|The travelling from the Cameron Highlands to The Perhentian Islnds took nearly all day, by the time we got to Perhentian Kecil, the island we were staying on it was nearly 20:00.
It was lucky that we had managed to get through to one of the places the day before and book in advance, as you get on a boat and travel from beach to beach on the island where you get dropped off, it can then be a bit of a scramble to get a place to stay, and it was dark by the time we got dropped off.
We had booked a place on the Northern tip of the island called D'lagoon, it was the only place on that beach. A little boat came out to meet us from the bigger ferry, and guided us in back through the reef. It was a pretty quiet place but an OK room. We were pretty tired that night so ordered some food and then hit the sack.
In the morning, we decided to check out the beach in the daylight, to be honest we were little disappointed as it was not a really soft sandy beach, but had lots of bits of small broken coral in it....so we decided to take the little trek across the island to a beach called Turtle beach, on the way there saw quite a few Kimodo Dragons on the forest trail, and in the bush which was really good. The beach was much better, and looked very promising for snorkelling, so took the short trek back to get our gear.
Back on Turtle beach again we got out our snorkeling gear and headed into the water. Within the first 5 minutes we had seen a small black tip reef shark and a blue spotted ray, so we were really happy. The water was really clear and we saw a lot of other fish and the coral was pretty good too. After a couple of hours here we headed back to the main D'Lagoon for some lunch.
In the afternoon, we decided to go for a bit of a sunbathe on another beach called Adam & Eve, it was a bit of a longer walk, but was nice and sandy, and really secluded. We stayed there for a few hours, and then went back for some more snorkelling and D'Lagoon. Just of the main beach where we were staying we saw a load more fish and quite a few more black tip reef sharks.
During the day Dawn and I had decided that although the beach was pretty good, it was just a bit too quiet and the place was too restrictive, so made decision to check out the next morning and head for long beach, the main place on the island to go.
After checking out we caught a boat round to the main beach which only took a few minutes, and preceeded to search for some accommodation, after not looking like we would not have much hope we bumped into some Dutch people we had met on the bus and boat over who gave us a bit of advice, we also meet the Austrlian brother and sister who were on our Jungle trek in the Cameron Highlands. Anyway in the end we managed to stay at Moonlight Chaltes for the 1st night in a more expensive room at about 12 pounds a night, and we would change to a cheaper room in the morning. We had not done so bad though, the others had to trapes around for ages on their first night, and also had to pay 3x more.
The beach here was loads better and we got firmly into some more sun bathing and relaxing. In the afternoon we checked out the dive shops, and booked a fun dive for the next day with Turtle Bay divers. Not much else happened until diving really...we relaxed, had a few beers in the evening with the Australians and had a good BBQ dinner (Dawn had a lovely bit of shark), and we checked out into a cheaper room the next day in at the same place. The room by the way was not the nicest, I have never felt so many springs in a mattress in my life, and the place was not that clean either, but hey it would be home for the next 4 nights.
Our dive that afternoon, went well, it got us back into the swing of things, but we did not see much, so it was not the greatest dive, but we did only choose quite a shallow site at 12m to get us used to it again really as we had not dived since Phi Phi the previous September. On our return to the dive shop we decided that we would sign up to the Advanced Open Water course, as it was a good price at 100 pounds and a course started the next day.
Due to signing up for the course, we now had to do some homework that night, but not too much. We had elected to do the peak perfromance bouyancy, night dive and wreck dive as our options, as well as the deep and navigation dive you have to do. The next day we started with the Peak performance bouyancy, which was really good fun, and we both learnt a lot about controlling ourselves in the water with our own brething, the afternoon Navigation dive was good as well, the tasks did not take too long, and then we got to do more of a fun dive with the rest of our air.
As per usual we had dinner and a few cans with the Aussies, I was meant to do some more work that evening, but instead fell asleep straight away when we got back to the room (quite incredible because of that mattress really), anyways had to get up really early to catch up and make up the time. That morning we did our deep dive to 29m which was a good experience, although not that exciting because we could not see that much at about 5 m visibility (Dawn also got pretty cold), and I was nearly attacked by a lion fish, who seemed to have far too much interest in me. We saw a load of Lion fish, some bamboo shark and some big schools of snappers, but as it was deep it was only a short dive, and not too much to see. In the afternoon, we did our wreck dive, it was a Vietnamesse landing craft that was carrying that had sunk up side down in 24m of water 30 years ago, no one was onboard at the time. I really quite liked this dive, there was quite a bit of current, but the visibility was quite poor (3m), we got to go inside the wreck a few metres as there was quite a reasonable openning, but Dawn did not really like this dive, because of the current and visibility. Saw some barracuda, snaper, nudibranch and trevally.
The night dive was really good fun, we both really enjoyed it, lots more than we thought we would. We saw quite a few fish a sleep, some awake, crab, rays etc, nothing really exciting, just was good fun.
The rest of our time was just spent reading, sun bathing and relaxing. It was a really nice time, just a shame about that mattress, but it was a cheap room.