The boat driver tossed the life jackets to us. While buckling, I was thinking Whoa I cannot believe this is happening. THIS IS HAPPENING. Before the trip, some of us have already expressed our excitement about getting our first banana boat rides (uhm, technically speaking, only me and Daron are the ‘firsts’..but still, people were excited!). Daron kept on repeating “Eh I don’t know how to swim ah, I DON’T KNOW AH” but he climbed the boat anyway. The rest of us reassured him that if anything happens, we’ll save him first.
We climbed the boat.
And off we went.
I must say, it IS quite exciting to sit on this soft thingamajig yet speeding against the course of water and wind. Not to mention, screaming your lungs out with your friends not because of fear but because you are just plain excited just add thrills to the whole experience. I remember seeing other beaches, other boats, more sea, out and far far out to the sea. Then what must have been five minutes passed and we had our first banana boat turn over.
And I tell ya, it’s NOT EASY GETTING BACK UP TO THE BANANA BOAT. At first, we tried to turn the upside down banana boat back to its original position. That didn’t work out (we were still feeling euphoric from the turn-over) and so the driver had to pull the banana boat towards him, and he turned it over.
THEN there’s the climbing up. Hah…HAH. All of us struggled, the skinny and the-not skinny ones. But the-not skinny ones aka me struggled the most. You are the one who is the last to get up, last to be pulled over, last to be laughed at.
So much so that I earned the nickname “Dugong”.
In spite that my friends had to keep on pulling me over (or falling into the waters at the expense of trying to help me), I was laughing the whole time. I was laughing so, so, so hard because it was just so funny. My friends’ expressions and their little jokes thrown in between pulling me over and getting themselves into the water were just…TIMELESS.
Then I get it.
The banana boat ride is not just about involuntarily getting yourself thrown hard into the sea. There are other things, like you and your friends accidentally hitting each other when thrown off, screaming together to hype up the experience, modeling for Shampoo-commercials in the sea and getting a good laugh, soaking in the sun and wind while going full-speed, admiring the island itself and the feeling of getting away/being free as you go further and further away from the beach. But most of all, having this experience…making this experience…sharing this experience with your friends is one of the reasons why your first banana boat ride will be one hell of a memorable experience.
As Onya said, the next time that you have this banana boat ride will be with other people. It will not be the same people anymore. That really ticked among us, and probably the reasons why we pushed ahead to have this banana boat ride.
My thirty minutes of pure enjoyment and 200 baht was well-spent. Yes, I can truly say that my first banana boat ride was awesome and memorable!
Photo credits: Julios/Renie Ubara, Mark Simpul
PS-Read Daron’s version of the experience.