Sunday, 19 July 2015

19th - 20th July - Pef - jungle walk - Pulau Yangello (mangroves) - Pulau Arborek

Sunday 19th July 2015

Pef carving
00 degrees 30.725S
130 degrees 27.220E
Pulau Yangello
8-12 metres, mangroves

It was sad to leave beautiful Pulau Pef but - time to go!  In the morning we had a boatload of visitors.

We had met these people at dinner the night before.

Such a great dinner – the Pef resort, Raja4divers, does everything so well.  There are two big long communal tables, for guests and staff.  We sat amongst Swiss and German guests, and enjoyed watching the staff playing their music instruments and singing Happy Birthday and handing out cake to appropriate recipients. 

The food was delicious and we were VERY VERY hungry!!

In the afternoon we had gone for a stroll… I was wearing my best tropical frock…NOT good for what did not turn out to be a gentle stroll.

Pete wanted to go across the island to the southernmost beach.  The path was not all that clearly defined…and it went UP and d-o-w-n… Every now and then he would ask me to wait while he scouted ahead.  I did NOT like being left alone in the jungle… It is all very benign; nothing fierce or bitey, except maybe some bigger versions of our BoatPython.  But…what would I do if he didn’t come back???  If he was along the track in the firm embrace of a giant python???  He did, of course, come back but I found it just a teensy bit stressful…

COME BACK PETE!!!  (He did…thank God…)

We found a blue thong along the way

and another one on the beach, when we FINALLY got there.

What is it with blue thongs??  My theory, keenly developed while waiting for Pete in the jungle, is that NO people do not prefer blue thongs.  They like every colour available.  But - blue thongs survive longer!  Disprove my theory if you can…

So…this morning we had our visitors, all delightful, from Switzerland and Germany

and from Papua!

They had said they would come, in a PefBoat, at 10am.  So…we were eating our scrambled eggs at 9.15 and I heard brrmbrrm outside the boat.  Our friends were here!  I darted out, swallowing my toast and eggs frantically, and said oh golly oh goodness we thought you were coming at 10 – but WELCOME.  Come aboard!  They are very nice, polite people and they realised I wasn’t quite prepared…and they said they would go away and come back. 

BUT, said dear Caroline, kindly,

did we know that Pef time is an hour different to Sorong time???  Well no…we hardly know what day it is… And that explains a lot…for example, we knew that dinner at the resort was at 7.30 and we thought we were very early, at 6.50.  We were surprised to find everyone already tucking into their soup…AHA!!

Pef chess at sunset
So…we were sad to leave beautiful Pef.  We found an anchorage, very sheltered and mangrove-y, off Yangello Isalnd.  I am a bit freaked, swimming in mangroves.  Not sure why… They are beautiful, a wonderful ecosystem, but I never feel comfortable in the dark water surrounding them.  So…I waited until I got TOO HOT, and then went for a bit of a swim along the slightly murky reef, with a small school of teenage barracuda following along brightly.  Nup.  No fun…I went back to the boat and started a new scrub of the hulls.  The boat is once again bedecked with barnacles, and also with luxuriant growth – green red, yellow!  Below the water line 2XS looks as if it is fancy dress party time – how about a catamaran disguised as – a colorful yak!!

Pulau Yangello anchorage
I went up and down each hull twice, then threw in my scrubbing utensils and did an intense one kilometre swim around and around the boat.  Very satisfying!  Surely I must be getting fitter?

Monday 20th July

00 degrees 34.080S
130 degrees 31.1216E
Pulau Arborek - jetty

This morning we made a short trip from our mangrove anchorage to a very lively little island – Pulau Arborek.  We tied up to the jetty and Pete made some new friends – Ludwig and Gita.

I, not surprisingly, went straight into the clear blue water.  SO beautiful – the biggest giant clams I have ever seen!  Ludwig told me, when I got back to the boat, that they are 2 metres long…That is BIG!!  

(Thanks Google for the images…and the info…47 inches is the maximum size recorded for a giant clam…)

So along the reef I went, seeing a few more clams – just as big, just as impressive – some fish, some coral…Hmmm…everything was going very fast.  Including me!!  Time to stop and re-evaluate…But it was almost impossible to stop; I was caught in a very strong fierce current.  It wasn’t very deep at all; I could stand up.  But I couldn’t walk in the water, it was much too strong.  And swimming against it was just so difficult…

No panic…There are lots of little dive boats here, and one of them would have come to get me if I had waved at them in a drowning sort of manner.  But I did NOT enjoy having to struggle…I swam parallel to the current, in very shallow water, and finally made it back to a calmer area.  Exhausted!

BirthdayBoy – Chris Harmsen!

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