18 September 2007

Gone Fishing, Kuala Rompin, Malaysia

It's sailfish season and hubby has been bugging me to go with him on a sportfishing trip to Kuala Rompin - "Sailfish Capital" of Malaysia.
Was really hesitant. Hadn't gone for deep sea fishing for quite a bit. Yes, you get the adrenalin rush when something takes the bait, gives a good fight and you aren't exactly sure what's at the end of the line. But it can get kind of boring if there isn't a single bite. Worse, you are subject to the mercy of the sun and sea - sun burn + seasick if the sea gets choppy. On top of that, I dislike travelling 3-4hrs in a van and having to beat the Woodlands Custom crowd. Yes, jaded I am. I guess I no longer want to "rough it out" for my vacations.

The hubby was real smart. The trip was planned for his colleagues and partners. If I go, there would be 8 of us and we could drive in without taking the van (which was the usual way of getting to Malaysia for fishing). If we drive, we could bring along mahjong set and play mahjong after fishing. That's it, and I was hooked.

And so we set off on Friday night, crossed the Tuas Checkpoint as Woodlands would be inevitably jammed. Took around 1+hr to reach Kota Tinggi and another 1+hr to reach Mersing. Made a pitstop for some teh tarik, stretched our legs while waiting for our good friend cum coordinator who organized this fishing trip (there were 2 other vans of avid anglers). From Mersing, it was another 45mins drive to Rompin. We checked into Puteri Inn and headed straight for bed, almost 1am.

Saturday morning! Headed to Rompin riverside (next to jetty) for our breakfast. Usually I don't take breakfast or just very light breakfast before a fishing or diving trip because I know that most probably the food won't have chance of getting digested. But the chicken feet and fishball noodles looked really good so I threw caution to the wind. I thought perhaps half the noodles would be alright. BIG MISTAKE which I was rudely reminded of the fact later on.

Our fishing adventure officially began after breakfast. Our boatman first brought us to jig for some bait fish which would be food for our sailfish. Caught mostly selar which wasn't ideal as they weren't very hardy. Started our sailfishing, but to no avail. Tried jigging for more bait fish and finally got some kambong. Hubby changed the bait and almost immediately a sailfish took the bait. He fought and "landed" the sail after 15 mins. Didn't bring the sail up the boat, just took some photos and quickly released the magnificent creature.

The school of sailfish was nearby as a few other fishing boats also managed to hook some sails. Spectacular sight as the sailfishes were leaping out of water around us. But the window seemed only a while as the rest of the day was rather uneventful. Even bottom fishing was disappointing with only a handful of angoli fish.

In the midst of the actions, the waves picked up and I felt the queasiness. Damn. I totally regretted my moment of gluttony weakness earlier on and regurgitated my breakfast to the deep blue. Couldn't remember how many times I puked; this has got to be the worst in 10 years. But definitely felt better after ridding the oily breakfast.

In the late afternoon, we decided to call it a day.

We freshened up, ventured into Rompin Town and chanced upon the Ramandan Bazaar. I love bazaars, especially those in Malaysia as they are colourful and flavourful. We spent a while roaming the small scale bazaar, marvelling the interesting food and beverage and of course stuffing ourselves with some. *Kay-El of masak-masak is currently featuring a series of blog entries on Ramandan Bazaars, go check it out!

Thereafter, we hid in the comforts of our rooms, improvised a mahjong table and played till dinner time.

It was a sumptuous seafood dinner with flower crab, fresh calamari, chicken herbal soup, thai-style tofu and more... didn't take many photos as we were famished (didn't dare eat lunch on board the fishing boat with all that puking).

After the heavy dinner, continued with mahjong until concussed.

The next day, we skipped fishing as a few of us had to return to Singapore by noon. So we took a leisurely breakfast at a kopi tiam (seems to be one of the most polular Chinese-run eatery in Rompin) for some handmade lo mai kai and tau sar bao before heading home.

In a nutshell, this trip turned out to be more of an M&M - Makan & Mahjong trip. LOL. Nevertheless an enjoyable one with great company :D. Minus the puking -_-

1 comment:

  1. I have never seen a photo of flower crab, that I can remember. It is so pretty! Thank you for sharing.