My whole body is submerged, resting on the hammock tied beneath the catamaran’s bow, my
head bobbing above the water. My mind is empty… my eyes gazing at the trees, clear skies and the calm sea. Recalling this memory alone is putting a smile on my face. Being in that moment – pure bliss…
On our 3rd day in Langkawi we went on a day cruise on this awesome catamaran called “Rampant Sailing”. Carl, the South African captain, ferried us from the dock of Awana Porto Malai to the catamaran in a small engine boat. Welcomed aboard by his partner, Bea, a super friendly Swiss lady, I couldn’t wait for the cruise to start.
5 French, 1 Dutch, 1 British & 2 Malaysians safely onboard… we began our sail. As we cruised past green hills of various islands of the Langkawi archipelago, including the famous Pulau Dayang Bunting, half of us were out on the bow deck, chilling on the netted floor directly above the water, enjoying the calm and the splashing waves against the side of the catamaran. Have I mentioned bliss?
Pulau Dayang Bunting or Island of the Pregnant Maiden is the second largest island of the archipelago and tells the tale of a sad love story, one of the many popular legends of Langkawi. Here resides a fresh water lake that is frequented by a celestial princess called Mayang Sari who caught the attention of a man called Mat Teja. He fell madly in love with her and tricked her into marrying him and soon after they had a child. Tragically, their child died and Mayang Sari laid the child at the lake to rest in peace. Heartbroken, the princess returned to heaven but not before blessing the lake. It is said that any woman that is childless will be able to conceive if they bathe in this mystical lake. The gracious princess did this so that no one would have to experience the pain of a lost child.
“The jacuzzi is up!” exclaimed Bea all of a sudden. Curious…I followed the rest to the back of the catamaran. The jacuzzi turned out to be this huge rope net being dragged slowly by the catamaran. I lowered myself into the net and took a reclining position, just enjoying the moving scenery. Some of the other guests (Sharm included) had climbed out and held on at the very tip of the net so that their bodies are pulled.
A Private Spot
When we approached a cove at Pulau Gubang Laut, Carl dropped anchor, indicating our first stop. Protected by vertical rock cliffs – it was like our private cove. The first thing I did was kayak myself towards a small cave. My heart started pounding as I looked onto the pitch black cave mouth which was accompanied by a loud hum. The hum was actually just the echo coming from inside the cave. But “hummmmm” made me all nervous and so I paddled my way back to the catamaran. Returning the kayak, I then grabbed a water noodle and swam around making my way to the bow where the hammocks were. The water was gently rocking me into a daze. It was so peaceful.
“Hannnniiiiii…..”, Sharm’s voice broke the silence. It turned out, I was the only one left immersed in the water while everyone else had gathered around the table under the fully covered stern deck for lunch (which is included in the cruise). We went local with chicken satay, grilled prawns, white rice and dishes of gravy, curry and vegetables. Thumbs up to Carl and Bea for doing a wonderful job showcasing the Malaysian experience, from the scenery down to the food.
Stomachs full, we set-off towards our second stop, Pulau Singa Besar. Bea took some of us for a short jungle trek. Surrounded by tall mangrove trees, Bea asked us to stand still. A few minutes passed and then tiny claws started emerging and waving around the muddy ground. “They are male fiddler crabs… they’re waving to call the girl crabs”, Bea explained softly. Continuing further inland, we ended up at a large pond which was covered by water lilies.
After about 40 minutes or so, we headed back to the beach, where Carl picked us up. Whilst waiting, eagles glided above us. It was nice to see them roaming free in the open sky. Bea explained that Pulau Singa Besar is a wildlife sanctuary – no hotels or chalets can be built in order to preserve its surroundings. Camping is however permitted but you will need to bring your own tents and camping equipment.
Sailing back, I lay down on the bow deck, wondering how 6 and a half hours had flown by so fast! It didn’t matter that I was exposed to the sun as I wanted to savour this moment. I realised the cruise was ending as more sailboats came into view as we approached the jetty. When Carl and Bea dropped us off at the dock, I sighed, sad that it was over but happy that the day had turned out better than I had imagined. Exchanging our goodbyes, I was already planning a repeat trip in my head.
Price: RM299 per person for the Day Cruise (check out their website for other cruises)
Address: Resort World Langkawi, Porto Malai, Fun & Adventure Centre, Tanjung Malai, 07000 Langkawi, Kedah