Lazy Time on
Pulau Tioman...
Time to be lazy!
January 31, 2008

Ahhh, Pulau Tioman – how you are doing your best to impress us…

We weren’t sure what to expect by coming here. First of all, it is monsoon season out here meaning there’s a good chance of
seeing nothing but gray skies and rain and colorless water. But that isn’t the case. Things couldn’t be better out here even if it
was peak season.

We got here yesterday – all we did was take a short walk along the coast and relax by the beach. And one of the guys at the
resort made us a grasshopper out of palm leaves.

Maybe we are feeling so relaxed and at ease because this is what was needed at this point in this trip. Michelle has been looking
forward to the beach part of this holiday more than anything since she doesn’t get to see coastline very often. Just seeing the
water and hearing the sounds would have been enough for her – but now we got to add in the blue skies and the different
shades of blue in the water. She was happy. And damn it…the girl deserves to be happy!

Unfortunately for Michelle, the doctor said she couldn’t go snorkeling. This was something that bummed her out (and
understandably so). But she still came on the boat trip that went to three different locations. At least this gave her a chance to
spend some time on the ocean and see a different vantage point.

Our first stop was Monkey Bay. The guys running the trip did nothing to sell this place to us. One guy just told me where the
coral was and that it was mostly all dead. But since it is monsoon season, it’s too dangerous going where the good stuff is so this
is where we would be. I was actually beyond impressed. I would say my snorkeling there was better than half the dives I have
done. It started off with loads of sea urchins and sea cucumbers. But then the more colorful stuff was starting to make its
presence. Some huge parrotfish and other teeny ones. Some barracuda and a massive (almost as long as me) needlefish. There
was also a bright fish that looked like a trumpetfish. And then I paused for a while when I saw Nemo and his family (I’m
assuming Nemo Jr., Nemo III and Nemo IV) making their way in and out of the jelly strands attached to the coral. It looked as
if these jelly strands were coming out of an illuminated purple vase. Too awesome. Fish were swimming all around me – within
centimeters of my face. It was only when one fish decided to nip me that I moved on my way.

Our next stop was Marine Park. Michelle liked this one because there was a platform where we all got off at and she could see
the fish straight through the crystal-clear water. I decided to go in and swim with the fishies. These guys were a bit bigger and
there were loads of them. A bit awkward at first but when they proved that they weren’t going to nip me, I was more than cool
with it.

Our last stop was Renggis Island right near our resort. Mostly I just saw coral and large angelfish. At the very instant when I
felt a bit relieved about not seeing anything - for Michelle’s sake (I didn’t want her to feel like she missed out on something), I
turned and looked and saw a black-tip reef shark. I got excited about this but was bummed that Michelle didn’t get to see it.
Then when I was making my way towards the boat I saw three huge silver shark-looking fish. I wish someone knowledgeable
was with me because I would love to know what they were.

The rest of our day was spent as it should be at a resort – sitting underneath an umbrella on the beach, alternating between
reading and sleeping. Then we did a bit of walking on the sand and exchanging comments on how beautiful everything was.

And before dinner I remembered to mail the pictures to the man in Penang who showed us around a temple. Maybe I’ll have
good karma for sticking to my word?

February 1, 2008

This morning I had a botched attempt at snorkeling. I learned that low-tide isn’t really a good time to go. I was walking
through rocks just to make my way out. I finally decided to start swimming in the 2-3 feet of water. I saw small meaningless
fish (I know that’s a mean thing to say about them) and was battling currents at the same time. I decided to throw in the towel
and admit defeat. It was about an hour before we were leaving and I was hoping to get some good ocean viewing in. Guess it
wasn’t meant to be.

Michelle and I spent our last fifteen minutes sitting out near the beach just watching the water while we waited for our shuttle.
Ahhhh… She even said that she now understands why our mom used to love just going to Hawaii and sitting under an umbrella
at the beach. The things you don’t understand when you’re 18 years old

Our timing was good with our departure. Minutes before our flight took off, the rain started coming down. Since there were
only five people on our charter flight, we even received personalized umbrella service from the waiting room to the stairway of
the plane on that tarmac.

And just forty minutes later we were back at Seletar airport in Singapore. I love it when I am traveling with others and don’t
have to cut corners.
Back to Malaysia.
Looking out at Renggis Island.
Snorkeling at the Marine Park.