Tuesday, September 29, 2015

The fishy feeding frenzy

We'd gone prepared for mosquito attack.

Before we left Husband, after careful internet research, visited the chemist and bought out the shop: we had two spray cans and two roll-ons (for our faces). Better to be prepared we thought.

As it turned out the mosquitoes were few and far between. So far between that Husband decided that the chemical effect of spraying ourselves liberally with the anti-biting-stuff would probably be more harmful than any potential bites. 

What we hadn't gone prepared for fish bite.

The first time Husband jumped and said a fish had bitten him I laughed and said, 'How bad can a fish suck be?' I changed my tune when they turned on me.

At one point I had a leg covered in fish bites. They'd even broken the surface and drawn blood. Before you start worrying I should explain that these weren't sharks or anything even quarter as big. These were smaller than a hand-size fish and it was the way they crept up on us and sneaked in when we weren't looking that really upset me. I spent much time hopping around and yelling at my attackers.

Younger Son explained it's the fault of tourists, as so much is even in these remote islands. They feed the fish to see them swarm around, and that encourages a 'If you're not going to feed me I'll eat you,' attitude on the part of the fish.

And to think people pay money in this country to sit on a stool and stick their feet in a tank of fish. 

I thought it was for religious reasons that the Muslim girls wore head to toe clothing when swimming but maybe they knew about the fish

When I wasn't trying to avoid vicious fish I had a brilliant time snorkelling. I've always refused to snorkel before because I was convinced I'd breathe in at the wrong time or panic, which I did on occasion when water got in my mask or snorkel, but I did almost get the hang of it and was thoroughly glad that I tried. 

It's difficult to squeak excitedly when you're using a snorkel. But not impossible.

I saw:
giant clams, schools of needlefish, sea cucumbers, groupers, a blue-spotted ray, a bumphead parrotfish and numerous species that no-one had yet identified. At least not from my descriptions such as goofy-toothed fish and yellow black and white stripy fish and one that looks like a bit of rock.

My favourite was the moon wrasse (left, not my photo), which incidentally, I'm informed has an excellent sense of smell and can change sex.

And, of course, the male greenback turtle who even came to the surface very close to us. A turtle project based in the Perhentians asks tourists to send in their photos of turtles who all have individual markings. If a new one is photographed the photographer gets the chance to name it. Younger Son and Nuora have named one Cariad (sweetheart, love).

Getting back to unpleasant chemicals, just before we landed at Heathrow on our return the captain announced that the cabin crew would be coming around spraying something - I didn't catch the whole message but did hear him suggest that we kept our eyes closed for 30 seconds. At least that's what I think he said: I seemed to be the only one closing my eyes (and peeping obviously). 

It had been a long over-night flight so it might just have been deodorant.

1 comment:

SmitoniusAndSonata said...

I'm speechless with envy over your whole trip ! It all sounds wonderful .