The day was sunny and bright at Patong Beach in Phuket as we waited for our ride to start our kayaking safari with John Gray Sea Canoe. We had messed up the dates a day earlier thinking it was already Feb. 1st when we called John Gray to make sure they didn’t forget about us. “We have you on the books” they said, “but not until tomorrow .” Woops, my bad. We have been traveling for months, and knowing the days of the week is not our strongest suit.
It ended up being a blessing in disguise as I had the chance to chat with John Gray himself and we enjoyed a pleasant conversation. By the end of it, he decided that he was going to come and pick us up tomorrow to take us personally to the boat.
It was 11:45 sharp when we were greeted by a jolly, large man with a long white beard. John Gray is known as LingYai (Big Monkey) in Thailand and he is famous all around for starting the Sea Kayaking business in the Andaman sea and the Polynesian Islands.
Hailing from Hawaii, he is an expert in tidal caves and stresses conservation of the ocean that he holds so dear to his heart.
Our drive to Phuket Pier gave us about an hour to get to know John better. Building his first canoe in 1955, he hasn’t left the water in over 50 years. Having already won many an environmental battle in Hawaii, he felt secure in leaving his “island paradise” to look after itself. It was now time to set his sites on South East Asia and teach the people about preservation of their incredible land.
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