Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Chew Jetty Trip. #3

The other thing I discovered about the island, besides the huge swamp and eagle, was that it was filled with rubbish. Damn, it was filthy! Rubbish was at every corner you turned. My wild guess would be that the rubbish was collected from the sea. After all, thePenang beaches are notoriously known for the rubbish you can find. The rubbish that were floating all around could be easily swept ashore with the waves and just stay put there to rot. I heard some of them said in, hushed whispers, to themselves that we weren't the only visitors to the island. Maybe so. But there was no way any visitor could have caused that amount of rubbish to be collected even in a long run. It's weird how the islands are left to rot like that when it remains so obvious from the Penang Bridge.

Our 15minutes was up in a jiff when mom yelled for my name from the other side of the island screaming that we're about to leave for the next island! I wasn't mistaken when I thought there was a tone of worriedness in her voice when she yelled for my name, almost deperately. "Ok, mom, I'm coming!" I yelled back as I took the last shot of the island and the swamp. Unfortunately, I could only take a limited number of shots considering that alot of the strategic angles and interesting subjects were already taken by other professional photographers. It just feels awakward if I were to go to their spot and shoot from their angle. Their vehement glares at me if, I was to walk closer could tell it all that they weren't too happy to share.

I scrambled my way through some branches and got back with them. Mom was already on the line of people clambering into the boat with my sneakers. She told me tet up first, so that I could pull her up next. Did as was told and made our way to the back of the boat again, apologising profusely for causing them who were already seated, to shift in their places uncomfortably.
I settled down and check my shots. Sighed a little and cleaned the front lens of droplets of water with my cloth. Mom decided that she was going to take her shoes off also at the next island stop. "Great!" I said cheerfully as I leaned back a little, poking my head out of the shed, to enjoy the sun on my face, as mom took off her socks and shove them into her shoes also. The next island was just nearby, so it didn't take us long to arrive.

I got down just like I did before and helped mom off. We spent a little while longer on the smaller island seeing that Tim had to take his shots for the website also. There was more dry land here compared to the last island which was covered mostly by the swamp and filled with overgrowing weeds among other unkown species of plants. The crowd was more dipersed here and everybody was having a good time frolicking around the beach, taking photos and enjoying the hot sun plus the fair view of Penang Island with the haze. The bridge was more visible here and most of the crowd was focused on the part of the island which had a good view of the bridge, snapping their digital cameras away, asking others to help them with their cameras if they wanted to be in the picture.

I took a few pictures seeing that the pros had already covered most of the area. I asked a guy to help me take a picture with mom. He was kind enough to help and we got our picture with the birdge behind it. It was pretty cool to be hanging with my mom, trailing her behind with the camera as she turned into her non-worrying self and made footsteps along the shores, giggling slightly. I gotta admit that it's been quite a long time since I last saw her smile, sincerely. And did I mention that I was this close *showing my thum almost touching my indez finger* to stepping on dead jellyfish? It was kind of a miracle that I missed all of them! I could've so easily stepped on any of them!

One of the many jellyfishes that was found ashore...

Time was up and the sun was beginning to set. We got called back to our respective boats like little children again. I scrambled clumsily onto the boat, helping mom behind me and we set off again with me checking my shots and cleaning the camera lens. Waited for a little while for the others to get into their boats and for their boats to get started. We got back to our main objective which was to visit the Penang Bridge during sunset. I leaned back to my usual position to enjoy the sea breeze that was already now slapping against my face as the sped of the boat took up. We got near to the Penang Bridge, very near indeed. I can say it was a breathtaking moment for me cause in a few moments after that, I was looking right from beneath the Penang Bridge to its mega-like structures that held the bridge together. After 16 years of being a Penangite, I kinda felt a brief moment of pride in me! Everyone, including was, was feverishly snapping pictures either with their compacts, SLR or mobile phones, as the boat circled one of the gigantic columns that supported the bridge.

We were supposed to stop and make our way to the platform but due to unforessen circumstances, we couldn't. So we made a few rounds around the columns, took photos and headed back. The sunset was partially amazing - thanks to the haze. Yet, it was a great to sit in the boat and just watch the sun go down beside the Penang Bridge. The one thing fortunate about being on the same boat - literally- with Tim was that we were going to be in one of his group photos. Oh, trust me when I say that the camera is one of the things I fear most in the world but somehow, I felt like I wanted to be in the picture there and then. Strange, I know. Tim courageously set-up his tripod at the front of the boat, had a 10 seconds timer and, and ran back to get in the picture, causing everyone to shriek when the boat shook from side to side at one time, almost turning the camera into the water. Taking pictures on a shaky boat was kind of hard, I'd say. It just depends on the photographers stability to take the the exact shot at the precise moment the boat's stagnant. Skills come to play.

After Tim (and everyone else) felt satisfied with their pictures, we decided to head back to the jetty (finally!). The way home was pristine as we watched the sun go into hiding, slowly behind some mountains in a speeding boat that almost went the wrong way again. The old man realised that he wasn't on the right track soon enough to turn before we stumble into some Burmese Fishing Boats and probably get robbed. The boat ride ended with an official group photo and with most of the participants expressing their joy and satisfaction on this trip. We were treated to some Chew delicacy for dinner before everyone went their separate ways. If I'm not mistaken, the Chews are famous for the Kapitan Chicken Curry. That pretty much sums up the whole trip.

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