Long Tail Boats

While we were going from mainland Thailand to the two islands we used 3 different boats. We would take these boats from a little river that flowed for sometime before reaching the open sea. The ride was quite pleasant going out to the islands. With the curves of the river, we would follow, and see other fishing ports and boats along the way. As we made it out in the open we would see Thailand behind and to our left and Burma to our right. Also, timing was crucial, because the tides change rather often. If it was low tide we could have trouble getting back to the same place we started our trip.

The first day was a speed boat. This is a regular kind of boat that you would expect to see out an about here in the states, nothing special. It would get us to the closest island, Elephant Island, in about 30 minutes. Halfway there we would have to stop and refuel, it seemed that it used so much. There are only certain times we could take the speed boat and that was high tide. In fact, on the way in we kept hitting sand deposits on the river bed, because the tide was down! So close to where we docked, I (Chris) and a couple of others hopped out of the boat and helped pushed the boat in. What an experience!

The following day we got to experience a true long tail boat. These are perhaps the most commonly used boats for people traveling from island to island or for fishing in small groups. Long tail boats are basically a long narrow, shallow boat with a person on the back of the boat that is guide it using, what looks like, a long pole with a fan blade at one end and basically a car engine near the front. The long pole sit a near the top of the water guiding it smoothly along. It takes us about an hour to get to the closest island on this boat and it had the ability to move inland more freely than the speed boat. But on this particular day we went to the second island; which was about and hour and a half away. We will post some pictures of one of these boats a little later.

The third day we rode on a boat similar to the shape of a long tail, but this one was larger. Instead of the engine being in the back with one piloting, there was a and larger engine underneath, similar to how a larger boat may be. This is also the same boat that Katie was journaling on. On this trip we had the village head of the Phayam Island, the island we did the day before. Below is a video of that ride out. In it we captured one of the fishing ports along the way. Also, you will notice our friend Shopping with the straw hat. We will have more on him in a later post. We took this all with our Flip Video Ultra, and we are not professional videographers(we just like to have a little live action fun once in a while).

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Bryan Johnson - March 21, 2008 - 1:55 pm

This is awesome!
I love all that you guys are doing and I’m glad that we ran into each other at WPPI.
Let me know when your show is going to be and I’d love to make it if I’m in ATL.
East Coast Unite!

Elizabeth - March 14, 2008 - 6:45 am

That was really neat Chris, I enjoyed seeing a live version of your experience and the music was actually very soothing…feeling kinda sleepy after watching it. :o )

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