Sunday, June 05, 2005

School of Rock

We're just back from 36 hours in Indonesian waters fishing. The world hasn't stopped rocking even though we've been on hard solid land for the last 5 hours. When you're out on the water and being rocked violently, you really wish you were on land. But then again, when you're on land, the momentum and effects of having been rocked is somewhat assimilated more than you want in your body, and you still rock, even when everything around you is still.

So, I pulled myself out of fishing retirement, rather reluctantly, kicking and screaming. It was as I remembered. Full of grime, you're never not sticky- it's either from the salt air, perspiration or even worse, gross essence of fish, squid or any other sliver of seafood that we use to tempt the larger predators that prowl the bottom of the ocean. Even the sides of the boat are sticky. No amount of washing your hands in running water, wiping them in wet wipes, or when you really can't stand it anymore, smearing them on the seat of your pants will remove said stickiness. You just have to live with it till you get back on land, away from the salt air.

One thing that was worse, that I don't remember, perhaps having blocked it out from the last fishing trips almost 10 years ago, was the intense roiling that occurs in your tummy as the fishing boat gets thrown about in the open waters. Dan spent much of the time passed out in the bunk below deck because it was his only means of combatting the desperate desire to spew and provide berley for fish. I tried to do the same except I got a worse case of the roiling from actually being below in the bunk. *gurgle* You end up feeling helpless in times like that. You can't sleep, the deck smells of the gutt of a thousand dead and rotting fish, the air is thick with diesel, there's no where to run, no where to hide. All reasons why I gave up fishing in the fast place. Also, not being able to bathe and get out of stinky clothes didn't make it any more fun.

But then having said that, it was fun. Nothing beats flinging the rod violently back and poking Plentyfish in the eye when you imagine a huge sea monster attacking what you had on the other end of the line and reeling it up as fast as you can to discover yet another species of fish that has no English name. But all those well versed in Fisher-speak seem immensely pleased to see flopping around on the deck. So it must be good.

----Dinner break-----

Finally ate with real cutlery and with minimal swaying. All swaying seems to originate now from within. We had batfish that Dan caught. His first fish! Every man will remember the first fish he catches, especially when it is a fish that needs no further cleaning before you throw it on the barbie to grill. For some reason, the fish in its final rebellion to being caught used its dying breaths to throw out all its inards, successfully traumatising Dan and giving us much fodder to mercilessly tease him with. His second fish illicited almost as much amusement. Plentyfish's dad was insistent that it was a HUGE fish and that he had to keep fighting at. All this time, Dan is pumping and reeling furiously with a look of pain that I'd imagine only a woman in labour could rival. For ten minutes, this goes on till one of the deck hands, tugs knowingly at the taut line and announces with all certainty "Batu". Rock. Yuppers. Dan's second fish was indeed a coral on the ocean floor. Thereafter, Dan retires, drenched in sweat and desperately seasick.

The only way to get rid of being sea sick, apart from actually hopping onto dry non-moving land is to sleep and CY, Dan and I amazed all the fishing enthusiasts by spending more time sleeping than actually fishing. Can you blame us, when we're queasy, there's no fish and when the air's totally humid and pungent with diesel?

So we're sated, well rested and ready to go back to bed again. By all accounts, it was a good trip but I would like a hot shower and to climb into a bed that doesn't rock while I dream of hauling rocks off the ocean floor.

Ondine tossed this thought in at 18:09

1 thoughts...

1 thoughts...

At 12:02 am Blogger Tym said...

Lucky I didn't go! The last time I went on a one-day fishing trip, I too spent most of the time asleep to stave off the effects of seasickness.


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