Family Fun at Murex Bangka (You don’t have to be a diver!)
This week at Murex Bangka we have been catching up with some of our guests and it may surprise you to know that not all of them are divers. We frequently have non-diving groups at Bangka as well as mixed diver and non-diver groups, but is there enough to do here for everyone? We spent a day with the Taube family (Dad Rob, Mum Sheryl and their two daughters Jasmine and Nicky) to find out why they chose Murex Bangka for their family trip and some Family Fun at Murex Bangka.
Rob started out studying marine biology at James Cooke University in Australia and has been itching to introduce his wife and kids to the water and marine environment for years, after receiving a recommendation from a friend at work to try Murex Bangka, Rob booked a five night stay in two cottages – one for himself and his wife Sheryl and one for their two daughters Jasmine (13) and Nicky (8). The family from Australia each had different expectations and hopes for their holiday; Rob was keen to spend as much time in the water as possible whilst Sheryl and Jasmine were looking forwards to a more relaxing vacation where they could unwind and enjoy the beach, sunshine and chill out. Youngest daughter Nicky, who like Mum Sheryl and sister Jasmine, had never snorkelled before was desperate to try it out and join in on some action with Dad.
After a hectic week of travelling before arriving here in Bangka the family spent their arrival day relaxing and then as expected Rob and daughter Nicky were straight out into the water for some Family Fun at Murex Bangka. Dad Rob started by teaching Nicky some snorkelling tips in front of their cottages on the house reef where Nicky saw a blue spotted sting ray, parrot fish, a juvenile banded sea snake and a hoard of reef fish for the first time! After bragging to Mum Sheryl and sister Jasmine about their House Reef exploits the family all decided to take a boat trip for snorkelling and paddle boarding the next day which is when we caught up with them.
At a leisurely 11am they boarded Larnia Boat and headed over to Pantai Pulisan, their first snorkelling site of the day. After a little bit of tutoring on the boat about blast clearing snorkels, defogging masks and finning techniques Jasmine and Sheryl were ready to go and leapt into the water after Rob and Nicky, within minutes the family of four looked like they had been snorkelling for years and other than the flipping of fins the only sounds to be heard over the peaceful waters were squeeks from the girls through their snorkels whenever they had made a new discovery! Dad Rob taught his aquanaut daughters some duck diving methods and the girls picked it up like pros, swimming under the water before smoothly surfacing and clearing their snorkels without a cough or splutter to be heard. Rob was in his element as he able to teach them about sea stars, sea cucumbers, numerous fish species and coral varieties which they saw plus a host of anemone species complete with various types of clown fish weaving in and out of their tentacles. After a good hour of snorkelling it was back to the Larnia boat for some much needed refuelling – Lunch Time! The boat crew served up a beautiful spread of home cooked Sulawesi dishes including chicken, fried fresh fish, vegetables and of course rice and sambal (chili sauce).
After lunch it was time to hit the paddle boards and Mum Sheryl soon discovered her inner-surfer and was up on her feet in no time with Jasmine not far behind. Nicky and Jasmine also headed out into the great blue yonder sharing a board, kayak style. After doing all of the paddling on that run Jasmine elected to be paddled around herself by dive and snorkelling guide Julian!
Soon it was time to load the boards back up and head to our next destination – Pantai Kecil for more snorkelling and a swim up to a cave opening in the base of the cliffs. After exploring the cave, finding a giant frogfish and some huge parrotfish we headed on again to Batu Mandi – which proved to be the family’s favourite spot. The water was crystal clear and comfortably warm, we spotted both a zebra and snowflake moray eel, numerous anemones, cornet fish, a blue spotted sting ray, damsel fishes, butterfly fishes, trigger fishes and stunning corals along the reef top. After one more hour in the water everyone was ready to get back on board Larnia, warm up in the sun, unhook the mooring line and head back to the resort. It was a fantastic day for all, Rob got to share his love of the ocean with his family, Sheryl and Jasmine became instantly hooked on snorkelling and Nicky made even more marine discoveries. Rob was thrilled with the condition of the reefs around Bangka and the coral varieties that we have here, “The condition of the corals and the marine life that we have seen on this trip makes is comparable to, if not better than the places I have snorkelled on the Barrier Reef”. Rob added that “Today has definitely been a real success for me, getting the girls interested in corals and enjoying the water is what I had been hoping to achieve, it’s been a great day out”.
When asked about her thoughts on the day and her first time snorkelling Mum Sheryl commented that “It was so relaxing – I was worried it was going to be a really energetic day but the snorkelling is actually easy, you can just float over the reefs and watch a whole new world underneath you, it’s beautiful. And the best part for me was that I felt that we were totally looked after and safe all day”.
So it looks like the day was a success for all involved and certainly there have been a lot of big smiles and fun moments throughout. We think it’s safe to assume that the wonderful Taube family have a new holiday activity which they can enjoy together trip after trip. To see the Taube Family’s day out in images have a look through the pictures below.
If you are looking for a family vacation where you can spend time together exploring the reefs, paddle boarding in beautiful lagoons and stepping foot on pristine white sand beaches have a look at our Murex Bangka web pages – we also have family rooms in the resort with adjoining doors so you can stay connected to your children throughout the night.
Alternatively, if you are a diver with a non-diving family or spouse, bring them along! In Bangka snorkelers can also join on our diving boats so you can still explore together.
And if you have people in your group who just want to relax and chill out on the beach we can help with that too! Hammocks are one of our specialties!
See you soon – in Bangka!