For the last full day before we were due to move on we had booked a ‘VIP’ trip to visit some of the islands near Phuket – the top draw being Tapu Island also known as ‘James Bond Island’ from ‘The Man with the Golden Gun’.
The day started out a bit hazy but most days can start this way before the haze dissipates under the toasting sun so this was not a great worry to us. We were collected from our hotel then went to the jetty where the boat was to leave from – this part was not all plain sailing though as one of the mini-busses was late so we had to wait for them on the jetty. No sooner had they arrived though and we were shepherded onto the boat and set off.
The first island on the itinerary was to be honest a bit of a letdown we simply turned up and had a look round it from the confines of the boat – I mean as islands go it had all the key constituents, land and sea round it on all sides but apart from having a bit of mangrove there was not a great deal to be said for it.
Island two was the real deal though as this was ….. dar, dar, dee, dar, dee da daaaaa, etc etc – James Bond Island as per the brochure the photo opportunities were endless – although these soon did end when we could not find on the beach a superfluous third nipple aka Scaramanga or even a shell with enough stick to attach itself to my chest. At one point we discussed me laying in the sea for a barnacle to attach itself to my rusty hull but this required more time than the allotted thirty to forty minutes we had on shore so we did the next best thing which was for me to hold a nipple looking shell on my chest – very Un-Bondlike – until said shell broke! This island also had a huge hanging rock which we also took photos on with varying rates of success on the comedy scale!
On the way from Bond Island the tour guides started blowing whistles and throwing chicken scraps into the sea at which point a load of Sea Eagles appeared out of the sky and started plummeting towards the food – at one point there were as many as fifty all chasing after the scraps!
The next island – Hong Island – was much better as here we were allowed to be canoed about both inside and around the outside of the island by a gentleman known as Mister T! Although of a similar colour to the man of A Team fame he was hardly of the same stature and was mohicanless so I am not really convinced this imposter had even ever seen the A Team! After the canoeing we were allowed to go for a swim as well which was excellent, the water was like bathwater – warm and possibly been weed in! Got talking to a New Zealander who was very impressed by our ‘trip’ but this is still early doors yet and it still does feel like an extended holiday – long may it continue.
The last island of the day was Lawa Island where agin we were allowed to stop for a spot of sun bathing or swimming so we had a go at a bit of both before being called back onto the longboat to be transported to the main boat – all in all it was a very good day but possibly describing it as a VIP trip was taking things a bit far.
Last job of the day was to take our hosts Andrew and Tik for a meal of their choosing – the restaurant of their choice was ‘Duck Spicy’. We let them order and I am still not entirely sure this was the right course of action but it was their treat so onwards and upwards. We tried a bit of Duck Lips, Chicken Cartiage, Catfish, Soup and Whole Fish and everything was edible however whether I shall be ordering them next time I see them on a menu remains to be seen! However, our utmost thanks go out to Andrew and Tik for being great hosts, Andrew for being a great Divemaster and Tik for providing chef quality meals and a thanks also go to Cody and Cowboy for making us welcome as well.