Thursday, 21 March 2013

An update from Alpha 9

On the boat to Dive Island
Enrique, Duco, Rolex, Sabine, Clara, Becki, Dido & Sarah
Alpha 9 are currently enjoying the dive element of their trek-dive-trek, so I went over to the island with the group on Monday to catch up with them about how they were finding the phase so far.

When I met up with them, the group were really enjoying life on dive island. They were really happy to be able to relax a bit, do some washing and couldn't wait for the diving. Mamutik Island is a gorgeous little island just a boat ride away from Sutera Harbour in KK.

After setting up the bashas the group were straight into a briefing session. Prior to arriving on the island they had spent a day in the classroom with Borneo Divers. This session taught them all about safety and the equipment they would be using. Then after a briefing session on the island - explaining what they would be doing underwater and a generally providing some useful how to tips such as how to communicate underwater and what to do if your regulator comes out of your mouth or if it happens to your buddy, and what to do if your mask comes off - they went out on their first dives. Dressed in wet suits and each paired up with a diving buddy, off they went.

The group were absolutely reeling from their first day diving on the island - which finished with an absolutely gorgeous sunset. For many this was their first time and they were really impressed as they went down eight meters in the morning dive. For others they were still making up their minds as it is an unusual sensation being able to breathe underwater. However, despite being a little nervous these people were looking forward to trying it again the next day.

When we reviewed the day in the evening, aside from experiencing diving itself, the groups highlights were seeing the corals and fishes (including a sea snake) - and dancing underwater. However, much of the coral seen off Mamutik Island has been damaged by tourists and so at the end of the week they will be planting coral and going to visit the coral that Raleigh planted several years ago to see the impact. The group were particularly excited by this element.

They were excited to have these five days on the island to break up the treks and were looking forward to more quality, bonding time as an Alpha group on the island, getting their PADIs and celebrating Guy's 19th birthday on the 23rd.

Sunrise on Mamutik Island

Having enjoyed the day so much I had to ask how they were feeling about returning to trek after five days on this 'paradise' island. I was impressed by the groups optimism. They were really looking forward to their eight day trek back to Basecamp - providing it doesn't rain too much as the rain, their extremely muddy camp on their second day where they had to put up their tarps in torrential rain had been a few of the challenges they had previously endured. In addition to this not washing for days, dealing with wet socks and leeches and learning how to put up their bashas has been challenging for them.

Nevertheless, when asked what they had enjoyed during their trek they said:
  • The mountain views.

A9 trekking
  • The groups pace, as usually they were a good hour ahead of the guides' expectation.

Dido, Becki, Clara and Sabine
  • The homestay - eating tapioca and deep fried food including banana fritters.

  • The river near the homestay as they had their first wash in four days.
  • The food in KK's Filippino market the night before Dive Island where they bought far to much food including chicken wings, chicken bums, scampi, noodles, burgers, fresh veg, bean fritters, calimari, sausage, goughnuts, fresh mango, apam balic, cha kueh (fried dough with cream in it) and lots of fresh fish.
PMs Fred, Nat and Xenia at the market

Filipino Market
For the meantime, I have left the group on the island excited about the week ahead, well bonded as a group and feeling so lucky to have the opportunity to stay in such a beautiful location.

A9 on Dive Island - Rolex, Enrique, Duco, Connor, Nigel, Natalie, Guy, Sabine,
Xenia, Sarah, Becki, Clara and Dido

This is the sunrise we woke up to


Anonymous said...

For Sabine van Ameyde alpha 9

Hi bean,
I'm looking at your blog sitting on the terrace overlooking the valley :-) the sun is shining in forcalquier and it's lovely to be here. We saw Sophie last night for dinner, the crepe was closed so we went to les Deux anges. It's was delicious...... It looks as if you are having an amazing time on the island - what an experience!!! I bet you love the diving - la piscine de forcalquier a bien t'aider.....
We miss you, love you lots mum and daddy xxxxxxxx

Anonymous said...

