‘I’m going to swim with a shark if it’s the last thing I do….’ – AuroRaman, Black Tip Resort, Koh Tao, Thailand

Towards the end of the week we still hadn’t seen any black tip sharks – or turtles, which we found out were also in the area. It seemed silly to track down this one place to swim with sharks without even seeing any. All over the island a snorkelling tour is advertised, where they take you all around Koh Tao and to two small neighbouring islands, one of which was called “Shark Island”. In chatting to other travellers throughout the week who had done the same trip, we heard how they all swam with the sharks, some were even lucky enough to see a turtle too. So naturally we booked this trip as a little treat for ourselves.

We boarded the boat with about 15 other people and it set off out of the main bay of Koh Tao. Instantly we were met with reasonably high waves which made for an interesting and wet ride as we bounced around the outskirts of this island.

The first stop was to be “Shark Bay” and the second stop was to be “Shark Island”. Needless to say, Ram was very excited when Shark Island came into sight.

The boat started to turn into Shark Bay and suddenly there was an announcement “do to the weather and strong waves, we will not stop at Shark Island and Shark Bay as there is low visibility”. Ram’s face dropped. However another traveller quickly pointed out that he’d been told the ironic thing was there was less chance of seeing a shark in Shark Bay and Shark Island than any other bay. Phew – we still had 4 snorkelling stops around the island, we were bound to find a shark eventually.

I forget now the names of all the bays we stopped in, however we spent most of the time at each stop actively looking for sharks. That’s not to say we didn’t look at anything else. There was some fantastically weird little fish and plants down there. The focus was broken on our camera, but we managed to get a few usable photos out of it:

We also took a little video, this is me swimming underneath Ram

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There was one point where the label on my t-shirt was irritating me so much it was distracting me from the snorkelling. When we got back on the boat, a few of the swimmers had stings from stray jellyfish tentacles. I checked where my label had been annoying me and realised it was in fact a very very small jellyfish sting – so I can now say I have been stung by a jellyfish (kind of). We were then shown how to jump from the roof of the boat into the sea – naturally Ram was one of the first people in line. I stood with “the girlfriends” making appreciative noises and taking photos while the boys all tried somersaults and bombing.

Towards the end of the day we made our last stop at Koh Nang Yuan – two beautiful Islands joined together by a white sandbank. As most of the island is a resort, I’m suspicious that the sandbank walkway between the island may be man-made, as there is no white sand to be found anywhere else on Koh Tao (the beaches are mainly made of broken coral). Man-made or not, it’s beautiful. There is a small, but steep, trek up to the top of the smaller island to a great photo spot.

The weather hadn’t been great all day, and just as we came down the trek back to the sand bank, a big black storm rolled in.

By the time the trip was over, not only were we very wet, but we still hadn’t seen a shark – it was starting to get Ram down. We only had one full day left, we had to see a shark before we left, HAD to.

S+R xxx