Finally got a decent signal to update the website. I’m still writing the Chinese story but first a quick blog on what we’ve been up to. After arriving back in Terengganu on 20th September. We spent a couple of days unpacking, shopping, washing and fueling before leaving on 22nd. Terengganu was a nice town with a good supermarket and also a very nice Chinatown area. The buildings have been nicely restored.
How about this classic car? Isn’t it pretty?
After spending a couple of days at Kapas, one of our favourite islands, we did an overnighter down to Tioman island arriving at the little marina Saturday lunchtime. Bill’s sister Kate, her new fiancee Mark and our niece Daisy were due to arrive the next day. Sadly the Indonesian fires were causing a bad haze and the beautiful views of the island were no where to be seen. After a difficult journey they finally arrived in the evening all hot and sweaty. We decided to go straight out for a meal because it was pointless having a shower and going out and getting all sweaty again. They were grateful for our air-conditioning unit.
The first day of their mini holiday with us was spent diving. Kate has a Padi certificate but was a bit rusty and Daisy wanted to do a try dive. There was a dive school just along the beach from the marina that didn’t have any customers on that Monday and were happy to take us all out. First Kate and Daisy had a little skills test in the water in front of the dive school. Yn pronounced yen was very pleased with them. It was great to get his undivided attention
Considering Daisy hadn’t dived before she did very well.
After a little bite to eat (not to much) Yn sketched out a chart of where we were going. There was a diving plan for Bill, Kate and Daisy while Mark and I were going to snorkel.
All the equipment was loaded into the boat and off we went. As they didn’t have any thing to do that afternoon two of the other dive masters decided to join us so the three of them had a dive master each and it wasn’t an expensive day either. Bill has his own kit but Kate and Daisy hired their’s so with the skills test, the dive and the 5 of us in the boat it came to about £75 – bargain.
Daisy was very brave and went in first performing a perfect back roll out of the boat first time.
Followed by Kate who also did a perfect back roll.
They all disappeared below the water down to about 6 metres so not too deep but deep enough to enjoy the fish. Meanwhile Mark and I were taken to the shallower side of the island so we could snorkel. Mark was amazed by the fish and the coral, he said it was like being in an aquarium.
Even without the sun the colours were amazing and so many fish.
Everyone had a great time. The boat even took us back to the marina to save us having to walk back in our wet swimmers.
The next day, Tuesday, we took Camomile out to Sri buat commonly known as the butterfly islands because there are two islands of a similar size and shape with a delightful anchorage in between them. When the tide goes out a large area in the middle of the islands dries out giving us good protection from the weather coming in from the south. When we were there in July it looked like this
Sadly with the Indonesian fires causing a really bad smog across the whole area it looked like this
In a way it was good that the sun was blotted out because they would have all burnt to a frazzle. As soon as the anchor went down they were in the water. Although we didn’t have the sun it was still far hotter than they were used to and getting in the water was a good way to cool down even with a water temperature of 26C!
I spent the afternoon preparing food for a bbq which Bill and Mark were in charge of while it was cooking along with quite a few beers. Normally we could have sat and watched the stars but the smog scuppered that idea. The disadvantage of coming out of the marina was that the air conditioning unit had to go off and even when it got dark it was still very hot. Poor Kate and Mark didn’t have a very good night’s sleep as they had arrived from a New Zealand winter into 32C without time to adjust to the temperature so the next day it was decided to head back to the marina and get the air conditioning back on.
Before we left Bill took them for a little explore in the dinghy. There’s a little island in the channel where someone has built a hut but sadly the beach is covered with plastic washed in from the sea. They went onto the beach where there’s a nice little bay for snorkeling, although not as good as the island the dive team took us to, it was still fun for them exploring the crevices and rock pools.
Once back in the marina we headed out into the village for a meal ashore on our last evening.
Daisy and I went looking for monkeys before dinner and although it was already getting dark there were quite a few sitting in the trees above the road. Kate and Daisy went for a better look at them in the morning.
All too soon their visit was over and it was back to the little ferry port so they could catch the ferry back to the mainland then take the coach back to Singapore for their onward journey. They fitted quite a bit into their 4 days but it had gone very quickly. Photos were taken in different combinations.
The ferry arrived and it was time for final goodbyes.
Goodbye Kate it was great to see you and to meet Mark.
It was nice getting to know you Daisy.