The rocks where we snorkeled one morning were just an outcrop near the island of Gelok. We drift snorkeled with our dinghy in tow. This one-tree island looked pretty cool, I thought.
We rented a car with a NZ couple from Ajax to do a 'visa run' up to the border of Thailand. We needed to restart my 90-day allowance again by leaving the country. When you come back in, you get another 90 days on your visa. I was on my last day when we drove to the border. This little river is the dividing line between Malaysia (on the left) and Thailand. You can see some local boats have been beached on the banks for quite some time...
Once we were legal again in the country, we headed back to Redang from Kuala Terengganu and then on up to the Perhentians just another 20 miles further on. These islands are the last stop before crossing into Thai waters and is as far as we would go. With tales of corrupt officials demanding exhorbitant amounts of money to clear in and out and demanding bribes for the harbourmaster, we decided to pass on our original destination of Koh Samui. We'd heard the waters were rough, stirred up and not good for snorkeling now anyway. We will skip Thailand on the east coast.
Below is Jason leaning on a huge buoy on the beach on Perhentian Kecil (the smaller of the 2 islands). This used to be/is a backpackers resort island. There aren't any cars so folks use local boats to get around on the islands and between the islands. YOLO is the only yacht here.
A distant view of the other beach at Turtle Point, where the turtle conservation huts are. We took the dinghy over and tied it up to a line of floats offshore that we thought marked a swimming/snorkeling area. We got yelled at to move to let a boat cross over the float line to get its tourists to shore. At night, even in the rain, we could see the turtle monitors keeping a watch on the beach with their flashlights. A big sign on the beach says people aren't allowed from 3 PM to 8 AM to allow the turtles to come ashore and nest. The beach here has lots of blue coral chunks washed ashore--very pretty.
Several times we were invited ashore to see the turtle rangers' operations. They would stop by in their boat on the way to the beach for the night and motion us in. Eventually, we made it and watched a man dig up baby turtles from a nest where they'd been reburied inside a net pen for safety. Many of the baby turtles didn't make it out of the sand and the nest and broken eggs stunk. But we let a bucket oft hem loose into the sea one evening, so I hope a few make it back as adults to continue the cycle.