Well, today I’m all set up at Swiss Cottages in Tekek on Tioman Island. In a short while I will be meeting with our scientist Alvin Cheliah who is currently doing some science, under water, just off shore.
My phone number here is xxx. Please use this number to communicate any issues you might encounter in getting to the assembly point on time (remember 11:00 for the first and 09:00 for the second group). Likewise, if you are on the island prior to assembly and would like to meet me for a chat, please feel very invited to call or text me.
So far the prep is going well. I expect everything will be well ready for your arrival. Just a quick heads up on transport from the airport. If you are staying at Berjaya prior to the expedition, you will have a coach to meet you. Unless you have been specifically informed of a ride though, people staying at other accommodation will need to get a taxi. You may find the airport officials helpful in getting a cab, I did, but it is not their job so don’t expect it. Here’s a couple of numbers for the recommended service, a bloke named Budin: 0197 890 810 and 0129 676 659. Also try Shammi on 0177 181 738.
A special g’day to last year’s team members. The last team will remember Carol, who is here at the moment providing a great piece of continuity to the expedition a she hands over the baton to this season of Reef Checkers. Unfortunately she won’t be here to meet the new team but it’s really great that the process is being connected to previous efforts in this way.
Finally, you may have heard the news about “Gun battles on holiday island force FCO to issue travel warning” (http://www.travelmole.com/news_feature.php?c=setreg®ion=2&m_id=s~_r_rY!_rY!&w_id=8751&news_id=2005420). I would like to assure everyone that these events are limited to a specific area on Sabah on the island of Borneo only and that all is calm here on Tioman island.
Update from our Malaysia SCUBA volunteer vacation / diving conservation holiday protecting the coral reefs of Tioman, Malaysia (www.biosphere-expeditions.org/malaysia)