Fair enough, if you have kids it can be fun. When the selfish, greedy little brats aren't turning their noses up at what you've bought. Or getting more enjoyment out of the big box your gift came in, rather than the expensive bloody thing itself. Well, Mum says I'm a miserable sod, and my sister's kids live in Adelaide now. So I reserve the right to pull a face at Christmas records, especially the Slade one. If I ever see Noddy Holder in the street, I'll be kicking his nuts, not nibbling them, I can assure you.
Righty-ho, my prediliction for kicking aging rockers in the goolies and ungrateful little shits, aside; I was up at the crack of dawn, rummaging through my rucksack for the snorkelling gear. A healthy instant noodle cup later, and I was down at the beach waiting for the lads. Egg and his boatman turned up a little late, and off we went.
Lipeh is part of the Ko Tarutao National Marine Park, and is famed for its clear waters and great snorkelling/ diving. We pulled up at the first stop, where a couple of boats joined us. Obviously it wasn't a new idea, snorkelling on Xmas Day. Seven Colours is so named due to the varied colours of reef below the waves...oranges, purples and yellows. It was beautiful. The visibility was so-so, but the hundreds of fish made up for any shortcomings.
Swimming out against the current, I tried my best to keep away from Bruno. Rudi had gone ahead, and Bruno was swimming breaststroke due to a lack of fins on his feet. As such, I got too close twice, and he inadvertently kicked me in the ribs on both occasions. Ouch. Merry Xmas. Back on the boat, we headed for a couple of other sites. They were all much of a muchness, to be honest. I saw some interesting fish, and met a particular breed which were very territorial...they fly at you, waggling their little heads from side to side while trying to nip you. Not very Christmassy, I must say. There were four Angel fish which followed us around at one site; very inquisitive and not all all shy. I got a great shot of them and one bright orange jellyfish I narrowly avoided, thanks to Rudi's quick tap on my shoulder.
Pausing between sites, we enjoyed some food on the beach, taking in the view. It was the best Xmas Day I've ever had. Well, besides the one where we took Grandad down the local pub for a swift one; coming home pissed-up many hours later when dinner had been out for a couple of hours, to a right bollocking from the female half of the family. Missed The Queen's Speech and everything. But snorkelling for a scuba diver is, it has to be said, like giving a drug addict a joint when what he really, really craves is a nice piece of crack the size of a tennis ball. Just doesn't do it for me.
Lipeh around this time of year is frequented by the rich. The yachts around Sunset Beach had been gradually building up. Heading back to the island, we passed one with a ten year old boy running and jumping all over it. As we chugged past, myself and Bruno waved to the kid. He sniffily ignored us but stopped to stare (at our crappy little boat?). As one, the pair of us switched from waving to sticking two fingers up, to be met with an open-mouthed gape from the brat. Too good to wave at the hoi polloi are we, young man? Well get fucked then, you posh little shit...