Thursday. 23rd August 2012
Its the 5th day of Eid El-fitr celebration and its gonna be a long day for me. Today I’m meeting an old friend for the 1st time since my last comeback 2 years ago. However, in order to get to him I need to take a 3 hours ride from Serian to Sematan. That’s hell of a journey on bike but the weather seems to be fine and bright. I took off from Serian around 10am and reached the Kuching town an hour later. After refilling the gas to a full tank and making sure the tyre pressure and my endurance are at full, I continue my ride ahead. Riding leisurely along the Bau – Lundu road, I reached Sematan around 12.45pm. I couldn’t believe I just traveled about 170km on a bike (Honda Cub EX5 Dream) in a single day. Reaching there, I was greeted warmly by Abg Din and family. Furthermore its still Hari Raya season, I got the chance to taste the kuih raya and have a brief walk around Kampung Sebat and Pueh, Sematan.
Friday. 24th August 2012
Today is the day that we’re scheduled to depart for the fishing trip and recce potential spots for marine-tourism industry. This was Abg Din’s future planning after retirement and I’m just the guy who slot in for the promotion haha.
Anyway, there are 5 of us scheduled for the trip. Noh and I will be going ahead from the others because we need to prepare the boat and move out while the tide is up. The others will be joining us after the Friday prayer from the Sematan town jetty. So, while waiting and drifting along the Tembaga river Noh and I take our time to try and cast along the river, hoping that a strike or two from the river’s Mangrove Jack will hook up. But its all just a hope…LOL!
The journey through Sg. Tembaga to Sematan town jetty took us about 2 and half hour because drift our boat by the river current and have most of the times casting blanks haha. After supplying the boat with foods and rations, we continue our journey to Telok Serabang. It took us 2 hours travelling by boat to reach there and while cruising, I took the time to enjoy the view and stride the ride.
By 4pm we then reached Pulau Gado, a tiny island surrounded by corals and beautiful stony shores. Just a perfect place for sport fishing and snorkeling. For those who loves leisure fishing and sightseeing, this is such a ‘must go’ place.
After a few tries and betting our luck around the island, we then proceed to cast along Batu Mandi and Batu Dinding nearby Telok Serabang. Such a lovely place to be.
Mesmerize by the beauty, I spent most of my time snapping photos rather then casting for any catch. I let the others who mostly are new to sport fishing to try their luck out. Except for Abg Din, he’s a veteran to sport fishing haha but there are saying, beginners luck always prevail…and its true. Just look at what these guys caught whereby I sneak back inside the boat’s cabin to take my late lunch in despair.
Soon, the nightfall is closing in and before it gets darker the boatman and our local guide, Pak Teh prepare our ‘insurance’ in case the weather gets bad during the night or there aren’t any catch to bring home for the next day.
By the time, Pak Teh finish preparing the net it was already dark. By then, we switch our fishing gear to bottom fishing. Using squids as bait, it is surely the most common bait used for bottom fishing around here. As the days getting dark, so is my sea sickness. I’m starting to get nauseous when I can’t see the land or water level. That is how bad I am when going on a boat ride. My curse of being a Bidayuh haha. By the way, ‘Bidayuh’ means ‘Land people’ and I need to see the land in order to stay sober on the boat…LOL! Lame.
Everything was fine until around 9pm. While we’re busy catching squids that swarms around a fluorescent light we hooked beside the boat, suddenly we heard a rumbling sounds of thunder from afar. By the boatman’s calculation, the a heavy thunderstorm will hit our place in less then an hour. My excitement plunged drastically since I’ve never spend a night on a boat in a thunderstorm before and its kind of worries me thinking that my sea sickness will become worst. And I’m not wrong. Within less then an hour, we start to reel up our fishing gears, lower the anchors and setting up the canvas to cover the deck. Minutes later, the waves are getting rougher and the boat starts to sway harder. I can’t hold my stomach any longer and I end up preparing colorful self made porridge for the fishes (if you get what I mean here…LOL).
The thunderstorm is getting stronger every passing minutes and we all have to cramp in inside the cabin soaked by the rain and wave splash. We were very lucky that we have a very experienced boatman to save the day. There are a couple of times that water spills inside the boat and we need to take it out using a small bucket. The weather starts to calm down around 3am but the rain only stops around 5am. I spent most of my time curling inside the cabin with a spinning head and grumpy stomach :P.
Saturday. 25th August 2012
Owh! Even after the rough ride that night, I still manage to land myself a good size Grouper. YEAH!!! (sorry, no photos taken since it was still dark & nobody else knows how to operate my camera…lol). After gaining back my soberness, I then spend the rest of the morning outside the boat waiting for sunrise. After the sun rises and the sky is clear, we then move out to check our net and catch during the thunderstorm (if any).
After checking and wrapping up with the net, we spend a couple of hours checking for nice spots for casting and popping. Check these spots out haha.
And finally~…my 1st casting catch here (L licence)
Around 10am, we then start our boat again and head back home. We need to catch up with the tide or we will be stranded until late evening before the tide comes again. The boatman fears that if we’re too late, our boat will not be able to enter Sg. Tembaga safely to the dockyard because the water level will be too low for our boat to stride in. Luckily we are just on time when we reached the river and everything went smooth although the water level seems to be declining a bit but we still manage to bring the boat in safely. By the time we reached the dockyard, it was already 1pm.
Here’s what we brought home that day…
After a long shower, lunch and a short break. I soon say my goodbye to the folks at Kg. Sebat Melayu, Pueh and head back to Serian. Another 170km ride home. Despite the exhaustion and sickness, I’m still glad I made this journey. It makes me realize that there are still more beauty and magic about this land that needs exploring. I plan to do more of this in the future. Travelling with friends all over the place and promoting the beauty of our land, bragging about the beauty of our people and highlighting the warmth and greatness of our diverse cultures in Sarawak.
How much do I spent for this trip?
Seriously, I spent more or less about RM50. I’m not joking!
- RM15 for fuel (to and fro)
- RM15 food supply
- RM20 backup cash on rainy day
Special thanks to Abg Din and family for the warm greetings during my stay and the great adventure offered. Thank you all.