We travelled to Thailand in May & June 2017 and we had quite the eventful day trip to Phi Phi Islands. The tour included stopping at Phi Phi Don, Phi Leh Bay, Maya Bay, Monkey Bay, Phi Leh Lagoon & Bamboo Island.
All was going great, we were snorkelling, sunbathing, sailing, having a laugh with the people on our tour and then we got to our last stop of our Phi Phi Islands trip, Bamboo Island. This is where it started to get quite eventful. We got off the boat at Bamboo Island and could see storm clouds ahead but just thought it’d rain as it had been raining off and on since we had got there.
Then, about 10 minutes before we were meant to go we could see our boat letting people get back on – we ran to the boat with 2 guys we’d been chatting to (also on our tour). By this time, the waves were thrashing onto shore & it was very windy – as soon as we got into the sea to walk the 2/3 metres to the boat ladder it was over knee length, waves hitting at belly height then had to climb onto the boat.
Now, I’ve always been a fairly strong swimmer & don’t get anxious in the sea but this felt different, I was getting on to a boat in a storm, struggling to even walk to the ladder. A jellyfish was about 2 feet away from us when there had been signs on beach warning us to be careful of Portuguese man-o-war jellyfish that were really bad in this area which is not really ideal for my anxiety but adrenaline was running me. Most of us managed to get on and were being thrown from one end to other & me, my boyfriend, the 2 guys and 5 girls were at front of boat outside and then the sand anchor drifted out of the sand & into the water so we got pulled out to sea.
Some people still hadn’t got on (including tour guide & one of the crew) so the captain was the only member of staff on the boat – we got pulled right out to sea, we were getting drenched, boat was rocking onto sides – for about 25 mins the driver was trying to steer, pull in the sea anchor and everything else running from one end to other and we were all flying round everywhere with the waves and wind – it started raining and we all had life jackets on & towels round us – the sea started coming overboard & driver had to cut the rope with the sea anchor attached so he could just steer & we were fighting the waves for another 15 minutes before the company’s sister boat got to us (driver had to ring them from his phone).
We tied the front of our boat to theirs and eventually we got back to island and they made everyone get off the boat and stay on the island until it was safe to leave again – about 20 boats were trying to port back there at the same time, the sister boat gave us a spare anchor so they fixed that while we waited in the rain on the beach/jungle of the Phi Phi Islands but the wind and rain was cold even though the air was warm so I was shivering wrapped in my soaking wet towel then about an hour later we got back on the boat and were flying across waves and it was choppy but safe.
I could feel my anxiety trying to panic when we were stranded a bit on the boat when the driver was doing 3 jobs in 1 but managed to talk myself out of it, I think the adrenaline helped.
My boyfriend was talking about titanic, one of the guys was singing forever young & you know when you’re just like everything will be ok, I might die, but it’s going to be okay. It was scary but I pretended it wasn’t at the time but I was relieved to be back in hotel afterwards.