Lazy Island Days

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We stayed on Pulau Tioman in the little town of Selang until Monday, October 3rd. It was a fantastic five days of diving, snorkeling, hiking, hammocking, laying on the beach, and enjoying the island atmosphere.

Ola, Paddy, Tomek, and Iza ended up finishing the PADI open water diver certification. It was a bit of work squeezing the entire course into three days, but they are very happy to be done with it. Now we can all go diving together.

Over the few days here, I did a lot of snorkeling. There is no need to hire a boat. Just strap on some fins, put on a mask and snorkel and march off the beach. After a short swim you are surrounded by corral reefs, schools of colorful fish, and lots of other chromatic critters. Sometimes the landscape is flat, and sometimes towers of coral emerge from the ground. In one spot it can be quite barren and dead, while in another pink and yellow corral intermingle with psychedelic scallops.

The life on the island does not end at the water’s edge. There are plenty of critters in the air and on the ground. First thing one sees is the dozens of cats which roam all over the place. Often times, they are missing tails or have little knobs which twist at odd angles. We never did figure out what causes this. Perhaps its the monitor lizards which inhabit the little river and roam all around town and the surrounding jungle. On a hike to the nearby Monkey Bay, we even saw one of these giant lizards sitting up in the tree! In addition to all this, there are monkeys, flying squirrels, and tons of bats to be found on this island. Some of the bats look like small dogs hanging from the tree!

When we were at Monkey Bay, we found a mysterious slipper floating in the water and on it a solitary stowaway. A small crab, perhaps a few inches across was hitching a ride to who knows where. The feisty little sucker did not want to get off his little boat, even when we dunked it and flipped it. We started debating whether this poor fella cannot swim. To find out, we forcefully knocked him off. Unsurprisingly, he swam quite well–in the direction of the nearest solid object, which happened to be Tomek. Tomek backpaddled and squealed through his snorkel with the little swimming crab in hot pursuit.

The weather was generally hot, but a refreshing breeze made things bearable. The worst part was always going back into the cabin to grab something, as it was hot and muggy and very still. At night, the temperature dropped a bit and the fan created a nice breeze which made for very pleasant sleeping.

We did have to finally leave this little island paradise as there are plenty of other things to see. Today we took an early morning ferry to the mainland and then went to Singapore by bus.

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