Thursday, July 29, 2010

SSC 2010 Trip: Gem Island ( a.k.a Gemia Island )

It has been a long long time since I updated this blog. I find it very difficult to have the proper time and place write events or happenings due to work and family commitment.

One of the reason could be,... I was so busy arranging island trip for sports club members. This year, I manage to find a kind of a secluded Island from the cluster of Redang, Perhentian and Lang Tengah. This is because I prefer to find an exclusive place for my 2010 Siemens Sports Club members - one island equals to one resort only. For this year, I have choosen Gem Island (Gemia).

The name Gemia has been around but strangely, not many people aware that this island exists. It is situated a few kilometre north of Pulau Kapas (Cotton Island). The recently renovated island resort looks classy and comfortable. I have booked around 12 water villas for 35 sports club members.

The night before:
We boarded the bus from our office around 11.15pm and we started off our journey to Terengganu sharp at 2330hours. It stared raining when we were at Karak highway. With multiple stop for breaks along the way, we managed to arrive Marang town around 0530hours. It was too early for us and one of the members requested the bus driver to bring us for early morning breakfast. It took him almost half an hour to travel 10km away from Marang town for our breakfast.

After the very early breakfast, we continued our journey to the Jetty and we had to travel 10km all the way back to the Marang Jetty. It was still raining and we waited at for the boats for at least one and a half hour due to bad weather.

Approximately 15-20 minutes of boat ride, we arrived at Gem Island Resort and Spa. Weather was getting better with slight drizzle and soon the sun came out. Upon checking-in into our rooms, one of the guys invited my room mates and me for a 10 o'clock dive. We had to travel to Kapas Island because there is no dive centre at Gem Island.

First dive was not that pleasant as I had tough time to remember on how to setup the dive equipments plus some necessary skills in the water such as equalization, buoyancy and hand signals. With some help by the dive master, I manage to plunge myself into the water with confidence. Unfortunately, the water was a bit murky due to early morning rain. The only thing I could highlight is the Leopard Moray Eel we saw hiding near the reef.

Once done with diving, we went back to the resort for lunch. Next was the snorkeling session at 2.30pm and the weather was getting better. Sun already up and shining and we could expect that snorkeling session could be much better than our morning dive.

Snorkeling was good, with only few spots of murky water. The rest was okay and my mates saw a school of bumpheads at the second snorkeling site. In the evening, we had nice dinner followed by a nice guessing game  at the dining table.

Approximately around 10pm, we explored some other parts of the small island with my super bright torchlight and released the hatched baby turtles into the pool before calling the night off.

Day 2: We woke up a bit early for breakfast and then we proceed for the kayaking session since the snorkeling trip will only happen around 11.30am. Weather was superb and sunny all the way! My friends and I took few kayaks and we cross over to a secluded spot on Kapas Island. We took some funny pictures, and then we raced back to Gem Island.

The second snorkeling trip was awesome. Visibility in the water was about 12 meters. We spent quite some time on the second site even though we spotted quite a number of harmless jelly fish around the reefs.

Next, we went back to the resort for lunch and proceed with the 3pm dive. It was really rush hour and non stop action from kayaking, snorkeling and to diving. The second dive was a big group with additional divers out of nowhere, haha.

Our second dive was at Coral Garden near Gem. Visibility was good and I spotted a black tip shark, giant puffer fish and bleaching corals. Corals bleach when the water is getting warmer, thanks to global warming cause by us.

Dinner was with barbecue style on the second night. No one complain about the food at all. I am sure couples or families would love this kind of place with luxurious accommodation plus variety of delicious meals.

Right after the dinner, we explore another part of the island again. This time, more members joined us for the fun. The night ended with a drinking session accompanied by the same guessing game we had the night before.

I woke up late and missed the last kayaking session. I had my last breakfast in an alfresco style before taking some pics around the resort with my humble camera phone for blogging purpose.

We left the island at 11.30am with 3 boats with 35 members on board. The only thing we missed was the group photo at the resort.

At around 2pm, we stopped by Chukai town at Kemaman for Tong Juan Restaurant's famous stuffed crab before headed home.

Even thought the food there was a bit pricey considering its location, I still feel worth it after tasting the stuffed crab. It was heaps good!

Upcoming activity(ies)

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