Dave in Thailand
Perhentian Islands, Malaysia, March 25-28 2009
Day 3 - Snorkelling and more exploring

Well, you can't sit on a porch for long with that beautiful sea out there, and knowing that a whole new coral world is waiting to be discovered, so we weren't long getting out the masks and snorkels (and big blue fins for moi, although Ann does not care for fins). There were lots of little fish around the dock (they're everywhere that coral is, at least that we've been to), the kind that like to come and eat bread or something like that out of your hand, and this is one of Ann's favorite things.
Ann getting ready for some snorkelling in front of Abdul's Ann feeding the fishes

I didn't manage any pics of myself in the water this time (although here's one from some other snorkelling trip - the basic position doesn't change much from above, although the vistas have endless variety below), but I've added a few below of some of the interesting stuff that was there, that is, really, in all of the good coral places (not my pics either, this time, although top of my list now is never going to a place like this again without an underwater camera of some sort - there seem to be a few pretty good ones out there at a reasonable price, and as the above-ground digital camera I have does such a good job, I look forward to trying an underwater version with some optimism - there is so much down there, and there aren't really many pics around the web of the kind of stuff I would do - next time..)
dave watching stuff

First just a couple of general overviews - I think of scenes like this, which is what it is like in front of Abdul's, as the real 'coral gardens', as it is basically a sand bottom, with a bunch of outgrowths like this all around, some large and some small, but all with a lot of fish swimming around, and various kinds of corals forming the 'base' rock, or growing together in a small coral tableau.
a small coral outgrown with fish another coral outgrown with fish

- and here are a few of the 'particulars', common stuff around reefs like this:
This little guy is called a Cleaner Wrasse, and, as the name says, its job is cleaning bigger fish - I had not seen one up close before, but this time I was just sitting still in the water having a little current-dance with a small school of small fish when one of these guys came along and started cleaning my wrist and hand, a few little nips. Only about 4 inches long. Pretty amazing.
cleaner wrasse
These guys are called Christmas tree worms, and are quite common - about an inch or two high and wide, and many different colors. There are a lot of them on the big 'hard coral' head under the boat in the picture in the first page - they don't do anything except sit there (at least that the naked eye can see), but they just add some other-worldliness and color to the whole coral garden world.
Christmas tree worms
And here we have a giant clam, which are quite common and quite neat, usually embedded in a chunk of coral so only the 'mouth' is showing, but I saw a few 'free' ones on the bottom this time.
giant clam
Table staghorn coral
staghorn coral - table form
Everybody's favorite - reef anemone fish, which come in many varieties, but the 'nemo' is quite common, in its anemone home - these guys are small, 3-4 inches ...
anemone fish - nemp
- and a parrot fish, very common around here, usually in small groups, feeding along the bottom like this - about 18 inches, a pretty good size fish
parrot fish
Some moorish idol or bannerfish - hard to tell, but they are fairly common, and definitely part of the mystique of the place, they are so pretty ....
A small blue-spotted ray - not that common, but I've seen a few - they are pretty shy, and usually keep hidden under rocks -
blu spotted ray
And here are some striped squirrelfish, I think - they are very common, usually in fairly large schools - only a few inches long.
striped squirrel fish

Well, there is literally an endless amount of seeing to do around these reefs, and soon I will have some of my own pics, showing what I want. But for now, after a couple of hours snorkelling, we got some lunch, and looked around the Perhentians a bit more, and of course took a few pics along the way -


Well, the beach ends just a few yards away -
looking down Abdul beach...

- and there is a stairway over the hill going somewhere .... Ann at the bottom of the stairs going to the next beach.

(a final look from the stairs back towards the marine park jetty (as they call it here) - such a beautiful beach, so quiet ... )
looking back along the Abdul beach toward the marine park jetty.
Dave at the top of the stairs coming down to the next beach. - and there is a stairway coming down on the other side, after a very short walk -
- and the beach, or beaches you come to - somewhat puzzling there are not at least a couple of resorts along these beautiful semi-secluded beaches - maybe not enough business yet, maybe a good business opportunity for someone (c'est moi! c'est moi! if I had the money!) looking out from the top of the stairs across these little  beaches ....
- a refresher - the little stairway we just traversed is a short path between Abdul's and the beach just south of it, which says Teluk K.K. on the map - not to be confused with the longer (yellow) path on the map beginning where it says Teluk KK detail of the sw corner of the big island

Well, we didn't get many pictures along here - not a lot to see, really, just a small, undeveloped beach, with some jungle inland. There did not appear to be a lot of coral in the water when I looked around from the wharf, although you never know for sure until you get your face in for an up close and personal look, and we didn't get right down to the further beach this time around, beyond which somewhere not too far is the point around which west becomes south, sort of, which is called Shark Point, and is supposed to feature black-tipped reef sharks (which I meant to get to, but got busy with too much other stuff and did not make it on this trip - top of the list for the next time). The large dock may have been used for fishing once, there are net remnants and like things around, or perhaps there was a resort here with ambitions once, there are some boarded up buildings nearby - nobody around to ask, no info otherwise available. The 'resort' labelled as Teluk KK is not really a resort, just a very small sort of diner - couple of outside tables, gas tank and wok to cook with. But behind it, a ways back from the shore, began the trail over the mountain to the other big beach on this island, the Fauna Beach, for lack of a better name - the zigizaggy trail I referred to earlier. Which, of course, being the intrepid explorer I am, we took.
- well, the entrance to the trail was somewhat less than obvious, and if it had not been for a couple of girls at the little shack-cum-diner that appeared to be all that was left of the Teluk KK 'resort' we probably wouldn't have found it - but eventually we got on our way. It was not very exciting, just a lot of climbing - there were some interesting mushrooms along the trail - some mushrooms on the path over the mountain
small monitor lizard - and quite a few small monitor lizards roaming around, rustling the underbrush...
- and after climbing up a small mountain, steep in places, and down the other side - we eventually arrived, as one usually does, where one is going - the end of the trail - or, I suppose, the beginning, depending on where one is starting from - Dave at the Flora-Fauna Bay end of the trail -
- and Ann standing on the beach, looking over the Bay, and one of the bungalow businesses -
Ann on the beach
the Flora bungalows ...

- and that is about all of the pics from this part of the day's explorations - we were both tired, and after a bit of a walk along the beach, we grabbed a taxi-boat and headed back home to Abdul's for some food and a rest. It is, after all, a vacation .... some porch sitting, some more snorkelling, some more BBQ fish - paradise, for a few days.

and the last page - Day 4 - around the small island ...

- and earlier pages: Day 1, Getting to the Perhentians and Day 2 - snorkelling and a bit of exploring

Other Dave in Thailand stuff:

Wien Tien
PSU AG Fair 2004
Loy Gratong at PSU 2004
Kuching 2004
Luang Prabang page 1, page 2, page 3, page 4
Phnom Penh, Day 1 Arrival, Day 2, the CamTESOL conference,
Day 3, the Killing Fields and S-21, and Days 4-6, touring around a bit
Koh Lipe (day 1), Day 2, around Koh Lipe, and Day 3, the main thing - snorkelling

this site is mostly sort of a photo album for some friends and family, but if you have stumbled across it somehow on the net and want to contact me, siamdave at yahoo dot ca should get to me ....