Its heartwarming to see young volunteers with blind visitors. KP Tan, who is a pioneer Pulau Ubin regular, remembers the first time when students from Singapore American School took the initiative by organizing the first field trip for the blind. Such trips have been popular since.
Organizing such trips can be a challenge however. Dates should be planned during months where fair weather is expected as the sea can be choppy especially during monsoon season. The visit should also coincide with high tides to make it easier to get on or off the bumboats. Height difference between high and low tides in Singapore can be as much as 3 meters so avoid low tides. Unlike Changi Point Ferry Terminal jetty with its free floating pontoon, Ubin jetty is the traditional concrete steps type with the bottommost steps slippery and barnacled from being half submerged. Exercise extreme caution as it is easy to trip over mooring ropes. As bumboats come in different shapes and sizes, choose single level decks bumboats with broad stern platform and high freeboard like this bumboat shown below.
High tide makes embarking easier
For visitors on wheelchairs, assistance of at least 4 persons is needed. Even then the jetty construction at Ubin side makes it near impossible for safe transfers. The best option is to charter the boat and use the the pontoon jetty at Celestial resort which is about 2 km further away, the same route taken by visiting VIPs to Ubin island.
On the island itself, access to remote areas including Chek Jawa are on unpaved and pebbly tracks. Getting on and off vans can be tricky so bear this in mind.
Celestial Resort can be contacted at +65 6542 6681 or firstname.lastname@example.org to assist in bookings for boats and vans.