I get excited every time we approach Penang Brige toll house and Penang Bridge itself. I get even more excited when I see Pulau Jerejak. Penang itself is an island. These 2 islands have been in my mind since before I attended school, before I was 5 years old.
In the early 1960s, there was no Penang Bridge. Instead we took the ferry service from the Butterworth ferry terminal to the Penang ferry terminal. If I remember correctly, a 30-minute sail in either calm or choppy waters, with lots of splashes. Jelly fish swim aplenty in front of the ferry. Cars fill up the lower deck and pedestrians occupy the upper deck. The views were fantastic for a child my age.
Penang Bridge was built after I had completed my PhD and after I moved to work at USM in Kelantan. It stems from Seberang Perai on the mainland and lands on USM grounds near the USM Sports Complex (the ground here is cleaved to take the freeway down to Jalan Sultan Azlan Shah).
Pulau Jerejak can be viewed all the way from Penang Bridge right down to Jalan Sultan Azlan Shah, some 5 minutes of spectacular island views. I have never regretted taking photos of this magical island - an island embedded with history and adventure. If you like Pirates of the Caribbean and pirate tales, prisoners, Alcatraz, Robben Island, prison escapes, shark infested seas, and such horror stories, you will definitely like Pulau Jerejak. I have not read a storybook written about Pulau Jerejak. Someone should write.
I remember sitting up in bed near the window of my grandfather's home in Bukit Pemancar in Penang, and asking my mother about Pulau Jerejak. It was so fascinating, that an island lurks nearby and was full of mystery, very enchanting for a child my age - age 5. I have never been to the island but I hope to go there one day and take photos of Penang island. One thing matters though, Affandi is scared of the seas and sharks. So we have to wait for a time when he is calm enough to take a boat trip there. If I lose one leg to the sharks, then I become a female version of Long John Silver! LOL.