Sunday, 24 April 2011

20110422 chek jawa

Everyone had wanted to go to Chek Jawa for a visit, but the timing is never right.  Then mommy found out that it will be low tide in the morning of Good Friday, and so almost everyone (the females, that is) wanted to go!

Since we are supposed to reach Changi Point Ferry Terminal (opposite Changi Village Hotel) very early, we all decided to have a sleepover at 大姨姨's place the night before to ensure that everyone will be able to wake up.  Yuan yuan even rushed over after his tuition had finished.  Everyone except Daddy , that is, and Julia and Charlie (who is sick) and 四姨姨 (who have to take care of Charlie).  So all of us sleep in 大姨姨's bedroom, with 4 sleeping bag (the kids sleeping on the 大姨姨's  mattress), and 大姨姨 sleeping in the sofa bed in the living room (wise choice, because the kids refuse to sleep :P)

Besides the discomfort of the sleeping bags, we were not able to sleep well as the neighbours across the road seemed to favor talking in loud voices in the middle of the night.  And there are also vehicles zooming past with their loud engines and horns despite the fact that it was supposed to be a minor road which is near to the dead end.

Poor 大姨姨 forget to reset her alarm and it woke her up at 5.30am when we planned to wake up at 6am! :P The kids are very tired to wake up so early. We then wait for Daddy to appear while having breakfast.

Daddy appeared on time and we left around 7 plus.  We reached Changi Point Ferry Terminal with lots of empty parking lots to spare.  One of the bumboat operators managed to squeeze us in with a few other passengers and we board the bumboat immediately after arriving at the jetty.  There are some seats 'inside' the bumboat, and some outside (but still sheltered).  The ride costs us $2.50 per person.

Boarding the bumboat
Bold Kathleen held onto one of the poles for a photoshot after seeing Janice doing the same

Lots of yachts behind...
The ride across the sea was smooth (Kathleen had asked mommy the day before we will encounter sharks or dolphins but thankfully we did not encounter the former :P) and soon we reach Pulau Ubin.  Upon reaching dry land, an uncle asked us if we wanted a van ride and charge us $4 per person for both ways, and so we got our 'personal' van to Chek Jawa.

We went to the jetty first after consulting the staff at the information kiosk.  It is still low tide and the sea moss is exposed (see picture below, all the green colour below the boardwalk is the slightly submerged sea moss).  The older kids managed to spot mud skipper, sea coral, and even a school of fish!  The weather is hot and sunny though.

a anemone in the middle of the picture

a school of fish that we encountered swimming at the end of the boardwalk.  Someone did ask if they are edible .. :P
After that, we went to the other boardwalk and climbed up the 21m viewing tower which allow us to view the intertidal flats.
the pointy looking things on the right edge of the picture is the coastal boardwalk with people walking on the flats

We proceed to the coastal boardwalk and managed to see many fiddler crabs (those crabs with one big pincer and one small pincer)

Visitors are only allowed to go down onto the flats if they managed to book the group organised by the volunteers ($60 per group, max 15 person, usually have to book half a year in advance) which of course we did not manage to do.
One of the few shelters along the way
After we have finished getting lots of vitamin D, we called the uncle for the van and then made our way back to the jetty where Janice wanted to go to the tidal pool in search of marine animals.  We found fishes and even hermit crabs in the pools!

hermit crabs!
The kids having fun in the tidal pool while the adults are suffering from the hot sun.  The long white and brown line behind is the jetty.
It was about 10plus then, and alot of people have just arrived at the island (which made us wonder if they did not manage to wake up as early as us, or they simply do not mind the hot hot sun).  We took another bumboat back to the mainland to see a long queue of people queuing to take the bumboats to Pulau Ubin (again, we wonder why).

We then proceed to have lunch at a nearby coffee shop before going back to  大姨姨's place.  We rested for a while before (ahhh..children and their endless energy) going for some pool fun.  After swimming, we went to to find Charlie and 四姨姨 there and then the cousins spent some time playing computer games before going home for the day.

Mommy asked Kathleen which is her favourite part of the outing, and her answer? The sleepover and swimming.  The city kid just does not like lots of walking, especially under the hot sun.  But for the adults, at least now we have finally made that long awaited trip to Chek Jawa... :)