13 May 2014
We've moved to a hotel in downtown Kampung Berjaya (pronounced cam-POONG ber-JIY-ya), opposite Underwater World Aquarium and pretty much at the southern end of Pantai Cenang beach.
So of course, this means spending time on the beach. Especially when it's a warm and sunny day. With a glorious breeze to help alleviate the very bright and hot sunshine streaming down.
And since this is the middle of the week, and not the middle of the Water Festival, the beach is relatively empty, with only a brave few people out enjoying the gorgeous day.
One of the main activities seems to be jetski trips, and there are numerous companies that own one or two jetskis for rental. Each day they drive down to the beach, jetskis on the trailers, and they set up "shop."
As far as I could figure out, most of the beautiful flags fluttering in the breeze (okay, pretty hard wind) were used as signals to the jetski renters. Throughout my walk along the shore I saw various people waving different flags as signals to the people - your time is up, or go left (or right), or whatever.
But for me, walking on the beach, the flags just made pretty pops of colour to photograph.
As you can see in the photos, this is a very wide beach, and maybe 1.3 miles long (around 2 km?). Well, actually I walked from one end almost to the point - and I'm not sure what's beyond that. The end of the beach I started from, the south end, begins at a rocky headland that separates this beach from another beach further south. The beaches sort of form an indented scalloped edge to the island, with the rock headlands creating the "points" between the curving beaches.
The beach is some 35-50 feet wide (maybe 12 to 16 meters?) - and from the surf, which was close to low tide, to the high tide mark was maybe 15-20 feet (5 to 6 or 7 meters). The slope is very shallow because the sand is so fine it's like powder - really, this was some of the softest, finest sand I've seen in a long long time! Like baby powder sand!
Anyway, the finer the sand the less slope to the beach; the coarser the sand grains, the steeper the slope of the beach. (According to my teacher, my dad.)
Part of the way along the shore, between the low and high tide marks, the sand was covered with designs made of little tiny round balls of sand. They radiated out from holes in the sand, and if we looked closely we could see very small crabs skittering and scuttling in and out of the holes and across the sand - hordes of crabs! Battalions of crabs! Troops, squadrons, regiments of crabs, all making for holes and away from us, the giants walking on the beach.
It seemed that some crabs shared holes - or maybe each crab just dove for the closest shelter - because sometimes one crab would try to jump down a hole just as another crab came up, and they'd collide. Or one scared crab made for a hole as another stood his/her ground in the entrance, waiting to see what we'd do.
They were very funny to watch. And I managed to get a photo of one of the brave crabs waiting in the hole.
There were also capiz shells that had been eroded and polished to flat thin coasters of shell, almost translucent, they were so thin, shining iridescent purple blue silver in the sun.
I found a sea star that was stranded in the sand, upside down (as in feeding side up) - it was still pliable when I picked it up, so I threw it back into the sea, hoping it will revive and live.
More sea eagles flying around, but no sea turtles or dolphins to be seen.
It was just a wonderful way to spend an afternoon, getting exercise and enjoying the beach.