Instead of returning home, sit in front of the PC (or iPad) and trying to memorize the trip details, we're presenting a day-to-day JBR instead. Enjoy!
Why Tanjung Gemok? We had been taking ferries from Mersing previously and were aware of the issue with low tide / high tide. One day before the trip, we called Bluewater Mersing and the (somewhat annoyed lady) informed that the boat schedule was like this: 4am, 2pm and 4pm. Yes, 4am, that was not a typo. Apparently that's when the high tide and one needs to wait 10hrs for another round of high tide at 2pm. Since we drove from KL at 5am and with Tg Gemok's departure planned at 11am, it seemed like a natural choice.
We took the route that passed through Mersing since we want to utilize the NSE highway as much as possible. It was a breezy drive from KL until the exit at Ayer Hitam. Got caught up a little bit in Kluang traffic but soon we hit the Endau forest areas, palm oil plantations and stuff. We arrived at Tg Gemok at 10am. It was already busy. In fact busier than what we expected. Perhaps due to some re-routing of early arrivals who were originally thinking of Mersing departure. The published departure was only once a day ie: at 11am. Due to the heavy load, two ferries were deployed. Both took off around 11:15am which was not bad. Signs of low tide issue were there but the river bed was deep enough for the ferries to negotiate. Seats were a bit cramped and in 5-seater configuration so one has to be wary if you need to get out from your seat along the journey.
Given the departure at 11:15am (actual) and our arrival shortly after 1pm at Tekek jetty, the journey took almost 2hrs with Tekek being the 1st stop (hooray!). We think the ferries headed to ABC and Salang after that and not too sure if they went to Paya or Genting later. Probably not.
[Tekek & Babura Seaview]
Initially we wanted to stay at Samudra Swiss Cottage but it was fully booked. Luckily we were able to make booking at Babura. Even that was done 3-4 days in advance. We did not know why Tioman was busy this weekend but it was probably due to Singaporean school holiday. Walking from Tekek jetty to Babura took about 20mins in scorching sun; 30mins if you stroll slower.
At 2pm, our room was ready. We were staying at triple chalet which cost RM160 per night. To our standards, it was a relatively basic but acceptable for the purpose. It has queen+single bed configuration. The air conditioning was working by the scruff of the neck with audible vibration. Did we mention it was hot outside?
Since we woke up 4am this morning, we took a long nap until 5:30pm. Then we walked along the beach to the many dive centers to enquire about tomorrow's dive trip. I 'think' we managed to book 2 dives with Tioman Reef Divers although they were swamped with divers tomorrow. It was very nice of the owner and his Japanese wife to try to slot us in. Let's hope no problem with the arrangement tomorrow.
[Dinner in Tekek]
Tekek is no Salang. The village is more spread out. Yes, we have stayed in Salang 2-3 times before. Tekek has a more small town feel with cars, vans, motorcycle and tarmac road. Thus far, it doesn't look noisy perhaps due to everything being spread out. We loved the fact that there are plenty of sundry shops to buy grubs, mineral water, etc. Plenty of seafood restaurants too. Just had a dinner consisting of 2 large prawns, 1 large squid, chicken & salted kale for RM50. We might have something similar tomorrow. Oh, the booze seemed cheap but since we aren't drinkers (...). But I bought 2 cartoons of cigarette for me-self (*smile*).
Day 2 in Tioman tomorrow. Bring it on!