We signed up for another adventure on Saturday. An all-day trip to three islands, breakfast, snorkelling, BBQ barracuda lunch, fruit, drinks and 2 boat operators for $15. If you bargain hard and choose a dodgier boat you can travel even more cheaply!
The weather was a little doubtful but we assessed the risks. With life jackets, warm waters and never likely to be more than 2 kilometres from land, we had few concerns. There were some solid waves, never more than about a metre high, so it was quite an exciting ride on the open seas. In amongst the islands it was a lot calmer and miraculously we managed to avoid the rain.
We snorkelled off Koh Preus. There were quite a few species of fish and the water was wonderfully warm as always. Next stop was Bamboo Island, or Koh Russei, for lunch. Our hosts did a great job BBQing the barracuda which was accompanied by baguettes, salad, fruit and the ubiquitous Coca Cola from the traditional Marilyn Monroe shaped bottles! Went down a treat.
We had about an hour and a half to explore the island. First we wandered along the beach. As our boat had been the first to arrive, it was deserted. Then Jenny and I did a walk across the island, through the jungle, which was great. The jungle was thick and shady and the only noises were the birds and animals. I felt like Gilligan! On the other side of the island was another great beach and a cluster of thatched huts where you can stay.
After our walk, we had a couple more swims and took advantage of the hammocks and deck chairs until it was time to head off again. Island three, on the way back, was Koh Kteah. There we did some more snorkelling. Again, plenty of fish, quite a few species and some interesting coral formations. It was good to see the coral reef area roped off so the boats couldn’t enter. Then it was back to the port!
That night I Googled ‘boat accidents Sihanoukville’ and there was a very funny series of reports about a boat accident almost exactly a year ago. It seems the JJ Party Boat capsized with 92 people on board! The police blamed the tourists for being too drunk and dancing too much. The boat apparently was a single deck licensed for 45 but the owners had added another layer, which probably made it top heavy. No lives were lost so I guess we can laugh now. Apparently JJ has not been seen in these parts since!