25
May
11

Passing by the beautiful Pulau Aur

We departed Tioman 0015hrs for a cool overnight passage back to Singapore via P.Aur. We didnt actually plan to visit Aur in this trip, but it was highly recommended that we do so… we hear such raving reports on how beautiful Aur is, we just have to see it for ourselves.

It was a very windless night, the seas were very calm… We couldnt sail in this condition, but we did have a current in our favor. Motoring at 1800rpm, we made an easy 4-5kns, we got there in just 8hrs.

Entering the slot between Aur(right) and Dayong(left)

0700hrs, daybreak on the S China sea, we are about 5nm to Aur. At the moment when the sun broke thru the clouds and horizon, there were a flurry of jumping fish activity all around us. These are big mackeral like fishes jumping all around on our port side. I did wonder if they were dolphins, but nah, we could see the shapes of the jumping fishes very clearly.. .. then I wondered if they do this morning exercise daily..? 🙂 The feeling of being there amongst them and watching them is quite undescribeable.. it was AWESOME!

Fishes swimming by our boat...

0830hrs, entering the gap between Dayong and Lang and then Aur. The rocks on Dayong and Aur are really quite spectacular.. and the waters are unbelieveably clear! We start seeing the bottom very clearly at 20ft.

Limited charting of Aur.

The top island is Dayong, the big island is Aur and the little one left of Aur is Lang… 🙂 There are 3 resorts in the gap between Dayong and Aur. Resort 1 is nearest tot the jetty, where ferries brings holiday makers from the mainland to Aur. Resort 2 is on P. Dayong, directly opposite Resort 1. Resort 3 is further into the gap. It doesnt show on the map, but depth in the middle of the gap is 25meters at least. It shallows quite rapidly nearer to shore, so we do really have to keep an eye on the depth sounder.

Sunset on Calliste at Aur

We dont have good charts of this area.. using our very basic Bluecharts, depth sounder and common sense, we manage to find a small patch of sand to anchor in among coral heads.. not a ideal situation for anchoring… really should have pickuped a mooring.. but lets wait and see how it goes.

Another pretty picture of Calliste at Aur

1000hrs, Doug needs a rest.. and I need to stretch my paddling arms.. am too excited in this beautiful anchorage to get any sleep. Launched Yakuni and out to play on my own… only a short 3 mins paddle to the shallow waters near the beach around the 3rd resort, next flow with the current down towards the 1st resort and gawk at all those beautiful rocks, marine life, beaches and coconut trees.

Oh wow, that was so fun. Now, whats over at the 2nd resort? Crossed the gap in just 10 mins, paddled up and then back down towards Calliste.. check out the restaurant and chalets… looks like quite a resort, but its Friday noon and nobody is around… all so quiet in all 3 resorts, a skeleton crew goes about preparing for the busy weekend.

Tiny snails on a rock

Looks like there are plenty of moorings around and available for us.. Can see the huge blocks and chains at the bottom, a reassuring sight.. yes, we really should move to a mooring. … saw a beige colored mooring ball with a haysack color thingy attached to .. just about 10meters from it… the mooring moved… ! and slowly glided away and into the water! What was that!!! ?? Was it a Dugong? … Oh WOW! That was so cool!!

Shallow waters near to the resorts on Aur

1300hrs, back to Calliste. Sun is getting too hot now, time for lunch anyway. We were just hanging out in back and having lunch.. a nice breezy day, feels alot less hot and stuffy than in Tioman.. I really do have many reasons to like Aur better.. really!

Sea cucumbers hanging out in the shallows of Aur..

.. something large is moving in the water .. about 20 meters on our starboard.. I point out to Doug… its like a dark shadow just under the water surface.. we watch and watch and… out pops a head! Its a TURTLE!! Then it dive away… no time for a pix… DRATS!! At least, this time, its a positive identification and we both saw it.. but I think the beigy thing that I saw earlier is different…

Looking out at resort 3 on Aur

 

1600hrs, we are pointing in a rather usual position… a sign that our anchor chain is fouled around some coral heads… time to shop around for a better anchoring spot.. Doug prefer anchoring to picking up a mooring… After 2hrs of moving up and down, left and right between the 3 resorts… no luck. So back to the same old place and this time, we are picking up a mooring. Always better to ask the locals for which is available for us… if you dont want to upset anybody. We were pointed to the new blue mooring near to the dive tank refill platform… we saw them putting it in earlier in the day… well, it’ll be fine. We are not expecting any bad blow in the next 24hrs… fingers crossed.

Postcard perfect picture!

Day 2 0830hrs, launched both kayaks. I kept talking about my solo expedition whole of the night, and I bugged Doug all night to go paddle with me the next day… 🙂 .. I am sure he’ll enjoy it too.. 1st stop, short paddle to the rocks near the 3rd resort. Thats where the sea cumbers hangout.. 🙂 and snails too.

Early morning daylight is great for postcard pictures! Look at the gentle blue sky, lush green palm trees, weathered grey rocks and shades of teal green waters.

Rocks on the left and rocks on the right...

Next stop, to the passage thru the rocks! I could hang out here all day!!

Currents run quite strongly between these islands, that makes the hydraulic actions very interesting among these rocks. Its undescribeable interesting to sit in a kayak and wait to see where the waters will bring you.

Thats Calliste! Shes so small among the rocks!

We had so much fun around the rocks! Seeing Calliste thru a pair of small rocks… and in 10secs of waiting… viola! A different view of Calliste … and the dive platform appears out of nowhere…. ! Optical illusions!

The crab are almost as big as Calliste!

Check out how big the crabs look! Oh wow!

Looks like Calliste is sitting unprotected from the NE… but for the time that we were there, it was not really too uncomfortable.. it surprised us.. really.

Alright, just 1 more picture of the beautiful waters of Aur…

Crystal clear emerald waters of Aur!

1600hrs, we left the mooring. We exited thru the narrow part of the gap, going for a circumnavigation of Dayong.. We see dive boats do that all the time, so we think we be fine… do as the locals… but follow the big boats, not the sampans… 🙂

Once out to the open, we started picking up a little wind, 2-10kns. Made it around Dayong to Lang in just 1hr. Alright, now for the long haul down to Singapore! Its gonna be a long night…

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Sailing 2015: Port Townsend(WA, US) -> Costes Island (BC, Canada)

Sailing 2013: Singapore -> Okinawa -> Kobe

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