Thursday, November 5, 2009

Sailing on The June Bahtra- Pt 2.

An hour into our excursion on the June Bahtra the captain turned the motor off. We were floating quietly up to a gorgeous limestone cave. As we got closer, huge birds started to appear and fly around the boat. At first we thought they were 'seagulls' but as they flew closer we could see they were much larger than seagulls. Our captain told us they were Sea Eagles, the only inhabitants of these islands. See video below.

About halfway through our trip we had to get out of the schooner and into a long tail boat in order to get closer to land (shallow water). We skillfully jumped in and several minutes later arrived at the Sea Gypsy village. It is a floating muslim village. The locals were out selling hand-made items and a ton of dried food and seafood. The smells were very, very pungent, especially with the heat beating down on the food all morning. We roamed around the island for a bit and accidentally walked into small school. It had two rooms and kind of reminded me of the type of school my mom attended when she was growing up in a small farming town. An hour later we met up with our group, and after calming down this one french woman who was going to have a panic attack if she didn't get a cigarette and a diet coke pronto (more about her in Pt. 3), we headed off to the infamous James Bond rock and island.

Made famous from the movie The Man with The Golden Gun, scores of tourists come to check out the rock, and because of this, it is getting worn down. The island however is doing well, as long as tourists don't take any of it's natural resources (sea shells, etc.). What seems like a large island from far away, it is actually very small. There is a bathroom and shopping stalls set up selling souvenirs.

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