Okay, so this is a long overdue post. Somehow, the draft of this blog entry has sat unnoticed for the past few months and today, I finally remembered to blog about my day trip to one of Singapore's lighthouse on Pulau Satumu.
Pulau Satumu, which loosely translates to One Tree Island, lies about an hour of boat ride from Pasir Panjang Ferry Terminal. It has the distinction of being the southernmost island of Singapore, and hence the southernmost point in Singapore as well. Pulau Satumu houses the Raffles Lighthouse which was built in 1855.
The Raffles Lighthouse is one of four offshore lighthouses operated by the Maritime and Port Authority (MPA), with the others being on Sultan Shoal, Pedra Branca and Pulau Pisang which is on Malaysian territory.
As part of a learning journey organised by the MPA, I was overjoyed to have been given the chance to be able to step onto one of the 'protected' islands in Singapore. The only drawback? My monkies were not able to tag along. But no matter, I promised them that I would take loads of photos!
And my jaws dropped even further when I finally set foot on the island. The turquoise water, coupled with idyllic coconut trees dotting the coastline, made it seem as if I was on some resort getaway island!
But as our guide mentioned, there will be plenty of time for sun-tanning later. First, we had to climb a long flight of stairs - all 107 steps - to reach the top of the lighthouse.
Given the confined space at the top of the lighthouse, we had to be broken up into groups to ascend the stairs.
And believe me, the climbing was hard work! But I soon reached the apex.
And the astounding view more than made up for the breathlessness!
Who could have thought that one could find such a paradise in Singapore?
I learnt that there are two lighthouse keepers on duty at any given time, with each keeping an alternating 12-hour shift for 10 days. They then return to the mainland for 10 off days, and the whole cycle repeats again. Hmmm... I wonder how they keep themselves busy. The last I checked, there wasn't any 3G signal.
As we descended the lighthouse, I took the chance to explore the island. There was even a Lighthouse Museum, which housed many related apparatus that were used many years ago.
But what I was really interested in was the incredible panoramic view that surrounded the tiny island.
But just like a vacation that always seem to end all too soon, it was time to head back to our boat and bid this beautiful island farewell.
One interesting information tidbit that I learnt was that there are holiday chalets within the lighthouse compound that are reserved for Ministers to take a short getaway on the island. Pity we didn't bump into any during our time on the island. Heh.
Special thanks to the kind people at MPA for organizing such a wonderful learning journey, especially to a place which we don't usually get a chance to see. Hopefully, there will be more of such unique trips on the horizon and better yet, perhaps my monkies can tag along too!