To Duco - alpha 9

Lieve Duco. Net de fotos gezien van je duikparadijs. Lijkt mij heerlijk om even uit te rusten en te genieten van de wereld onder water. Hier, aan de ander kant van de Borneo gaat alles goed, mama weer terug in Nederland en Merry zorgt goed voor mij. Ik heb iedere dag schoen gewassen kleren. Tot hoors en veel plezier met het vervolg van je trekking. Lo

Anonymous said...

from Church Farm
to Peter Hodge

Hi Hoss, you may have to book the mountain trip yourself but make sure they are a reputable company with qualified guides, I have tried now with three, we missed the first and the other two dont have the availability, I hope your engineering skills are starting to show with your project. Its freeeezzzzzing here you lucky pig with lots of snow supposed to drop, as long as it doesnt drop on Manchester Airport next week. Hope you are still thinking its awesome, missing you, stay safe and lots of love me & Jamwar xxxxxxxxxxxx

Anonymous said...

To Dido Visser - Alhpa 9

Hi Died,
Jezus wat een bikkel ben jij. Eerst Danum Valley en nu trekking! Maar je bent er vast van aan het genieten :). Ik heb onwijs genoten van mijn dagen alleen in KK en ben nu aan het werken en vooral naar heel veel feestjes aan het gaan hihi. Het is onwijs koud hier! Het sneeuwt zelfs af en toe dus geniet van de zon daar. Nog heel veel plezier daar!
Liefs, Carlijn

Anonymous said...

Alpha 9 to Nigel

hi Nigel how have you been? first i wanna apologize i wont be able to write to you over the past few weeks because life seems to be so busy here. Anyway, i am pretty sure you have had an amazing time in Raleigh and so looking forward to know your stories once everything is over. i see you're enjoying so much your previous phase in Imbak and now is the time for jungle survival skills. Dude,enjoy your every single day in Raleigh because it's just happen once. let's meet up in Raleigh KL activities and i will be gonna ask lots and lots of questions about your a lifetime journey in Raleigh lol.hope you're well though and have fun!

Vilcon Tauning

Katherine Sturt-Scobie said...

Hi miss Greener! :)

(Sarah Greener Alpha 9)

This all looks so exciting!!! :D
Hope you're having a great time! and not getting eaten by too many bugs.... :/

Hopefully this is the right place to put messages to you? Don't really know

I put a post on the first part of this blog which I think is the wrong one... but hey ho! So I wrote one here too :)

Everyone in your group have really cool names by the way :) just saying... :P

Remember to take pictures of pu and keep a detailed account of what you're up to so that you can tell me everything that happens!!!!

Lots of love,

Katherine (wifey)

Ben Jay Wells said...

To Sarah Greener, Alpha 9.

Heya! Ben here!
Just had a letter sent to you.
Also was checking to see if the last message I posted to this blog was sent. It doesn't appear to have been approved by the mods. Maybe I should make less jokes about hiding dead bodies and retrieving diamonds and all that stuff.

Serious mode activate!

I can't actually think of all that much to say that I didn't send in the letter. And I can't repeat what I wrote in the letter because that would be spoilers!

So right off the bat, I would like to complement Alpha 9 on some quite spectacular facial hair. Not you specifically, Sarah, but I'm sure you know who I'm referring to. Dunno names myself, sorry :S

Writing this from my Grandparent's home. We went to tyhe UK for a couple of days, about to head to Sewth Africa (that is how it's spelt, right?). Got to go to my Granny's 80th bithday partaaaaaay (it was that good to merit all those 'a's)

You seem to be having a lot of fun. Well, that's just what the pictures show, but as we all know, cameras can lie, so I'll just imagine they're hiding the real truth: You're having boatloads of fun.

Anyway, shall be headed to the airport for my flight soon! I'll try not to get eaten by any sharks, lions, tigers, or South Africans. Looking forwards to seeing more updates from you! (when I eventually find another internet connection. It may be a while...)

