I guess you could get to the Phi Phi Islands by sea plane but boat is the norm. And that’s the normal way to leave too. I took this image as the ferry carried me back to Phuket. The sea was relatively calm but occasionally the boat would crash through the swell as captured here as I watched the islands disappear on the horizon.
Around half-way through the journey, out of sight of land, it suddenly got very quiet. The engine had stopped and we were just bobbing around like a cork. Must of us didn’t speak Thai and the crew were not forthcoming about what was happening, but I could tell from their faces that they weren’t exactly happy. As the boat wallowed there in the swell, it occurred to me that I still couldn’t swim. About an hour had gone by with no forward motion and I’d swear that the boat was settling lower in the water. Silently I started to think we were sinking. Without the motor running the bilge pumps were not working either and I was convinced in my own mind we were taking on water. I wasn’t reassured when a crew member opened a hatch near the rear of the boat and we could all see water sloshing around inside the hull. The boat had plenty of life preservers, not that anyone was rushing to put them on but we made sure they were there. I recall I’d got to the point where I’d reconciled to losing my camera gear, passport, everything, when we heard the engine sputter back into life. The crew looked relieved and so did we. As we got under way once more I resolved to learn to swim. After all, ferry disasters in South-East Asia seem to happen with a depressing frequency. That and I’d realized while on the islands that I really wanted to learn to scuba dive!