Hermit crabs. They’re great. They plod slowly across the beach and if you pick them up they plod slowly across your palm. You know it's been a hard day when the toughest thing you had to do was organise hermit crab races. Mine won. J
Swimming monkeys. On Koh Lanta, long-tailed macaques live in the jungle just behind the beach. At high tide they swim in a pool at the back of the sand, the youngsters jumping from high branches into the water then climbing out dripping wet, having a great time. Honest!
Watch the VIDEO.
Torpedo fish. The most impressive fish I’ve ever seen. They look like a rocket and move like one, but out of the water, skimming across it in a series of jumps like Usain Bolt for 50, 60 metres as they flee from the ferry boats. The power to do that with just a flick of their tail on each jump - amazing.
Little jumping fish. Whole shoals jumping in unison, I suppose to get away from bigger fish. But the ferry from Koh Phi Phi to Krabbi must have really scared them. Fish leaping out of the water in all directions right next to the boat, many actually bouncing off the hull.
Save the Snail. Walking along the busy main drag of Chaweng on Koh Samui, a snail on the pavement heading for the road. Now this was no ordinary snail – his pointed shell must have been close to 3 inches long. There was no way he was going to make it across the road so I picked him up and left him in a garden on the other side. I think he looked grateful.
Save the Crab. While snorkeling off Kho Phi Phi I felt something nip my chest. A crab about half the size of my palm ‘swimming’ just below the surface, seemingly trying to find land. I held out my hand and he latched on, walked up my arm to the crook of my elbow and sat there as I swam to some rocks. It took a while to persuade him to get off. He didn’t want to go.
Save the Shrimp. On Sairee Beach, Koh Tao, I saw a prawn, a bit longer than the saved snail, lying on the sand just above the tide. As I bent down one of his little pincers moved – a cry for help? So I scooped him up and put him in the shallow water and he swam off happily, but straight towards the sand again. So I retrieved him and he curled up in my hands like a hamster as I strode out into the surf and left him in thigh-deep sheltered water among the rocks. He looked even happier on his second release.
Geckoes and electric light. Every light has at least one attending gecko, pouncing on any insect which stops by. It’s so easy for them. Has the gecko population increased since the invention of electricity? And what did all those insects do for nighttime entertainment before then?
The gecko in the salad. We were having dinner overlooking the high tide on Koh Lanta, and there were of course a number of geckos hanging on the lamp above our table. Suddenly one dropped onto our mea bouncing off the lettuce onto the side of the plate. The gecko had a look of: “How did I end up here?” A was all: “There’s a gecko in the salad!” And I was: “I hope he’s didn’t hurt himself.” Especially having seen this advert: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XA7dncxVUb8 But he seemed ok (the lettuce cushioned his fall) and darted under the plate. Then he shot towards me and leapt onto my tee-shirt. which curiously had a picture of a gecko on it. If only we’d had the camera. Anyway, I stayed completely still and he wandered round onto and up my back. I thought he might make it onto my neck but no such luck. With a big jump he landed on the floor and scuttled away. We finished the salad and it was delicious.