In order to make my post look less like a troll post, I think I'll refrain from calling myself Gaylord Wells. I think I might have done that last time... Probably not a good idea.

Have lots of fun, O Sarah (insert embarrassing nickname here)
Love ya!

Anonymous said...

To guy weatherhead alpha 9
Great to see you about to embark on dive island I hope you had a fabulous time. It must have been fascinating learning to dive. I hope you enjoyed the first trek and that you are looking forward to the second. By the time you get this message you will have celebrated your birthday raleigh style I imagine it will be a birthday you will never forget. We have had snow here, amazing, I don't ever recall having snow on your birthday before.

Grace had a fabulous time at henlow and was over the moon to receive your lovely surprise and message from Borneo it made her stay really special. She has had a great weekend with her uni friends, they are a lovely bunch. Missing you love mum dad and grace.

Anonymous said...

Dido Visser alpha 9,
live sis!!
ik zie hele leuke foto's van je. Super om je zo blij te zien terwijl je de wereld aan het ontdekken bent! ben supertrots op je!!
heel veel knuffels en kusjes

Anonymous said...

Dido Visser alpha 4,
Ha Dido, je brief is na 12 dagen aangekomen, best snel. Je was Hannah niet vergeten in je vorige brief, was boze droom. Alles ok hier, pappa is goed hersteld van al het gedoe, loopt soms al weer harder dan ik :(, fietst overal heen (fietsvakantie ook geregeld, we gaan naar Italie en jij doet de was!)
Hannah is deze week (24-30maart) naar Spanje op studiereis, heeft ze in elk geval beter weer dan wij. Milson is 20 geworden en we mochten op zijn feest komen. Ik ben afgelopen donderdag en vrijdag met Dick naar Parijs geweest vooreen congres over foetale hartjes, was heel leuk en we hebben in een drie sterren restaurant !! gegeten.Er is hier in Nederland op 24 maart nog steeds IJS in de sloot en SNEEUW!!!, wij willen ook naar Borneo.
We genieten enorm van je schrjifsels, het kost ongeveer een half uur om de hele brief te lezen (zoveel weet je te vertellen op 2 kantjes) dus het lijkt bijna een gesprek, het verveelt absoluut niet, we willen graag meer en zijn benieuwd hoe hoog die Hell Hills nu eigenlijk waren Op de blog zijn mooie foto's van jullie duik avontuur geplaatst, heel leuk om ook een beetje mee te genieten en om te zien dat je flinke spierballen hebt gekregen en leuk om te zien dat je heerlijk zat te eten op de nachtmarkt:)
dikke zoenen en groetjes van mamma en pappa en Isis (die heeft zelf geschreven)

Raymond Hogan said...

Connor Hogan - Alpha 9

La Fhéile Pádraig Shona Duit!!!
and..... Niall got his cupla focal badge - sooo proud!
The diving looks so cool - not the sorta thing you'd try in Warren point!
You've done so much already and so much still to do - we are all insanely jealous back here (but relieved at the same time - a lot of it definitely looks like type 2 fun).
Still missing you.
Letters from mum and me are in the post.
Dad :)

evangelisanna said...

to Rolex Joseph
wow! new haircut ah ? so hai best friend. missing you here. syioknya diving uhh. jelosss
haha. olek you knw wht, sa tia tw ko pya result apa and i'm curious. cuba daa you tell me dulu. hihi
well nobody got straight a dri sch kita. pling tinggi 8a. ten2 and bilandong. i got 7 only with 1c lg. uhh anyway its just a result. it''s not the end of everything(abg ten2) blang. donn pun dapat 7a. teren n wze 6a. mena 5a. est 3a. siapa lg ko mo tau ? itu ja sa taw. anyway congrats for ur result, though idk wht. hihi
well kmi still going to pray meeting. hihi good kids ni kami. emm tdak lma lg kmu balik. well just take care there and enjoy ur time there. will write to you again. xx

Anonymous said...

