Snorkeling Nai Yang Beach: A Photo Essay

October 26, 2012 in Asia, blog, Education, Thailand, Travelogue

Sometimes, there are perfect days.

Today was one:

  • Lunch on the beach
  • A long walk on the sand
  • Sun on my shoulders
  • Shells to collect
  • Bubble crabs to lay on our bellies and watch
  • Clear blue water

Today we had lunch in a bamboo thatch hut on the beach and went snorkeling for the first time since we arrived in Thailand.

On our side of the island the surf has been high and the water murky during the summer monsoon. Since the wind shifted direction the water has settled into an almost mirrored calm and, day by day, the clarity improves.

The boats sometimes look as if they’re floating on glass.

We got the kids who needed them new snorkels and we’ve been determined to do a few land based dives before we hire a long boat and head for the islands in another week or two. Our Thai friends tell us to wait, that the water will get clearer.

This was our first dive in Thailand, our first dive in Asia and our first ocean snorkel since we were in Belize two winters ago.

Excitement was running high.

Nai Yang Beach is beautiful

It’s not the most popular beach on Phuket, but it’s quiet, it has local charm and that makes it our favourite. Here are some pictures of our lunch spot and the beach:

Ladies shaving green papaya for a spicy salad

Our lunch spot

A good sized hermit crab, he’s red with blue polka dots! 🙂

WHAT is Tony doing?

He’s filming the Bubble Crabs for you:

These little dudes spend their time during low tide munching the good stuff out of the sand and rolling it into tiny balls. You can tell how long the tide has been out by how many balls they’ve rolled. They put them into pretty patterns around their crab holes.

Lay down in the sand with us for a minute and watch:

This is what a dead reef looks like:

Reefs are dying all over the world for a variety of reasons:

  • Damage from boats
  • Human impact (divers and fishermen doing things they shouldn’t
  • Climate change

The water temperature of the worlds oceans is rising and even a few degrees difference can mean the death of entire eco systems.

This reef, off of our beach, is almost completely dead.

Even so, there were things to see:

This is a live piece of coral

Hannah stood up on a patch of sand (you should never stand on coral) and took a picture of the shallow water around her. She was kinda stranded in a shallow spot!

Human trash often becomes fish habitat. Little fish or octopus will live in a bottle like this on the ocean floor.

A tiny yellow puffer-fish

This is a healthy piece of live coral, see the white tips? That’s where the growth is happening!

Sea urchins! We saw lots in different colors! Do you see the orange dot… this looks like an eye, but we’ve never seen an urchin with an eye before, do you know if it’s really an eye, or a decoy? We’re going to be doing more research!

This is like “Where’s Waldo”… can you find the fish?!

Gabe found this… kind of like the sea biscuits we pick up in Central America, but not quite…

I like the bottom even better!


An eel… the biggest Tony has ever seen… I floated right over it… shiver.

Coral is actually a colony of tiny living creatures, they build their shapes like cities of cooperation!

Do you know what these next two are?

They are clams!

Clams are filter feeders, can you guess why?

Yep, they filter their food out of the water that flows by.

Watch this:

 We also saw a Lion Fish!

But we didn’t hang around to photograph him, the water was too shallow for us and they’re territorial as well as poisonous!

And lots of eels… we don’t love eels.

Hannah took a picture under water, looking up at the sky.

We love our beach!