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Chicken Island and the Sea Urchin incident « James Cunnama’s Blog

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Chicken Island and the Sea Urchin incident

krabi-055Yesterday we were treated by Alex  and Ellen to a very special Thailand experience. After our long run in the morning we all headed to Ao Nang beach where we boarded a long boat and headed out to Chicken Island a few kilometres off the coast. As always it seems, the weather was great for a day at the beach. We landed at Chicken Island and had a great lunch and the small (and only) restaurant on the island. A few of us went snorkelling (without snorkels) and explored the coral reef around the island. It may be important to note now, that there were thousands of sea urchins on the sea-bed, but I was wary of them and giving them a wide berth…

After chilling on the beach a bit and playing some ball games, we hopped back on the boat and headed out a bit were we fed the fish. It was amazing to see the feeding frenzy created by a piece of bread! Thousand of little green and black fish swarm around bread, regardless of whether it is floating, in your hand, or in Jan’s swimsuit… ;) Sometimes they miss the bread and nibble your hand, but their bites are not very effective at tearing through your skin.

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Evil little buggers!

As I swam around the group of team mates and frenzied fish to get back to the boat, I kicked downward and it suddenly felt like I was being bitten by the fish again, only this time it was REALLY sore! It took about half a second to figure out what I had done, and I didn’t need to even look down. I had moved over big rock and so suddenly the sea-bed was shallower than before, and I had kicked a sea urchin! After carefully avoiding them all day, they had gotten me!

The pain was pretty intense, and I must admit I was a little worried for a while. But the boat driver was only mildly amused and not worried, and the pain started easing pretty soon. He dug in his bag for what I hoped was some kind of pain relieving cream or something, but no such luck – he instead gave Alex a bucket and said, ‘You pee, then he stick foot in.’ Really?! Sigh! …If it’ll help.

After all the girls averted their eyes, Alex did his best to fill the bucket, but he must have been dehydrated! The boatman then offered his services and did a better job. Thai pee may be better for Thai urchins anyway… I stuck my foot in the warm liquid, and it did help some…

We headed back through choppy seas and everyone got drenched on the open boat. Alex, Jan, Scott and I then borrowed a resort pool and I relaxed there and soaked my foot while the other boys had underwater swimming competitions across the pool. Scott lost, even to Alex(!) so the beers were on him. After that we had a great dinner at a restaurant overlooking Ao Nang beach. It was a really great day and evening with a fantastic group of people. Thanks Alex!

My foot is not doing too bad now. A little swollen and still has about 10 little spines in it,  but the internet says that they will dissolve or be ejected, so I am soaking my foot to keep the skin soft. Other than that, a few precautions against infection and I’m sure I’ll live, and may even be able to keep my foot…

Boat ride to Chicken Island

Boat ride to Chicken Island

Sunset over Ao Nang beach

Sunset over Ao Nang beach

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