Day 150: Down Where It’s Better!

You’ll be pleased to hear readers that today we booked up another trip. We spent the majority of the day at sea snorkelling. It truly is magical here on the Perhentian islands, and I cannot do it justice (like many things I’ve experienced this trip) in words alone. Even by adding the pictures at the bottom isn’t enough. But I will do my best to explain to you just how astonishing a place it is…

• Another morning in paradise. We woke up when Rachael’s alarm rang at 8:30am. Acting like a drill sergeant, I whipped those whipper snappers out of bed and encouraged them to get ready. While we were waiting for Sarah, Rachael and I played frisbee on the balcony (She wanted me to include this in the blog). Rachael has come on leaps and bounds since the day before, her throwing and catching skills have improved significantly, drastically, phenomenally, and any other adjective you can think of to go there. I don’t know if she had been up all night practising, or if the simple fact she had contacts in altered her performance. But she is heading for the big leagues people! I’d say Rachael Goddard is a one to watch in the frisbee game!!! (There, how’s that Rachael? Good enough for ya?). When Sarah was ready we went to our resorts restaurant for breakfast.
Oh, and the toilet roll in our room was still in tact!!

• After a belly filling meal the three of us went to the beach to try and locate a good snorkelling trip. The first group we spoke to couldn’t really help us out, they offered the short day trip which we had already done. Another trip to the Rawal islands. Or a long day trip. Only we couldn’t go on that one because there weren’t enough people. In the end we paid the people we went with the other day a visit.

• They already had a small group of people waiting to go, one of which was Dick Dastardly…. Sorry, Phillip (I’ve gotta stop calling him that). When the final two people finished having their breakfast, they joined us and off we set.

• The first three stops were ones we had already been to. Turtle Point, Shark Point, and Coral Point. But this time round we saw a different turtle. It was a little bit smaller than the first, but because of the amount of people swimming, it was quick to leave. It moved very quickly too, I found it difficult to keep up with it. Sarah was quick to get in when we arrived, so she spotted two turtles during our visit. We didn’t stay there for long before moving on to Shark Point.

• This was the shortest visit of the day, mostly because half the boat wouldn’t get in after spotting a few jellyfish. I didn’t spot any sharks this time, but I did see a horned fish. Two in fact, both of which were very large. Everyone soon climbed back on the boat, then we set off for Coral Point. We stayed for a long time at this particular spot. There was an Asian couple amongst us, and they had a rather expensive looking underwater camera. The guy took it upon himself to dive under recording all the footage, leaving his other half to float on the surface in her fluorescent orange life jacket. We saw very similar fish to the last time, but we explored the coral reef in a lot more depth. AND WE FOUND NEMO, Sorry, we found Nemo. He was with his family in their little wavy home. If we attempted to get a closer look, one of the family members would come out to stare us down. The reef was alive with colour, more so than anywhere else we had been. I was the last to get back on the boat after I swam too far away. It was just too pretty. Our next stop was to the fisherman village for food.

• This wasn’t as I’d expected. When I heard the name I presumed we’d be visiting a series of huts built atop a floating deck. Quite the opposite. We were taken to a resort like area, there was even a giant blue and white building with tall pillars outside. This turned out to be the police station. We sat on plastic chairs around small tables in a little building, out of suns reach. I ordered the prawn and pineapple with rice, which was fiddly to eat but tasty. Opposite the restaurant was a woman selling sweets and treats at her stall. I purchased several eclairs and a piece of bubblegum before returning to the boat for our last stop of the day. Coral Garden.

• Coral Garden was remarkable. There were equal parts dead and alive. The alive coral was astounding, it was rich with fish of various sizes and colour. We even spotted Nemo and his family again. We spotted one large fish that was on patrol for some food. We learned this when we saw it sucking something white and fleshy from the underside of a shell. If we were quiet, and put our ears under the water we could hear the sucking sound. This is because sound travels faster in water than light. We left him to fend off all the other fishes in search of an easy meal, and carried on exploring. It wasn’t long after that that we discovered an even bigger fish. It was at least 3 foot long, and was so fat that any angler would have been proud of such a catch (if it were legal to fish for such creatures). For its size it could certainly shift, we couldn’t catch up so only admired it from a distance.

• The dead coral was still brimming with sea life. There were smaller silver, ghost like fish swimming around. They were kicking up the seabed in an attempt to find some sustenance. Rachael had been sitting on the beach the whole time, so Sarah and I went over to encourage her to get in. We hadn’t realised we’d be swimming around for close to an hour though, so when she got in we only had around 20 minutes of the trip left.

