Koh Phayam: scenes from a small island

rustic post office

There are endless delights of being on a small island, the kind of place where the closest thing to a post office is a small box colored in the Thai Post Red and with a hand lettered sign.

In the mornings, the children paddle to shore. Hours every day pass playing on the beach.

Paddling to shore

A large tree fell from an embankment, straight out across the sand. In the hollows created by boughs, they’ve dug into the sand to create a rabbit warren of hobbit holes that foster imaginary play. Everyone has their own “place”, there’s a vegetable garden, a store… habitats for hermit crabs and ghost crabs caught on the beach.

Tree fort

Every few days, I walk the couple of miles to the other side of the island for fresh produce. The selection can vary wildly. Their stock is replenished in  routine increments by the daily ferry service, and the selection is surprisingly broad, but it’s a tossup as to what’s going to be available on any given day!

the island grocery store

Halfway between the bay and the shop is a small butcher. One day the pork looks fantastic, another it’s been sitting in the air with flies for a while… hit and miss.

buying pork

There’s a rocky reef at the at the south end of the bay that makes the sunset views just that much more striking.

Sunset at Koh Phayam

We’ve been curious to see if holds any interest underwater, and head out for a snorkeling expedition lead by the Honey crew. Coming into the shallows, a plaque is just visible near the tallest point, and begs exploration.

snorkeling expedition
Expecting a political or historical marker of some sort, it is somewhat sobering to discover a memorial instead. 
reading the plaque
mystery memorial

Later, Ella recites the epitaph as we ride back to the boats in the dinghy:

It’s not the length of life,
but the depth of life.
He dove in and never touched bottom.

What a spot.

snorkeling destination du jour

In the evening, Siobhan and I go for an extended paddle after a relatively sedentary day. We turn back towards Totem when the sun sinks, and race it on the way to the horizon.

paddling home, racing the sun

Reading this post on the Sailfeed website tosses change in Totem’s cruising kitty. Thanks!

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