Tuesday 08 April 2013 – Pulau Aur.
I managed to get a couple of hours sleep in the cabin before it got too hot, so I went to find a spot on the deck and discovered everyone in the cabin again as it had poured with rain sometime early in the morning. I pulled up a piece of floor and surprised myself by getting another hour or so on the hard wooden floor. Most people just sleep on a blanket on the floor so I will try that tonight.
I think I will enjoy life travelling on the boat, as everyone has a turn on watch people came and went all morning, once your daily chore was completed there was no routine to anything, though you needed to be quick for breakfast or lunch.
There was little wind in the morning so we continued to motor north east, we were free of the main shipping lanes by mid-morning and had the sea fairly much to ourselves for the rest of the day. It was still quite overcast, which was not such a bad thing though it did of course keep the humidity levels right up there.
After lunch it was my turn on watch again, there was not a heck of a lot to see as we headed towards Pulau Aur (Aur Island) our stop for at least tonight. We dropped anchor at 2:30. Almost as soon as the anchor had found purchase on the sea bed people were jumping overboard into the warm South China Sea, relieved to wash some of the accrued sweat away and relieve some of the stickiness. A few people jumped off the crows nest, I only managed to go from a third of the way up but will work up to it over the next few days, maybe…
We had lunch after the swim and then after a wee break a large group of us donned masks and flippers and swam over the island for a look, it was a long swim.
We had a small explore on island, climbing up one of the many rock falls to above the tops of the trees.
The reef goes right up to the sandy beach so we could not get the dingy in there until full tide, but there was plenty of drift wood on the beach so we will come back later for a beach fire. It is a great spot and right now we are totally alone. Though you can see that there have been fishermen here quite regularly and there is the usual collection of rubbish all over the beach and into the tree line.
It was a slow swim back to the boat, stopping to dive down on the reef and I took a few pictures with my snorkelling camera. There was a reasonable amount of small fish to see and the reef was lovely with some stunning coral. I very much enjoyed being back in the sea again – and being able to see clearly.
After the chores were all completed in the afternoon we prepared some food to take to the beach for an open fire BBQ. It was very nice sitting on the sand, listening to the sea wash on the shore and eat some freshly speared and cooked grouper. A nice end to the first full day at sea.