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Becoming Fish Food

Fotormedkit

This is the bandage kit I assembled for our recent trip to Sabah. We were going to visit the Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park which was where I was planning to introduce B to snorkeling, at least the kiddo version of it, maybe just a deep breath and see the fish below.

I have a separate kit for the medicines.

Little did I know how useful it would be…

We visited Pulau Manukan which is 20 minutes by boat ride off Jesselton Pier at Kota Kinabalu. The weather had not been good and the night before it had rained really heavily. So the boat ride was super exciting… big waves made the speed boat fly off the crest of the waves but I was pleasantly surprised to see that there were both adult and kids life jackets on the boat and it was compulsory to wear it before the boat left.

We arrived to be greeted by choppy seas and with pretty strong waves that even I had trouble staying afloat. So B had to contend with playing with sand for the first hour of so… the weather was really breezy and we really felt like having a nice snooze but it would be really irresponsible to leave her playing while we zzzzzz….

We chose Pulau Manukan before the waters were the shallowest among the 5 islands that you can visit. Unfortunately, we found out that the sea bed is filled with a stretch of dead corals. So you have to walk very gingerly out before you reach the sandy part. This is alright as long was you are walking with full control. As the waters became calm during the afternoon, we decided to try snorkeling (afterall, the 2 damn snorkels sets had taken up 1/5 of my trolley suitcase).

Perhaps on that day, I just had an aura of fish food on me ( I swear I did regular baths) because in the morning, a jellyfish decided to greet me with a wave of its tentacles which I was in the water. It was a shock to suddenly feel the sting of like 20 ant bites and I scrambled up from the water and A (the hubby) with much difficulty (this is called performance pressure) just was able to squeeze out some man made ammonia on the sting.

And so the story continues, in the afternoon, just as I was walking (very carefully) on the prickly corals, a crazy fish decides to bite me… i tell you, this was not a nip! The bite drew blood and it kept attacking and in my panic to get away, i graze my leg on the corals. It’s amazing what you remember from TV – I actually remembered that piranhas are freshwater fish… so I figured it’s probably safe to carry on… I was not going to let a crazy territorial fish stop me from snorkeling…

The lifeguard pointed to two suspects :

the angel fish (this behaviour would be totally unangelic – probably explains why I killed a couple of my mother’s angel fish when I was 3 years old by scooping them out of the tanks and watching them flip flopping with fasination – at least this is what my mother tells me – which may also explain that maybe it’s the cycle of karma coming back)

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And the other suspect – the soldier fish – ate a barbequed one on my previous trip – they reminded me of those kawai girls with huge lenses…

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Anyway, here’s the nip.

And here is the graze from the coral.

The lifeguards put some antiseptic spray on it but the Betadine cotton buds with iodine was really useful when we got back to the hotel. I could even use it in the moving van (no way you can do that with a bottle in one had and a cotton bud in another).

And of course, here’s the fish.

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The complete sand castle with a road that B designed.

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