending that he was on a roller coaster and continuously giggling and saying "Mum, this is so much fun". Fearless, is possibly one way to describe him. Suddenly there was a sense of panic and terror in the air and the passengers were all screaming, crying and putting on their life jackets, making me look so sensible..HA!!! When you see a Thai put on a know you are in trouble, and It seemed that we were!!

The calm after the storm, the children feeling a little more relaxed...

With all of the pointing and terror toward the Island that we had just departed, we initially thought that we had a man overboard situation on our hands as the captain immediately turned back. We were wondering what was going on...a boat full of terrified Thai's, Swedes and us Aussies that could speak 3 thai words?

Feeling a little safer after an hour into the rough ride..xx

It was only an hour into the speedboat transfer that I could manage to get the camera out and take some shots as every time you moved you would be jolted out of your seat, hit your head on the seat in front of you or be sprayed with the ocean..xx

William and I , drenched water rats...xx

By this time everyone was terrified and the front of the boat had gone partially under and taken in a heap of water that was rushing down the aisle of the boat. The passengers thought that it was too rough to travel in these conditions, so a Thai girl translated in English that we were heading back to the Island due to safety concerns. By this stage my 11 year old daughter has started crying, thinking that we were going to die, and then Lucie started, this made me tear a little at what my baby dolls were feeling. My sister in Law (SIL) was crying, screaming and swearing in terror as were her 2 boys and my brother in law (BIL) was standing up trying to get off the boat, wanting to go back to the Island. All I was thinking was 'How am I going to untie those knots on the canopy with my flexi nails so that we could get out alive (whilst singing the 1963 rendition of 'The Beach Boy's ' classic hit 'Hawaii, Hawaii) straight to Hawaii ( Hawaii, Hawaii) or do you wanna come along with me?) I'm not sure where that came from? Maybe just the fact that It's a direct flight and no speedboat??

Isabella was beside herself at this point and I could see the Lipe Thai Royal Navy Base, trying to install a sense of calm..It clearly wasn't working as everybody on the speedboat was in sheer terror.

After the tears, we managed a smile for the camera..xx

So we arrive back at Lipe Island, and Im secretly thinking, you beauty...another night in paradise, but we will be sleeping on the beach as every resort on the Island is booked out, when suddenly the captain gets off the phone from his manager and lets the engine roar and we are taking off again?? What the hell is going on?

My husband is asking me for scissors or something sharp as the waves pound into the boat he is preparing for the worst, and trying to find something to cut through the canopy, but I have nothing!! Well, they say that great minds think alike.

For the next 40 minutes the passengers are in sheer terror crying, screaming and being drenched from the waves crashing into the speedboat, and I am watching my massage therapist "Nice' pronounced 'Nigh' crying, screaming and praying. Now this is a trip that 'Nice' would make very regularly as she returns to the mainland for a few days rest, and if she is looking panicked then I really felt that we were in grieve danger!

The captain worked so very hard during the first hour of our trip from hell keeping this boat above water, taking the boat out farther and as we hit each wave he would power down and turn diagonally so that we wouldn't impact the wave as hard and continue to stay afloat.

After 2 hours, which is normally a 1hour 20 minute transfer, we arrived safely at Pak Bara Pier, with everyone applauding and cheering the captain. We then boarded our private transfer that would take us to Railay Bay, feeling very relieved.

Glad to be on land after our little adventure @ sea, but not playing Mum's games of Kodak moment...xx

We stopped at a restaurant in Trang and celebrated this moment, phoning our parents back home, It was so nice to hear their voices, re telling stories and how we were feeling at the time. It is interesting to see how everyone reacts in a dangerous, life threatening situation. Me, admittedly being a control freak and being out of control of this situation stayed very calm ( for the sake of my children) and thinking exactly the same as my husband, how do we get off this speedboat alive once it goes down, where as my (SIL) said that she was absolutely terrified and just thinking we are going to die...and that was it.

Celebration lunch @ Trang..xx

Luckily, the gods were watching over us and we are fortunate to be here to tell our amazing survival story. We had planned on going out to 'The Hong Islands' from Krabi for a day trip, but it was all too fresh and we are all terrified to get in another speedboat.

This was a poster that I found on the wall @  the restaurant in Trang after we almost lost our lives in the Ocean, I'm not sure what I'm going to create....but I'm sure it will be something wonderful and it was very fitting..xx

How do you think you would react in a situation like this? Would you panic or do you think you would be a more logic thinker? We would love to hear your thoughts.....E  xx


  1. Oh what a journey!! I'm always first to grab the life jackets too and the Thais think we are strange. There's nothing like a boat ride in Thailand, my scary one was going over to Koh Phang Ngan for full moon! But it was a smaller ferry Speed boats are much scarier over there.

    You went to my two fave spots- Koh Lipe and Raileys! Paradise

  2. LOL!!! Hey Caz, Im glad Im not the only 'LOCO' Aussie diving on the lifejackets!! This ride was terrifying, Im pretty sure we won't do another speedboat in Thailand again!!! Koh Samui is looking in, fly out!!! That was our 4th trip to Koh Lipe in less than 2 years, we just adore it!!! Railay Bay was stunning, would go back in a heartbeat!!!! xxx