Sunday, January 07, 2007

Adventure on Sisters Island

1. This is Singapore - believe it or not this is Sisters Island!
2. Pretty in pink - anybody explain what those pink on the corals are?
3. Is it a dead leaf? - no! it's a flatworm, waiting to be identified
4. peekaboo - a highly venomous yellow-lipped sea krait peeks at me. thankfully I am still alive! warning: the photo was taken by professional haphazard monkeys. do not try this yourself!

On the 2nd day of 2007, monkey's first low tide adventure in the new year was a visit to Big Sister's Island (Pulau Subar Laut) with the Wild Film Crew and Beach fleas. It was my first visit to the Marina South Pier and it was quite a a structure that appears out of the expansive area of reclaimed land in the area. I suppose the structure will fit in quite fittingly when the IR takes over the area.

View from sea at night.

Sometimes it's really difficult to believe what beautiful shores we have in our southern islands but it's true. They are stunning. Sometimes betrayed by the almost characteristic artificial sea walls that line our islets but still, as beautiful as any other "top beaches" of the world.

This is Singapore! Believe it.

During high tide, it seems deceivingly dull but it's a world of surprises when the tide goes down and the treasures of the shores are revealed in the precious brief 6 hours.

It's amazing the things you can find at low tide in our shores. Perhaps those of us who are used to the seemingly sterile shores of artificial beaches of ECP and Sentosa's Palawan Beach may find it shocking to find that the best beaches of the world are not those that are filled with white sand and nothing much else. Au contraire.

The magic of the shores goes beyond our wildest imagination. Like for example, here we have an example of how the shore can shrink you to half your size!

The shores are always full of colour!

Filled with things of all shapes and sizes.

It's a great place to play "I spy with my lil eye..."

Or hide and seek...

We even took time off for a bit of fishing... and cleaning up snagged fishing lines afterwards. It was like a game of tug of war with our reefs.

Once in a while you get overwhelmed by awe at the sights that go by and wonder if you'll pay millions to see this go by your window every night. And they thought MRT passing by your bedroom window was bad.

At the end of the day, remember that chicken-pie stealing long tail macaques are no friends of leaf monkeys. *grin* This is the fabled monkey island where one day the planet of the apes... or island of the monkeys will come alive!

Luckily this leafmonkey did not get mauled by commando macaques on the way to the toilet this time round but till next time! I'm off to chill out amongst the coconut trees, relaxin' against the setting sun.

More photos at my Flickr set


budak said...

where pic of haphazardous monkey and her sotong!!?? :P

budak said...

hehe... we almost late cos my duck had to go and *ahem* :P

a.blogger.for.xx said...

jie doin survivor on sister island? keke

fireleaf said...

lol i wana live in singapore too :D
looks like a cool place with al those animals

Gerald Alecson said...

LOL im already in singapore but haddent beem to sisster island

the story of sister island:

Once upon a time, on an island near Singapore, there lived two sisters Minah and Linah. They lived in a small hut with their mother. The two sisters were very close to each other and took care of each other. Their mother was very glad that the two of them could get along so well.

Soon, Minah and Linah reached marriageable age. Although their mother could not bear to part with them, it was inevitable that the girls got married.

One evening, she brought up the subject of marriage. The two girls were horrified at the thought of it as they could not imagine life without each other. Both of them objected so strongly that their mother was taken aback. Minah and Linah had always been obedient and it was the first time that they went against her wishes. Finally, they reached a compromise. The girls would marry if the two men were brothers. In this way, they would not be separated from each other.

Their mother went to town the next day to ask around. As early as that very afternoon, potential suitors appeared at their doorstep. Many of them were from wealthy and good families. If the girls had married one of these men, they would be ensured a blissful life. There was only one problem at hand. None of these men were brothers!

Despite their mother's displeasure, Minah and Linah stood their ground and firmly rejected everyone who came. Their mother was really at her wits' end.

"How I wish I had believed in arranged marriages!" thought their mother.

Soon after, their mother fell ill and passed away. The two girls were devastated. Fortunately, they met their uncle at the funeral. He lived in another town all by himself. He then suggested that they all stay together so that they could take care of one another. The two sisters considered and decided to go with him, hoping that they could regain the feeling of family warmth they once had with their mother.

Life with their uncle was very different from that with their mother. Every morning, they had to wake up at dawn to help out with the chores. There was very little time to rest. But Minah and Linah did not mind the hard life as their uncle was a fair man who made sure that there was always enough to eat. The most important thing to the two girls was that they were still together.

One day, when Linah was drawing water from the well, she heard loud voices coming from the beach. Quickly, she hid behind some bushes and peeked out warily.

"…Just follow my plan. You fight with the crew and divert their attention while I steal the treasure…"

It was the Orang Laut1 planning a robbery! Linah was stunned. All of a sudden, she sensed a movement behind her. Turning around cautiously, she came face to face with the ugliest man she had ever seen in her life. He towered over her at about 6 feet. He wore a fierce expression and there were numerous scars on his unshaven face.

For a moment, Linah stood rooted to the spot, horrified. She finally got back her senses and ran pell-mell. In her rush, she dropped her pail of water. All she could think of was getting to safety in her uncle's hut.

Linah did not tell Minah about this incident as she did not want her to worry. Moreover, as evening fell, everything was fine, thus Linah thought that it was over.

In the late evening, there came a loud banging on the door. The door flew open and in came the ugly man that Linah saw in the afternoon.

"Wh…what do you … want fr.. from us?" stammered the girls' uncle.

"I want her!" said the man, pointing to Linah. "She will be my new wife!"

The two girls huddled together in fear. Tears poured silently down Linah's face.

"Leave my sister alone! Take me instead!" Minah cried in defence of her sister.

There was a struggle as the ugly man tried to pull Linah away from Minah and her uncle.

"Enough of all this nonsense! If you don't come with me, I will kill all of you!" the ugly man yelled. He finally managed to pull Linah away. Carrying her over his shoulder, he strode out. Helplessly and hopelessly, Linah struggled with all her might to escape. But her attempt was useless.

Minah and her uncle hurriedly gave chase. However, the ugly man had already boarded the ship and the Orang Laut's ship was sailing away!

"Stop! Come back! Linah…" Minah shouted desperately, tears ran down her cheeks as she sought for a solution.

There was a huge splash as Minah dived into the water and swam towards the ship. The Orang Laut were distracted and Linah seized this opportunity to escape. The two sisters swam towards each other. Suddenly, a huge wave rose and engulfed them and all became calm. Even the Orang Laut were dazed by the strong bond between the two sisters.

The next day, two islands emerged at the spot where the two sisters were thought to have drowned.

Today, we know these two islands as Sisters Island. Located south of Singapore, Sisters Island comprises of two small islands, Subar Laut and Subar Darat. They are separated by a thin strip of sea.

The islands are good spots for swimming, scuba-diving and picnicking. However, the lack of a regular ferry service means that visitors to the island have to hire a bumboat2.