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STOP SANDAL!

INDONESIA | Wednesday, 20 August 2014 | Views [363]

“Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish that they are after” – Henry David Thoreau.

 

Day 20. Iboih, Pulau Weh

 

Over a rice-porridge breakfast, I spent 1.5 hours editing some of Jonathon & Sophie’s thesis.  They are a young Swedish couple who are writing a thesis on migration.  Part of their study includes travelling in Indonesia.  They asked if I could help out with their written English, which is mostly very good.

 

We changed rooms again, still at the same place – Olala.  Now we are in a wooden shack right on the water’s edge.  We have an amazing water view, looking out onto another small island called Rubiah.  We have a hammock on our verandah.  It is idyllic.

 

While snorkeling today, Dave got bitten by Attacky the Knee Fish.  It wasn’t a bad bite & didn’t even bleed but he made his point.  We were in his territory the other day & we were in his territory today.  Cheeky monkey. 

 

We saw a stone fish, which was big and grey brown & very ugly.  His camouflage was fantastic – but we still spotted him!  I watched him for a while, sitting there all stony faced & then suddenly he moved towards us quickly.  We decided to leave him alone after that.  They are deadly after all…

 

We also saw:

A solid silvery barracuda

Long Toms

A large khaki fish with aqua & black spots

A gorgeous fat sea slug with cute black suction feet

Big schools of small fish swimming haphazardly & others looking ordered and like one big fish when viewed from the side.

Small scale scorpion fish.

A moray eel partially under a rock, a few steps away from our bungalow.

 

The snorkeling here is amazing & magical from the moment you put your head under the water.

 

I got charged by a Blue Finned Trigger fish (which strangely, doesn’t have a blue fin).  It’s a fish about 60cm with really big teeth.  After Dave got bitten by a little fish, I was a bit weary of this fish with the big choppers.  So I kept my distance.

 

We ‘bumped into’ Sophie & Jonathon in the water again.  We all treaded water while chatting.  We are in the water longer than we are on land, so it’s bound to happen!

 

At dinner, we chatted with 3 Indonesian students of law & dentistry.  They said we have very good Indonesian for tourists.  And just then, Raikhan walked past.  We saw him 456 kilometres away in Medan.  For us a plane ride, a boat & a car journey away.  For him, a long drive in a hire car & a car ferry with his entire family.  It was great to catch up again.

 

Dave bought a book called Marine Fishes of South-East Asia.  It’s a great fish guide with thousands of pictures of fish with descriptions & details of where they are found.  So at the end of a snorkeling day, we sit in a restaurant, marking off the fish we saw for the day. 

 

Three of the restaurants in the village have a sign at the door: Stop Sandal! So everyone leaves their shoes at the door – whether they are sandals, thongs, sneakers or flippers!

 

I wrote most of this while in the hammock on our verandah, with water beneath me, lapping at the stilts of our wooden bungalow – which got me thinking about movement again:

 

Swaying hammock

Gently drifting currents

Wobbly porcelain toilets

Wobbly unattached toilet seats

An entire beach moving with hermit crabs

And I guess our planet is also doing its slow dance through the universe.

 

Goodnight.

Tags: fish, iboih, pulau weh, sabang, snorkelling

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