Nha Trang

Booze cruise

July 9, 2005

Today we woke up around 7:00 so we could grab a quick breakfast before the van picked us up to take us to our boat. We are finding that when they say 8:00 pickup they mean 7:45 so fortunately we didn't miss our ride. Similar to Halong Bay the boats played bumper cars to grab a spot along the dock and we rushed to find a seat. The group in our van only consisted of 8 people so I figured that was our tour group but when our boat pulled up a mass group descended from out of no where and we found out that the boat would be completely packed as it's summer break for the Vietnamese as well so they were also up for R&R. The ride out to the first stop was hit and miss as a couple of women were getting motion sickness and we were so tightly packed onto the boat I was getting a bit claustrophobic. Personal space is not an issue here so that has been hard for me to get used to. We finally made it to our first destination and grabbed some snorkeling equipment and jumped into the clearest water we've ever experienced. Even with really poor equipment we could see for a good 20 feet down and were completely surrounded by small jellyfish which were harmless-good thing. After snorkeling for about 30 minutes we got back on the boat for our next stop. Along the way we laid out on the upper deck and took in the nice views. The next stop was for lunch and some more swimming. Lunch was served on the lower and upper decks and they brought out about 20 plates worth of food for everyone on the upper deck and we all dug in. The selection wasn't the best for me so I ate a quick bite of rice and tofu. Mother always said not to swim with a full stomach so it was probably best. After lunch most of the group jumped back in the water for some more swimming and snorkeling. Craig, being the fish that he is, quickly dove off the upper deck into the water while I had to give myself a pep talk to follow suit.

Another local fisherman saw me having an internal dialog about just jumping in and every time I'd look his way he'd motion go down, go down so finally I jumped and had a nice rush while doing so. The water was great and I did some swimming before it was time for the red wine party. I had read that they served complimentary wine on the tour but as everyone started to board the boat a guy threw me a life buoy which I thought was strange as I was getting ready to get out of the water. Turns out the wine would be served on and off the boat. Each of us in the water got a buoy and our tour guide jumped in with numerous bottles of wine and started pouring everyone a glass in plastic cups.

The wine itself was horrible but it was a blast watching the Vietnamese and our guide really let loose and enjoy their day off. I can't even count how many bottles they went through but our guide was looped when it was all said and done. His favorite saying was, "No money, no honey; no honey, no baby; no baby, no problem." Over and over he gave us those words of wisdom. It was hilarious! Good thing he wasn't driving us back to Nha Trang. The next two stops were at a rocky beach and a fish hatchery where you could buy fish and lobster or rent a bamboo boat for a quick ride. We decided just to relax on the deck before heading back to the town. We both had a good time but would've liked the trip more if there wasn't so many people on board. We called it an early night as we are leaving for Mui Ne tomorrow.

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