27 January 2009

Long journey home from Pulau Ubin

Note to self: huge crowds build up at Pulau Ubin on long holidays!I should have been alerted, literally, by the signs on the way out. Chay Hoon pointed out this intriguing notice on our bumboat.
Changi beach was full of happy campers!

Oblivious, we headed out to the Northern mangroves. As we headed home, we saw the snaking queue for the bumboats!5:50pm we join the queue which extends way past Pak Ali's shop.Here's Pak Ali at his shop. He stopped by to chat with us. How sweet.5:54pm - we seem to be making some headway. Great!5:57pm - Oh this seems to be going well as we shuffle slowly down the jetty. The crowd is amiable, happy and the breeze keeps everyone cool.6:01pm - we shuffle past the Sonneratia trees.6:07pm - we're nearly there, sort of. But the crowd start to pack up tightly so progress slows a little.6:09pm - Yay, are we there yet?6:28pm - The going gets really slow. As we get nearer the exit point, people jam up tightly. But everyone is still in a good mood and no one cuts the queue although there is a bit of pushing. And there was a bit of a commotion on the steps of the jetty, probably someone nearly got pushed off or something. But fortunately, no mishaps.6:40pm - Wow, the queue behind is still as long as when we first started!7:07pm - Finally! We are waiting at the steps for the next bumboat! Yay.7:15pm - as we leave Ubin, the queue is still snaking across the jetty. Amazing.

The bumboat operators were moving as quickly as they could, and each had an assistant to count heads. It all went very smoothly without any Coast Guard folks having to keep the peace. I'm quite impressed, although I wouldn't choose to repeat the experience.

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