Of box-shaped fish and bubbling students: Phi Phi’s Life Aquatic
It’s any given Tuesday and your alarm sounds at 6am. You hate it. You wonder whether you really need to get up just now, or is there a good excuse for hitting snooze and catching another 10 minutes sleep?
Events from last night swim vaguely into consciousness: A party on the beach… dancing with friends… a fire show…
How did that happen? Oh, yeah – after work, you went to the west side of the island for some peace and quiet and watched that incredible sunset, and dipped your toes in the lapping wavelets to soothe your tired feet. Then you bumped into a friend and had a sunset beer and an amazing Penang Curry before the fire twirlers turned up.
Why were your feet so tired? Ah, that’s right! You’d been on your feet almost all day, lugging gear backwards and forwards from the dive shop to the boat and along a sun-hot pier, and you didn’t bother with shoes yesterday. Come to think of it, you haven’t worn any footwear at all for days. Not even your favourite flip-flops.
Argh crap! Suddenly, today’s upcoming tasks pop into your mind all too quickly, one after another, after another, and you start to wish you could just roll over and go back to sleep. There’s that couple who’ve never dived before – the guy said he can’t even swim properly, so you’re really going to have to work hard at getting them up to speed with their course. Then again, the ones who surprise themselves the most are the ones you get the biggest kicks from teaching – and they love you for it too. Much better than those “been there, done that” divers who think they’ve seen it all.
For the moment, how long until you can come back to bed…? Damn! After the morning’s classroom session, there’s the afternoon boat. You’ve got that English dude who’s so desperate to see a shark. Well there are plenty of blacktips at Malong dive site. He should be happy.
Oh, wait a minute – you remember that there’s been a whale shark sighting every day for the last six days! It’s been spotted near there. Maybe today will be your luck day! Now you’re awake. Not only that, but you’re amped about today. You’re damn tired, but hell, this is Koh Phi Phi, you’re a dive instructor and if yesterday, and every other day you’ve been here before that are anything to go by, this day has some amazing stuff in store…
The Rat & Dragon crew scrambled to keep up but loved every moment as we follow the gorgeous, barefooted Ma’ca, through what only she (and the other scuba dive Instructors of Koh Phi Phi) would call an ‘average’ day. Starting with a raunchy (not really) bed scene at dawn, followed by a boat trip, some underwater filming 101, and even a guest appearance by a majestic manta ray! Then it’s one of the most jaw-dropping sunsets we’ve witnessed (standard afternoon entertainment on Phi Phi) and an evening of dive master induction tests, dancing and even the dreaded bucket all play a part.
This is the Phi Phi project, and you don’t want to miss it!