While it had been grey and rainy for awhile, this was the first day of a severe monsoon that lasted four days, drenching southern Thailand with more than a meter of water, and in some parts of the country it caused devastation. But on that Sunday, I had no idea what was in store.
(Note: Monsoon season in Thailand doesn't usually start until May or June. March is typically quite dry.)
After three weeks on the island, I made plans to head back to the mainland. I had one week left on my visa, so it was time to move. Little did I know that I couldn't have picked a day for worse weather.
There is not a lot to do on an island when it is raining. I'd checked out of my hotel that morning and bought my boat ticket - the only way to get to-and-from Koh Tao is by boat. Some of the boats were not running, but I was assured that mine was.
Sitting in the cafe, enjoying an espresso and a panini while writing in my journal. Such a calm day would turn into one crazy night...
I took the overnight car ferry, which was set to leave the pier at 11pm. As I was eating dinner, a Kiwi asked me if I got seasick easily, and I was starting to regret that I had already purchased my ticket. At 7pm, my hotel owner informed me that the boat was confirmed to leave. At 8pm, I headed down to the pier and boarded the very crowded boat. With all the other boats to Chumphon canceled that day, this one was packed. There was no room in any of the dorms and the deck was not an option due to the drenching storm.
I headed downstairs and pulled up a piece of grubby floor with the locals. This area soon became crowded as well, and wet. At 11pm, we set out. I instantly regretted having eaten anything. It wasn't long before half the boat was up on the soaking wet deck, holding on to each other amid the five meter waves, and getting sick. I joined this crew and then willed myself back downstairs where I practiced my zen chi yoga meditation.
At 3am, we heard a loud noise. The locals jumped up and looked out the portholes. Apparently, the crew decided that the weather was too bad and we'd turned around - back to Koh Tao. Apparently, the boat was getting tossed so much that the trucks downstairs were in danger of being damaged.
Call me Gilligan.
Back on Koh Tao, this is the view of the car ferry from the pier. I spent all night on a wet, crowded boat full of sick people on a rough sea, and I ended up exactly where I started. I was just glad to be off that boat and on solid ground!