|BEFORE THE STORM|
We were in holiday in Phuket, Thailand (2016) and had arranged to spend 3 nights in one of our favorite places the beautiful Island of Phi Phi. We always go to the other side of the Island where it is quiet and away from the hustle and bustle of the main central area.
This time we treated ourselves to a speed boat ride instead of the ferry. It would take us right to our hotel. We were looking forward to the experience.
To be honest it was a bit of a disappointment, it was a large speedboat which held about 20 people and with the spray we hardly saw anything. It was pretty comfortable and the trips was about an hour and a quarter.
The stay was fabulous and I will tell you about it in another day. On the return journey we were delighted to see that the speedboat was quite small and would take only about a maximum of 10 people. This was more like it.
Shellhunter was advised to sit at the back with baby Ripley and I joined her as they said it may be bumpy.
It started quite smoothly but as soon as we got out of the bay it 'started.'
We were thrown up and down and side to side and every so often the boat slammed down on a wave so hard we all jumped up from our seats. Everyone screamed and laughed nervously at first, but that soon stopped. I was terrified that myself and Shellhuntet who was holding Ripley would be shot out the back of the boat and never seen again. There was nothing to hold onto. I did manage to stretch and got hold of something that moved but was secure. I did not dare move from my position and it took me 40 minutes to have the courage to turn as my shoulder was aching. Poor Shellhunter was grey and clung to Ripley for grim death.
It was sheer hell and it just did not stop. I would describe it as the worst roller coaster ride you could imagine but it just contined going. This was just after 5 minutes. There was possibly another 1 hour and 10 minutes to go. I did not know how we were going to survive it.
Next to me on the right was a young girl with her head on her partner's lap. Her eyes were closed and she just continually sobbed. Next to her was poor Old Ma she was in an odd position just trying to hold on to a bar. She resembled a monkey clinging to branch to prevent a fall. Next to her was an Indian woman who just stared wildly in front of her. I will never forget her look of sheer anger and fear.
Opposite were two staff members who just had their eyes closed. They had probably experienced it all before. Next to them were a young couple who were all very brave at first, whooping and hollering but this soon turned to a blank stare of resignation. Next was London Scouser he just had a look of sheer terror.
Everybody eventually just knuckled down into their own world and thoughts trying to deal with it the best they could.
Could it get any worse, you bet it could?. After a particularly big bump the assistant driver shot up in the air and out of his seat to the amusement of the other staff. Just after that the staff dished out or should I say threw out waterproof jackets. I certainly could not put mine on. Not that it would have mattered anyway as I was already soaked. Suddenly a mist came down and torrential rain which was as bad as I have ever experience. This lasted for about 10 minutes and when it cleared we could see our destination.
When we eventually got our feet on terra ferma it was a mixture of great relief and an experience of being high and done something special. It was like some kind of adrenalin rush. If I could have, I believe I would have done a bungee jump there and then.
London Scouser was literally in tears, he had just felt powerless to help his wife and baby.
The most amazing thing of all was little Ripley fell asleep after 20 minutes and did not awake until we were on dry land . Now that is what I call believe it or not..
I don't normally complain but that night I sent a strong email of complaint. I did not want anybody else to experience what we went through. Someone could have got seriously injured or even worse. There is no way that boat should have made that journey when they were aware of the bad weather.
They did refund the costs but that was not really what I was after. I did accept it of course.