I am always excited to go there, but we always go with friends and family to enjoy holidays away from the city and from the use of modern devices like computers, smart phones and all.
This time I prepared more. As usual, we never book for hotels or rooms, we always go with our tents. We cook and do things in the old camping style all the time. The weather forecast was a little bit disturbing in a hot summer then. We were to expect 15-30 km winds from April 10 to 16 and surely we had our share of experience. On first night, it started with light display from nearby boats and islands and we made campfires every night; but at 11:00 pm we suddenly felt the wind was getting stronger. At 1:00 am the wind was at its full speed then we just got out of our tents to make additional support we created wind breakers.
Arpha and Andreia, Elcid with his children, Neil and Lourna, we all had to do our parts in making our tents stay on the ground. It was quite and experience!
Well, it was all about fishing. The fourth time coming back to Sichang, I got my fishing gear well prepared and organized as before. Three rods, two Shimanos; Shimano Alivio (small reel) and Shimano Baitrunner 800D, and another ordinary reel that did the job of giving us a lot of fun. Together with Elcid and his son Neil, we fished for the first day. We caught palm size fishes that are endemic to the corals around the islands. Having caught few Groupers, we asked Elcid to make his famous fish stew (Sinabawang Isda). He did not have to use plenty of spices, the fishes were fresh. In the afternoon as Elcid and Arpha went around for taking scenic photos, I caught more and we fried them for dinner.
The next day, Elcid had to go back to Bangkok for some business, leaving his Neil and Lourna with us; I went and crossed the other Island (the island right behind me on the featured photo) during the low tide. Shore fishing from the other island were the fishes live around, it was just a joy. I like shore fishing because I feel the excitement of the fishes as they take the bait during their feeding hours. I caught a lot during the day and Arpha marinated them and fried them later on that day. Late in the afternoon at 3:00 pm, I decide to walk around the island using the cliff sides and the boulders were really fun to climb on. I fished there until the 6:00 pm and I caught more than twenty fishes.
Going back to the camp was a real Adventchore. I had to climb around the boulders on the cliff sides since the tide gained on the walls and it was really difficult. Up and down, on and off the boulders I tried to go back to the camp before 8:00 pm – it was already dark. Neil came to me 30 minutes ago to remind me of the time and the tide, But I was really the high tide now. Arpha was worried sick.
To me it was an adventure, to cut short my boulder expedition around the island avoiding the deep waters, I tried to climb the cliff to get to the top hoping to find a path back to the camp. When I was gaining height as I climbed the cliff, I look around me and saw the majestic beauty of the islands and the sunset, I forgot my present dilemma. Getting on the top I found thicket and I tried to follow goat paths that they used in feeding on the cliff side. It was dark and I can’t go through the thicket; 25 minutes of climbing was a waste.
I decided to climb back down as quick as I could, I was running out of pure energy, I had no water, nothing to start a fire (I had the fishes though hahahha), I can’t be Bear Grylls, this time. I know how to survive this situation but yet I just don’t want to be stranded on the cliff side of the island knowing that the strong winds are coming and I was not sure if rain is coming along with that assault as a storm, then high waves are gonna hit the cliff side of the island I will be caught is a survival mode.
Climbing down was difficult, the face of the cliff was partially covered by tall grass so it was really dangerous. Using all my climbing and bouldering skills, except I did not have my climbing shoes, with the rod in my hand, and the bag of fishes on my shoulder, I tried to climb around he cliff then I heard Neil’s voice. He was looking for me.
Mr. Bernie, Ms. Arpha is worried sick about you! It was funny on my side of adventure, it was scary for those who waited for my return. Neil had a flash light, he climb down from the other side of the cliff, he told me that we should climb up to where Arpha was. Arpha had a small rope for me to get pulled up. I told her I will climb up myself. Neil climbed up first and I followed.
Getting on the top was a relief. I lost all my energy, my body parts are functioning on adrenalin and I was super exhausted! Arpha scolded me for doing that. I am a man of adventure and surely that experience was really fun for me.
I gave her the bag of my catch and told her, stop whining and fry these fishes and we can eat our supper!
While we were having dinner and frying at the same time. The storm came, the wind was really strong, we had to stop eating. Neil ate in his tent, he didn’t want to miss the fried fishes. Andreia thought she could have eaten more and Lourna just lost her appetite right away.
Arpha and I had to fix the tents. We had the kids in their tents now and we were waiting for the worse to come. Indeed the storm had its introduction. An hour after it started, stronger winds came with a lot of rain. I was dead tired and I had no choice but to get out of the tent. Fortified the three tents, dug ditches, made more wind breakers, I was soaked wet, I was also frightened of the lightnings that came a long with loud thunders. The waves were high.
Arpha had to turn on the phone and took some photos and updated her facebook of the situation we were in. An hour after, I went back in the tent, dried myself, it was freaken cold, then I fell into a deep sleep. My body was sore the next day from fishing, climbing around the cliff sides, and the mid-night shower of taking care of each of our tents.
What a fishing adventure!