06.10.2009 28 °C
Now we are on one of the Perhentian Islands, the smaller one of the two called Kecil.
We are staying on a little beach called Coral Bay which, as the name suggests, is a sea full of coral and therefore lots of sea life. Yesterday we made the short journey through the jungle to Long Beach which is much bigger and is totally sandy so much nicer to swim in. We are probably going to do some scuba diving while we are here as there are some good dive sites and from the sea life we have seen so far we have been very impressed. I will have to do my refresher course first as it’s been 13 years since I did an official dive and over 5 years since I did any diving at all. Gerald is pretty keen to go night diving and do some wreck diving as there are two good wrecks nearby, in water not too deep.
Gerald has hijacked the blog…….The Perhentian Islands are typical for this part of the world: basic and beautiful. The thing that sets these ones apart (for us at least) is the amount of sea life. We went on a snorkelling trip today (our second full day on the island) and saw some rather large turtles (relaxed and not too shy, so you can dive down to them and get very close), an abundance of fish (some of which would eat from your hands), a stingray (hiding under rock) and also some Black Tipped Reef Sharks! These look like miniature (well, at least 1.5 meters long!) stereotypical versions of sharks, with all the normal shark things on them. And all just a few meters away as they swim around. Fantastic. (it was my first close encounter with a shark, hence the gushing).
As the end of the season is nearly upon this part of the world, storms and rain are starting to hit the island a bit regularly. This is our third night here and this is our second storm. The first was an absolute doozy, winds starting all of a sudden followed by torrential rain that did not let up until after we went to sleep. And it all started just as we were about to sit down for dinner on the beach! The whole restaurant (about 20 tables on the beach) were quickly rushed inside where we were all stuck until it subsided a little. Today’s storm hit as we were coming back from snorkelling, meaning our little boat with eleven people in it, had to brave 30 mins in 2 meter swells, at one point the boat almost capsizing! But only Anita’s bum got wet (as she was almost thrown into the sea), luckily.
To get to the island we took a night bus (we’re liking them) from KL and then a ‘Fast Ferry’ to the island. In this part of the world, a ‘Fast Ferry’ is a small boat that holds 10 passengers and has two 225hp Yamaha engines attached to it. 24 km in under 30 mins. So much fun!
Our next stop will be Thailand but we are not due there until Oct 14th (for our pre-booked luxury villa week) so we may just spend the next week or so in the Perhentians….a couple more nights on this beach and then move over to Long Beach and do some diving and then maybe head over to the other island. The islands only have generator power from 6.30pm to 8am and, from what we have heard, internet hardly ever seems to work so it is unlikely that we will be blogging until Thailand now!
So, bye for now!