Our original call time was 8am but I was awake at 6 and reached Watercross before 7.20am.
With that spare time, I had everything loaded up in my vehicle save for the kayak itself.
With no response from Nordin, I turned to the whatsapp group for Native owners for help with loading the kayak. With encouragement and understanding the key issues and key points to loading up such a large and heavy kayak by myself, I eventually managed to do it, much to my surprise.
I briefly considered launching at Pasir Ris instead of NSRCC but I had already loaded the kayak up the van and Nordin and I had an important scientific based project to conduct at NSRCC.
By 8.45am and without a response from Nordin, I decided to call him. He said he would arrive at 10am. So I told him that I would buy the bait and told him to meet me directly at the launch point instead.
I reached NSRCC at 9.45am but he wasn’t there so I decided that I might as well try unloading the kayak too, which I managed to do, with about the same level of difficulty as loading.
New and improved water resistant enclosure for the SJ4000/5000. This time, I’m using a container with a locking mechanism. This container, like the last, is also bought from Daiso.
This time, I skip the waterproof connector on the camera end and just run the cable in directly. I also use a ram mount instead of the mount that comes with the SJ4000. As this container has locking grips, I had to mount the mount on the front instead of the bottom.
By 10.30am I had everything set up so I called him again but he said he was on the way from Jurong (where his kayak was stored). Naturally, I was slightly regretting my decision to not just launch at Pasir Ris.
As I expected Nordin to arrive shortly, I left my kayak just behind my vehicle. The shuttle bus that was to become a very familiar sight had managed to squeeze past me with surprising dexterity.
By 11.15am, Nordin still wasn’t here. The head of security for NSRCC eventually paid me a visit and curiously questioned me about my kayak, kayak habits and success rate. Before he left to do whatever it is he does, we had a nice chat and he related to me his past exploits from his younger days when he was always on the water. Shortly after, 2 other guys working at NSRCC also paid me a visit and enquired about my kayak and adventures as well. Slightly annoyed that I was put in a situation where I had to load up my heavy kayak all by myself, I semi jokingly offered all three of them the opportunity to buy my kayak.
At 11.45, I called Nordin who said he was still on the PIE with an ETA of half an hour. At 12.45 he still was not there. Throughout this time, all communication was initiated only by me.
I considered launching first and meeting him on the water but the tide was unfavourable for a solo launch.
That shuttle bus had now past me at least 3 times and always managed to squeeze past me very accurately. Getting wise to the fact my kaki would not be coming anytime soon, I moved my kayak somewhere less obstructive (it only took up 2 extra feet of width of road that the bus was travelling on but I felt that the gesture would be appreciated).
I whiled the time away by eating the beancurd that I had bought for Nordin, joking with some close kayak kakis in a whatsapp group about how my 600 grams of prawns had now multiplied by a factor of 2 and other silly ideas like the software in my camera becoming self aware and the bacteria in the beancurd bowl becoming intelligent enough to try and open the lid on the Tupperware box.
When he finally arrived at 1pm, I could see that he was embarassed but I was waiting for an apology. When none was forthcoming, I gave him a little grilling to coax it out of him. Apparently, he had been having a string of bad luck this morning, with forgetting things and having to drive back and forth and etc. I pointed out that the only thing I was really annoyed with was the lack of communication.
He set up his gear and we were in the water just after 2pm.
We tried fishing at the spot where I had caught my flathead last time round but the current and wind was not favourable. So we drifted to a nearby yellow beacon where we settled down and anchored and waited for the fish.
I somehow managed to foul hook this guy after I got annoyed by all the little nibbles it made.
Annoyed by the incessant nibbling going on, I set myself free and began drifting west where I landed these 2 guys.
A kind of Parrot Fish that’s different from what I’m used to seeing and/or catching… not that I catch a lot of these guys.
There was a particular drift line where I caught those fish at and I would only get action at a certain point along the drift line so I gave up and tied off to Nordin, who by now had got a few fish as well (I apologise but I don’t know where the pictures are).
The fish started getting smaller and smaller.
I gave up after about an hour or so and decided to try drifting slightly further out.
I eventually came across a mound on the sea floor where I caught this little guy.
We stayed out right till dusk (Nordin told me as reparation for his tardiness, we could stay as late as I wanted to, but I wasn’t going to push it) and caught nothing else so we headed back.
The end of a short day of fishing, but a long day with my kayak.
Shawn started fishing in 1994. He caught his first fish (an Ah Seng) on that very first trip to Changi Carpark 4 (before it was barricaded). He built up his fishing knowledge and gear over the years but still keeps his old gear, just like the memories.