Snorkel Me Crazy!
A group of 20 exemplary students leave school after morning assembly, riding the school truck 45 minutes south to Thap Lamu Pier, where liveaboards mix with junk fishing vessels and million-baht speedboats dock alongside classic Thai longtail boats, including the one we take. Once on the water, en route to the reef, students suck in the fresh air, relishing being away from campus in an environment they’ve heard so much about, but have yet to experience.
We practice using masks and snorkels at a beach near the coral reef, reviewing safety procedures and building up as much tension as possible before finally jumping into open water.
Once at the reef, instructors take groups of students out and the snorkeling commences!
“Ah teacher! Pakarang! Suay!”
“In English: coral! Beautiful coral!”
Students re-chomp on their snorkels, gurgle out their English renditions of coral and plot their faces down again.
Watching students who live near one of the most visited coral reef systems in all of Southeast Asia—the Similan and Surin Island National Park Systems—see coral for the first time in their lives is a wonderful experience. We hope that all Earthraging supporters share this excitement with kids, even from far away.
After snorkeling, we eat lunch (from reusable containers—never fear!) and enjoy free time on the pristine beach.
Soon, students realize that the beach isn’t exactly pristine; a hundred yards from where we make camp, piles of trash line the shore.
A rigorous and eye-opening beach cleanup follows, instilling the Earthraging mission of enjoying and taking care of the natural environment.