• Never have I ever been in waters so clear. I attempted to describe its quality in yesterday’s blog when we played frisbee. And I don’t really know how to elaborate on it any farther really. When we were in the shallows I honestly felt as though I was in a painting. The blue colour of the water was so intense you needed sunglasses to look at it properly. Underneath the surface it was so clear you felt as though you were floating on air. And the sands at be seabed were so soft and white, you could have easily fallen asleep on it. I truly didn’t want to leave the water, if I could have developed gills in that very moment I would have been happy to live out my days underwater. After all, there’s not exactly a shortage of food down where it’s wetter!

• At 3:30pm we were told to get back into the boat and were driven back to Long Beach to conclude our trip.

• We darted back to the chalet for the girls to rinse off and to grab some money. Then we returned to the beach so I could grab some food, and for us to take some pictures of paradise.

• After my pasta and Sarah’s coke, we took to the water to try and capture the crystal clear waters on my iPhone. Nervously I walked out with my phone in hand, I snapped the girls throwing a frisbee back and forth, then some of them splashing in the shallows, then some more of Sarah running around, then even more of them doing handstands on the beach. By the time we finished I felt like a professional photographer doing a real shoot. The handstands took an annoyingly long amount of time before I captured the girls in perfect synchronicity. They still weren’t happy with how they looked when I showed them the results – are they ever? When it came time for me to have a picture taken, an empty bottle floated up alongside me! As nice as our beach was, it certainly had a lot of plastic bags and other rubbish floating amongst its currents. I felt bad, as it’s the plastic bags that kill the turtles. They mistake them for jellyfish and end up suffocating when they swallow them. Keep it clean people!!!

• When my clients were happy with what I captured on camera, I was a freeman. I left them to soak up the sun and returned to the Bencave to work on the days blog.

• The girls returned about an hour later, with Sarah looking like a tan addict. It took them both roughly an hours worth of faffing before they were ready for the evening. Then the three of us went to the Internet restaurant for dinner.

• We were all down to our final ringgits which meant we couldn’t order that big a meal. But the tomato chicken and rice I had was just right, plus the additional portions of rice from the girls plates filed me right up. When we were done eating we began playing cards. It was around that time that 2 young children came over to watch. Suddenly, before we knew it our game had been hijacked. The young boy and girl had taken over mine and Rachael’s hands and began taking our turns. It got a little bit weird when they grew more comfortable with us (within 10 minutes). The young girl sat on Rachael’s lap to get a better view of the cards, which was fine, that’s fair enough, but all of a sudden the boy thought it would be alright to do the same on my lap. “Oh no you don’t sunshine!!!” Screamed the voice in my head. I didn’t feel comfortable with a 5 year old boy who I’d just met climbing aboard my lap. So in response to this action I sat as still as a statue, and laughed awkwardly at anything remotely funny that happened during the game. I thanked the gods when his milkshake arrived and he climbed down to get it. I was then quick to block any opening I may have left which allowed such an awkward situation in the first place.

• The children’s parents were from two different countries, the mother was from England, and the father was from Italy. Meaning both children spoke 2 languages. They had met when they were travelling through India, some 10 years ago. Their children were very young, but had seen more countries than some people I know back home. The boy was named Josh, and had been to India, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Borneo and Malaysia to name but a few. And he was only 5. FIVE! The girl was only 3 and a half and her name was Dahlia, she was the more inquisitive of the pair. All throughout the games their parents kept asking if it was ok for them to be with us. The girls ended up befriending them and we stayed at the restaurant until gone 10pm. Before we left there was a slight squabble between the kids for who got to hold Sarah’s torch, my iPhone, the playing cards – basically anything Dahlia could get her little hands on.

• Everyone walked back through the dark jungle together, and when we reached the walkway to our resort we said our goodbyes. It was then a case of returning to our room, packing the bags and going to bed. As tonight would be our last night in paradise. In the morning we would be catching the first boat off the island in order to catch a flight to Kuala Lumpur.
One last check… Yup, as predicted. The complicated species that I share a chalet with have certainly made headway on that toilet roll, there’s barely any left for the evening. I shall continue to monitor its deteriorating state as time goes on. All I can say for now is it will be interesting to see how the two females fare in the morning when there are only 4 sheets left!!

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