I woke up in the morning with rainy weather and checked NEA’s forecast: “showers with thunder for the next 3 hours”! I might have been tempted to call off the recce but thankfully, the few organisers I called were already on their way.
This year, with supporting evidence from the tidetable, we got ALL the organisers to come for the recce on a single day. this saved us the zillion dollars that Andy and I spent last year on ferry and land taxis. Not to mention all the fat from ice cream and Ayam Penyet.
As usual, the “super-onz” group from Sukyo Mahikariwas already there punctually and waiting for the rest of us; next came Paul and his son, Will.
Andy Dinesh, who had relinquished his role as Zone Captain of Pulau Ubin this year to take on the role of Recce Captain had not abandoned me. In Changi for a planned bicycle ride (to help eliminate some of last year’s Ayam Penyet), he saw the scene at the Ferry Terminal and his heart weighed heavily on him; as he put it “How can I leave Marcus alone with 20 over people?”
So the 27 of us, Organisers and Site Buddies, set off for Pulau Ubin.
As I was about to embark on my grandmother story of introducing Chek Jawa to the new organisers, Site Captain or Chek Jawa North, Rachael Li, stopped me with the waring that the tide was rising.
So we spilt up:
- A) Rachel and her site buddy Angeline, leading Zhu Lin of NPCC HQ as well as Matt, Kinksi, Siew Hui and Yan Ni (LTA) to Chek Jawa North.
- B) Andy led Paul from St Joseph’s International, “going to be veteran” Juliet and her student Benedict from Ngee Ann Polytechnic’s School of Humanities as well as my newly recruited Site Buddy Shriyanka to Chek Jawa Central. Shriyanka, a final year student from the NUS ESE program, travelled more than 2 hours to join us. I am pinning my hopes on her to be the Site Captain for Chek Jawa Central.
- C) I led Mr Patrick Sng, Michelle, Mr Tan and Mr Soh from Sukyo Mahikari; Lynn, Mrs Koh and three other teachers from CHIJ Katong Convent ; Christopher from Dow Chemcals with his wife Charlene and Site Buddies Fucai and June to Chek Jawa South. I’d give kudos to this group as we crisis-crossed the site four times to the shore and back to the main path so that all groups were clear about the various access paths.
The evening before, Andy and I had looked for permanent landmarks at low tide which we could use to demarcate the sites along the coast to replace last year’s method of placing plastic orange signboards hanging on random trees 50m apart.
This year (and thankfully Andy did take issue with this) the long Chek Jawa South shoreline was not going to be divided into 10 stretches of 50m which required breaking up participating groups into the right sizes. this was a lot of work. Instead, key landmarks were identified on shore to define variable stretches of beach which we could then use to insert appropriately sized groups or a mix of groups.
Well, the recce went well, organisers had all their questions answered and we are good to go on the 11th of September!