Wednesday May 4
Three nights at the same anchorage and we tend to get restless. Time to move on. We headed for the southern end of Tioman Island to the town of Mukut. I had visited Tioman and stayed at a resort near here about 16 years ago. A good breeze made for a pleasant sail. Anthem had just arrived and Champagne Charlie (CC) was not far away. We took a long time to anchor in this spectacular Bay due to numerous moorings and dark patches likely to snag the anchor chain but eventually found a good spot and Lea snorkeled around the swing radius and checked the anchor. All good. Lea is so much more confident in the water now which is great to see.
I had fond memories of a refreshing dip in the pool below the waterfall nearby so we set of with Shane and Lisa off CC. It was a 30 minute 2.6km walk on a concrete path to the waterfall. Even though Malaysia is in drought the water was still flowing and we enjoyed a lovely soak in the cool fresh water.
Back at the village we tried to find somewhere for a drink and then dinner but nothing was available. We invited Anthem and CC over for drinks but CC decided to retire early. We enjoyed a pleasant evening with Jack and Jan off Anthem. It was very hot and still so after our guests left we treated ourselves to a genset hour with Aircon.
Thursday May 5
Quiet morning with stormy skies. Organised to dive on a so called local hotspot 3 NM away, so moved at midday, heading for the west coast of Tioman past Minang Bay Resort where I stayed all those years ago. More spectacular cliffs.
Yachts emerged and converged through a rainsquall and about 10 anchored near the dive site. 8 of us went for a dive but it was very ordinary. We tried again around a nearby mini island and while it was better it nothing special. Lea enjoyed a snorkel with the girls and kids off Dream Maker 2 and Allure of NZ.
Drinks and dinner ashore at a lovely Resort which was reasonably priced and the menu was excellent.
Friday May 6
Still very hot and humid so Lea was keen to get going early and beat the crowd to get a berth at the marina with power for Aircon and lots of water. Psycho Puss was planning to launch their drone and get some arial footage of the fleet but we didn't hang around.
Got to Telek Telek to find lots of anchored boats so we assumed the marina was full. We later found out it had no power and very little water due to the drought, so Lea's fantasy of endless showers and all the washing up to date evaporated. We anchored just north of the jetties clear of the ferry wakes and close to the beach.
After a cool down swim we headed for the Harbourmasters office to clear in to this Duty Free Port. We also thought it wise to replenish our dwindling beer and wine supplies before the rest of the fleet arrived. Prices were good but not quite as cheap as Langkawi.
Back on the boat the ugly green tarps went up. The Wind shifted and came in a bit which caused us to drag our anchor off the sand shelf we were on. Quick lift and reset and all was good.
Drinks ashore and another briefing. Sazli had been taken ill to hospital so Patrick off Labarque took over the meeting. The highlight was to be the Games with the local tomorrow afternoon.
Saturday May 7
An electrical and rain storm gave the boat a wash during the night and Lea chamoised it down before breakfast. Lea and I went for a snorkel at the little islet about 2 Nm South. Fantastic snorkelling with very clear water and plenty of fish life. Stars of the show were reef sharks and a turtle.
Back on board Gemini Lady, Dave and Anne had gone off for a walk and we were to redezvous for lunch. Leslie off Sakata came over with her laptop so I coould load all the KAP files for her. Took longer than I expected so chores didn't get completed.
Ashore we got more beer and wine as well as some fruit and veggies.
Lea and I joined in the Sports day and had a great time with the locals. A speech from the mayor, some custom dancing and a mini feast followed by homemade ice cream started the proceedings. The locals were very welcoming and generous. The “games” were a lot of fun culminating in the main event. The “Tug of War” The 2015 rally men lost to the locals last year so we were keen to win in back this year. In a close tussle and best of 3 we won.
The ladies, however, were no match for the local girls.
Picked up Dave and Anne and headed downtown to the “Blue Chair” Chinese restaurant.
Sunday May 8
An 0730 meeting ashore for some jungle trekking. The track started at the end of the road near the end of the airport runway. A concrete track wound its way up to the water treatment plant. A big crowd was doing the walk so we pushed on ahead with the Graeme off Red Herring 2, our guide and the kids off Allure and Dream Maker 2. It was a beautiful walk and the track easy to follow but lots of steps up soon had us soaked with perspiration. We emerged onto the road that crosses the Island then turned off again down to the waterfall.
We were the first to arrive and had it to ourselves briefly. The water was bloody cold initially.
The crowd started to arrive and soon the pool was full of hot sweaty bodies.
As we had done less than 5km we decided to walk the 7 km back along the road. This turned out to be longer and steeper than we imagined. Some gradients had signs indicateing gradients of 45%. Not sure we believed it was that steep. Carloads of our group cheered us on as they passed loaded into the cars.
Good training for our Mt Kinabalu walk in July but we were glad to see the end
Monday May 9
Lea, Dave and Anne went over to our favourite little island for a snorkel while I caught up on the blog. They had a great time as someone had a bottle full of breadcrumbs and was feeding the fish. They were enveloped in clouds of fish.
Then it was off to check out. For some reason some of us were directed to immigration while others weren't. Ended up with a sealed envelope for immigration at our next port of call Terengganu. An afternoon of swimming, relaxing and trying to keep cool. I went for a dive on the wreck site just offshore but had a major issue with “mask squeeze”. For some reason I couldn't or didn't equalize my mask pressure. Even though my ears were fine the mask squeeze was quite painfull and it caused some rupturing of the blood vessels in my right eye. Visability was crap anyway so I abandoned the dive.
Dinner at the “Red Chair” BBQ seafood restaurant was fantastic. We selected some KFC Tiger Prawns and a big Snapper BBQ'ed with a spicy sauce, some veggies and fries. BYO wine and all for 167MYR ($60.00 AUD)
Tuesday May 10
Up early for a run before the heat built up. Hard going after a slothfull few days. The town was busy as families got kids off to school and had breakfast on the street from the food vendors who also provided lunch containers. These were polystyrene foam. Another environmental disaster in the making. 4 guards on the school gates!?
David had done a water run while we were away and tanks were full. We also did a Dragonfly Sonar survey of the wreck site we dived yesturday. Very impressed with the units capability.
We moved on 3Nm to Monkey Bay
Beautiful picturesque Bay with lots of shallows and steep drop offs. Dave and I decided to sonar chart the whole bay. We were a bit worried about 1 bommie if the wind changed but the new chart showed we should be ok.
Graeme and Karen off Red Herring w cmae over for coffee with some yummy chocolate cake. Snorkelling was ok but not many fish. Got out on the SUP's. Heavy downpour gave the boat a good rinse.
Drinks onshore with Esoterica, Carrie, Red Herring 2 and Court Jester. Sand Flies attacked!
Wednesday May 11
Awoke to a low low tide and looked out to see lots of sand flats and us sitting perfectly off them just likelur new chart showed. Another big downpour so tge morning walk was cancelled.
Lea and I went off for a SUP and saw lots of juvenile black tipped reef sharks in the shallows and monkeys fossicking for food on the dried out reef and sandflats.
Moved on late morning just to get some airflow through the boat accross to Palau Tulai. Anchored in the SW corner then dingied back to the SE corner to snorkel the “Coral Gardens” and then a nearby rock island. Great snorkelling and visibility again.
And it was my turn to cook.