To Duco alpha 9 fase 2
Gisteren geprobeerd om je een berichtje te sturen maar toen is het me niet gelukt Vandaag weet ik weer hoe het moet. Als ik de fotos zie en de verhalen lees dan ben ik er wel jaloers op dat jij dit allemaal beleeft! Toch wel heel byzonder om zoiets te doen! Als je straks terug bent in BP dan is daar ook iets leuks voor je. Ik heb een baantje voor je gevonden en je mag ook mee doen met een TOTAL basketbalteam. Papa en ik hebben ook een winkel gevonden waar ze basketbalschoenen in jouw maat verkopen. Nog heel veel plezier de laatste maand en geniet er nog maar goed van!!! Liefs en dikke zoen maman

Sir Ben of Wellselot said...

To Sarah Greener, Alpha 9

Hey hey. It's Friday. Friday. So I gotta get down. On Fried Egg. Lookin forwards to my weekend.

Guess what I did this morning! Ha! You can't! Because I'm writing this all in one go!
Anyway, I got up at 5AM! Weeeee...
You've probably been doing such things a lot. But since I can't get any messages from you until I return to uni-opolis, I'll just assume you're chilling in a 5 star hotel every day.
And all the photos of these blog are a smooth bend of photoshopping and a stunt double.
She doesn't look a thing like you, by the way, you should get a new one.

On an unrelated note, my last post on this blog actually appeared in the comments. I think not making up fake names for myself, and attempting to frame you for a variety of crimes is for the best. For this blog at any rate. Not for mail... *rubs hands gleefully and evilly*
I'll keep the big details for the letters I send you, but I can drop a hint. I'm sure I have more ammo for convincing Kath sharks are not dangerous. From a primary source ;)
The girls send their greetings, btw. You're still held in high regard in my corner of the multiverse.
Not much else to say... Food is great. I'll try and get you a souvenir (totally haven't already and totally won't try and get another).
I should definitely write you another letter next time I get the time. It is letter time.
Might even try and draw something on it...
Since I haven't had any updates about you from dis blog, all I can say is try not to grow ay facial hair yourself.
Ever lovingly,
Benjamin ほとんど正気 Wells
(Also love from Zorethusa Chocolatesauce von Spanferkel, aka Zoë. And from insert creative nickname for Naomi here)

evangelisanna said...

To Rolex Joseph.
Dear Rolex, (PS:wizie ne.hehe). We are all fine here.btambah sihat suda semua. harap kamu pun sihat di sana okay. Jangan sakit okay! Jangan telampau p tan badan ba.hahaha (ko number 2 tan. c ewin number 1 hahaha) Sekarang kami d labuan .baru buka kadai coklat.hahaha tida ba.sorry sebab baru ne kali sa tulis surat:( .kami selalu ingat kamu ba always.biar jauh di mata tapi tetap di hati ba lek.hehe. anyway ,Blessed Easter lek! Forever missing you~ God bless.
Yours sincerely,
Wizie and Evan.
wze blg kc cri dia hensem boi dri california. haah ada ka ?
oya plkn kauu intake 3 ?

Vera de Bode said...

Dido Visser Alpha 9,

HA die Didi! Ik heb dit al eens eerder geprobeerd, maar toen bakte ik er volgens mij niks van:P Ik heb je kaart gekregen, super leuk! Geweldig dat je het zo naar je zin hebt, het ziet er erg goed uit op de foto's! Ik ben net een week naar Dubai geweest met mijn moeder, lekker warm, maar heel weinig uitgevoerd:P nu moet ik straks weer in de kou naar de doggies:( Alles helemaal top hier verder!:) heb het hardlopen nu actief opgepakt en train nu voor 5km, voor jou natuurlijk helemaal niks;) Geniet er nog van!! tot snel!:)xxxx