Watch the Hermit Crabs!

One of the things I like about being in Phuket is that I have had the opportunity to be close to nature and have time to observe the way things happen and what we can learn from it.

Phuket has been hit by some bad weather to mark the beginning of the monsoon season, but despite all, the sun still manages to sneak out and warm up our mornings. Today was no exception.

The waves have been strong and full water has been doing damage along the coastlines, yesterday in Krabi around 60 longtail boats capsized due to big waves, today at Bon Island the waves swelled right up over the roots of the Pandanus pines leaving no dry beach for the tourists (including Mickey Mouse!) and also no shelter for the Hermit Crabs.

Back in 2004 during the Tsunami I remember the Hermit Crabs running into the restaurant to escape from the water, today I was reminded of this when, due to the big waves and full tide, the hermit crabs had evacuated the beach and climbed 2 meters up one of the restaurant posts! It unnerved me a bit! Then turning around I saw they had climbed up a coconut tree too and found shelter in a hole in the bark. 

They stayed there for several hours until the water eventually subsided and life continued as normal.

Mickey Mouse and Pooh Bear go recycling!

Having read the story of "Ultraman and his friend's go to the beach" Mickey and Pooh decided to go and give them a helping hand.

It was incredibly hard work, but it was worth the effort, especially when they saw just how many bottles they had collected.

Pooh decided to take a sleep on a beach chair before carrying on collecting the plastic and wood that still covered the beach. A cool breeze was blowing and within seconds he was fast asleep, snoring with his mouth wide open!

Mickey was far too excited to sleep and decided to take a few photos as, despite all the rubbish, it was still a really beautiful place.

Just when they were really getting to grips with the rubbish a strong gust of wind blew in followed by a major rainstorm. The Meteorological Department had been forecasting a storm for several days and it had obviously arrived! Things not looking good, so the team decided it would be safest to head home before things got worse. Sad really because in the morning the weather was beautiful.

When they got back ashore and checked their emails they discovered that news had just broken of  around 40 to 60 boats being flipped over by big waves at Ao Nam Mao Beach in Krabi and stranded tourists had to be rescued from Koh Hong. 

Big black clouds raced across the sky and big drops of rain fell stinging their faces....although they were glad to be home, they were still determined to carry on with their mission to return the beach to it's former glory.

Ultraman and friends go to the beach

 The tide was on it's way down as Ultraman and his friends arrived at the beach. Having planned on a great day out, sunbathing, snorkelling a few cold beers...

they were astounded at what was waiting for them!

The monsoon season had officially started and heavy waves over the last few days had made their mark. 

Rubbish was everywhere!

Devastated by what they saw, they took a closer look to see just what had washed up on the beach. Inevitably there were loads of shoes - as usual it was mostly left shoes as most people will step on to boats with their right foot first and their left shoe falls into the sea and disappears forever. A lot of glass M150  bottles (and Red Bull too) which had probably been thrown overboard by local fishermen, luckily the bottles hadn't broken on the rocks. Lots of wood, string and of course just about everything plastic you can think of, toothbrushes, lids, cups, bottles, soap dishes, bags, toys, straws etc etc. 

It really was a terrible sight!

Feeling disheartened by what they saw they sat down for a game of draughts - nature versus rubbish. The draughts board had also been washed up on the beach and so they began, not sure which side would win, but seriously worried that it could be nature that would lose. 

The game was quickly abandoned as there really was too much work to do, and they started piece by piece collecting what they could for recycle. The sun scorched their backs as they worked away, sweat trickled into their eyes and, determined as they were, it was all too much to get done in a few hours. They filled bags and bags with plastics, and when the bags ran out they filled bins and boxes.

The day on the beach ended but the story continues, not just on this beach but every beach all over the world, and not just on the beach but floating in the sea, backwards and forwards until eventually maybe someone will realise before it is too late.