Island hopping adventures usually starts with an early morning. Nothing wrong with that right? This is because in most places, the water is less choppy in the morning, and the fishes are usually out and about by then. Any later, then the water will become a little more rough, and there will be more sedimentation from the seabed, causing poor visibility.
Last Sunday my friends and I headed off for a getaway over to the Labuan Marine Park, via The Banana Hut at the Empire Hotel & Country Club (location). The Labuan Marine Park consists of three islands, Pulau Kuraman, Pulau Rusukan Kecil and Pulau Rusukan Besar.
On the way to the boat.
After choosing flipper sizes at The Banana Hut, we signed a liability release form (hm!) and set of to the boat. Boat was of a comfortable size and could easilly fit up to 20 people.
Everyone was required to wear the life vest. I know I probably won’t say this if I’m in a toppled over boat in the middle of South China Sea, but wish we didn’t have to. So hot!
The sky looked really fantastic on the day. Clouds were swirly cause of the soft gentle winds. 🙂
And for the first time ever I saw a halo around the sun. Cool right? Kind of reminds me of the star and crescent a bit.
As we were only this far away from Kuraman, suddenly our boat stopped.
We were too near a fishing canoe and had to stop or this man would topple over hehe. When we stopped, he came towards us and asked if we wanted to buy his catch of the day, a GORGEOUS ikan putih (anyone with an English name?).
Bought the fish for $15, and just for good measure, he gave us the squid for free. He then went off and paddled away.
Look at this baby. Freshly caught and about to be grilled! Muahahaha!
I noticed as we arrived on the island that there is a quaint little village on one side. I assume that the man who sold us the fish came from there.
But we didn’t go to the village, we went to the beach instead. Now in retrospect, I feel like I should have gone and explored. Hmm. When we arrived another fisherman came on his boat, bringing LOBSTERS!
After some negotiation, bought these babies as well!!! They were a bit pricey, depending on size, costs from $10 to $30 per lobster. So those who plan to come here, bring money to buy these lobsters. They don’t mind Brunei dollars.
On land, there was a “restaurant” where one can buy drinks, and do a barbecue. They rent out the BBQ pits. We just left our stuff, our clothes there. Rested and took photos there.
Not exactly for badminton haha. But you can play volleyball here I guess.
There’s a jungle track. Somehow I regret not going, I think it leads to the fishing villages.
And this tree is asking for help?
Which boat shall we go on? Hmm? Hehe here we are heading back to the boat to go to our snorkel venue.
First we went here. Sorry for the blurry photos, my camera was already set to underwater mode at this point. I forgot to change it back before taking these photos. The coral at this area is more varied, judging from what we can see from the surface. However, we didn’t snorkel here. JELLYFISH na lang!!! Loads of them!
We went to another island instead. Again, I apologise for the blurry photo. We snorkelled here.
Boat docked and we jumped!
Not my legs haha.
This was my first time snorkelling with flippers, while it does help me swim a great distance in a relatively short amount of time, I personally find it pretty annoying! I prefer swimming barefooted as it is quieter, and less disruptive to the fishes. Plus when I snorkel, it’s not like I wanna go somewhere superfast. I want to relax and take my time chasing after darting fishes. Hehe.
My pink new mask and snorkel! 😀 A birthday present from my bestfriends! ❤
I love it!
Beginners may opt to wear life jackets. So it’s all very easy, fun and effortless!
A school of silver fish at my feet! Going so fast, where are you guys going ha?
Another school of fish right here. This time blue. Many small fishes on this reef.
Are you a witch in your past life? Warts and all.
Weird reptilian flower
And saw many many yellow/black fishes. I also saw some sea cucumbers, but not many. Wasn’t a particularly diverse fauna but most definitely better than Pulau Papan.
I believe this is our b’day boy. Hehe. I can’t recognise people underwater! LOL. That’s a disadvantage of life jackets. Hehe.
This is boyfriend, scaring all the fishes away!!! He looks right at home in the water. He’s even more of a water rat than I am really, but less sakai. Hehe.
Time passed (very fast) and it’s time to climb back on the boat.
Obligatory injury. Hahah.
Back at Kuraman, we had lunch! I packed for all of us a yummy bento, or bata. Nice complete meal! Unfortunately, I forgot to put in the corn! Haha.
On top of that, we also had some grilled fish. Soooo goood!
And of course the sweet, juicy fresh lobsters. No butter or whatever needed!!! It was absolutely amazing!!!
Then finally it was time to go home.
As we approached Empire, saw this yacht. SIGH! One day!!! Inda payah bali rumah, just get a yacht!
Back to Empire. Back to reality. 😦 BTW is this Pulau Pungit?