Survived the torrential rainstorm from the night before, this morning was especially brilliant. We woke up feeling good and appreciative of all that we had experienced and ready for some more. We had a high-carb breakfast, anticipating that we’d need it for the snorkeling tour today.
After breakfast, we were picked up for Anh Thu’s snorkeling tour and as part of the itinerary, we stopped by a cultured-pearl farm. It was a total tourist trap but we were willing captives since Alice was looking to make a few purchases for herself, Magnolia and friends. Outside, we were treated to some information on the process of cultured pearl farming. Thousands of oysters were surgically implanted with shell beads by technicians and raised in pods 1000 to 1500 meters from the very shore we stood and swam in. Depending on the desired quality of the pearls, oysters were raised for up to 3 years. They demonstrated a process of shucking oysters to harvest the cultured pearls. The ratio of harvesting a high quality pearl verses an ordinary one was 1 in 20 and for the really rare ones were 1 in 200.
Inside we were amazed by the selection and the prices were not as outrageous as those from the Australian shop.
After 45 minutes of perusing, Magnolia and Alice came out with a few nice jewelries for the experience. We all packed back into the bus and headed south toward the tip of Phu Quoc island where there were a cluster of 12 small islands where we’ll be snorkeling.
The 30 minute bus ride to the southern most tip of the island was especially bumpy but we were excited to see the dock and our boat ready to go. As the boat pulled away from shore and navigated the watery parking lot out of the bay, we took a parting glance back at the jungle island.
The boat ride out toward the coral reefs was a slow, plodding one but quite scenic. I supposed it helped to ease the less seaworthy guests from having a hard time at sea.
A panoramic view of our coral reef.
As we approached the coral reef the water turned an inviting crystal emerald color that revealed the 30 foot bottom below. The crew put anchor down, we geared up and plunged into the chilly emerald sea.
It was an amazing experience as we dove deep near the sea urchins that had spikes as long as 2 foot and they glistened with the brilliance of direct sunshine and as many colors as a prism. While we snorkeled, the crew expertly harvested sea urchins in another area for lunch.
We came back onboard to warm up and fished for our lunch by line and reel. We had done something like this before so we’re a bit more experienced now. And with experience, came success!
We cruised over to this boat at a nearby island cove to lay anchor for a delicious and peaceful lunch.
Energized once more, we swam to shore and bathe in the afternoon sun.
With all the activities, we were quite worn out and was rewarded with rest on the boat as it made its slow trek back to shore. However, after 30 minutes or so, we stopped at another location to snorkel. It was not as clear and emerald in color but certainly just as fun with abundance of large fish as well as schools of smaller ones.
After that we were all certain that would be it for us. We couldn’t imagine doing anything else yet there was still another destination. Sao Beach! It’s the most beautiful, clean white sand beach on the island. We will make that our final destination for the day.
What an incredible day of snorkeling, fishing, swimming, sunbathing and fun! We were totally spent and dinner looming large on our collective minds.
But this was what we all deserved!
Dare I say, To Be Continued? Dare! Dare!
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