Tag Archives: kayak

Kayak Camping with Nick – Updated

Shawn/ August 7, 2016/ Kayaking, Pulau Ubin, Wild Outdoors & Camping/ 0 comments

Edit: Post has been updated because I found a few more pictures.

Having seen the potential in the adventure that Hendrik and I had had previously, Nick was keen to experience one himself.

So he and I hatched a plan for another kayak camping trip. Hendrik, unfortunately, was unable to join.

Like my previous camping trip, this one did not involve fishing just yet as it was an experimental trip. Nick did bring his fishing rods and crab traps though.

When we reached the spot, Nick wasted no time in cooking up his dinner.

Those prawns were from his previous netcasting sessions.

That’s still his meal, and his beer. He offered me one though and it was surprisingly nice to have a beer in the wild outdoors.

So one of the reasons I wanted to do this was to test out building a bushcraft chair.

I made this!

Using some old planks I found lying about and some branches that were on the ground, I made the chair. It was fairly stable. It only wobble slightly from left to right because I couldn’t drive the stakes into the ground far enough as it was very rocky. I could have made it perfect by adding a cross brace across the 2 stakes but alas it was very late by the time I got this done.

Somewhere around 8pm-ish, Nick set off again to set up his crab traps.

He only brought 2 along.

He caught nothing that night.

As Nick didn’t bring his hammock and his tarp was way too small, I set up my spare hammock for him and rearranged my tarp.

Another reason for me to launch was to test the usability of more mods I made on my hammock.

I made these hammock pockets. It was good except for the fact that it was too tight to be comfortable, it would occasionally tear at the seams, and tended to collect water. So I later replaced the material with a pair of old jeans.

Nick was having trouble with my spare hammock so he eventually opted to just sleep on the floor.

Morning eventually broke and we had a slow breakfast.

There were many many sandflies that night so when morning came we went straight home.

 


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.

Kayak Fishing @ NSRCC with Hermann, Ipen, Isa, Omar

Shawn/ April 5, 2016/ Bottom Fishing, Kayaking, NSRCC, saltwater/ 0 comments

The day began fairly early. Omar had been keen to try kayak fishing at NSRCC after hearing about the adventures that Nordin and I had been having.

As he did not have a proper roof rack yet, he chartered a lorry and offered up the remaining space to the rest of the gang for free. I was adamant that I would use the roof rack that I had bought for my kayak though, and so I did.

We were scheduled to have about 6 kayaks in the lorry which would barely fill it halfway but one guy had to cancel the night before due to work commitments and the other couldn’t wake up although we waited for him for as long as we could.

By the time we hit the water it was 10am.

Present and participating were Hermann, Ipen, Along, Omar, and me. The beach was overgrown with seaweed and got caught in many places of our kayaks.

The current was unusually strong (but not oddly so as it was a spring tide) and with it pulling us westwards, we decided on heading to the yellow buoy area.

The cuttlefish seemed keen to make us aware of their presence as they kept stealing our bait.

The baitfish were also out in full force today and everyone who tried to hook them up with tamban jigs was not disappointed. They were not very useful as bait though.

Drifting a little way away from the yellow buoy seemed to produce slightly better results with my line getting a few more hits.

Eventually I got this little guy who was released unharmed.

Off in the distance we saw rain clouds gathering and we saw that rain was already falling on some parts of the island.

I decided to move a bit further away to see if the fishing would get better. And it did.

I had to keep repositioning my kayak to drift over a certain area where I had been getting  a number of strong tugs and eventually I hooked up with a Chermin that fought me all the way to the top.

My Shimano TwinPower C3000 was screaming all through the fight and I was having the time of my life.

By the time I had all the pictures taken I had lost the spot. I spent the next 15 minutes trying to find it again and although I did, the action was not as good as it was before.

I went back to the yellow buoy area again but the currents had changed so I decided to move away altogether.

Omar and Along also had the same idea but they were expediting their drift because they were hungry and tired so by 2pm they were already halfway to the shore. When Omar reached dry land, he took down our orders while I stayed out on the water in an area not too far from them.

I had almost drifted back to our launch point when suddenly, in about 5 metres of water, and with the bait dangling at about 4 metres, my rod made a huge bend before the line went slack. Before I could put my phone down, I was splashed with a large amount of water as the fish – that I briefly recognised as a Queenfish – leapt out of the water.

I spent just under 2 minutes getting the photos done and when I released it back into the water it gave a soft kick. It took a while more before it gave a few more kicks and I released it. Unfortunately, it didn’t simply swim away, instead, it seemed to sink to the bottom. I’m not sure if it survived.

10 minutes after that, Omar informed us over the radio that our Macdonalds orders had arrived.

He never offered to bring the food to us and I suspected (and he later confirmed) that he was trying to get all of us up on the shore, knowing that once we touched dry land and had food in our bellies we would not be heading out again. His day was done and he wanted to get the lorry to bring us back asap.

As luck would have it though, we had to wait a good long while for the lorry to come and pick us up because he was super late. So we ended up chatting till late evening, as each one of the remaining kayakers out on the water trickled back to shore for some tasty grub.

The day left its mark on me.


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.

Camping & Fishing @ Mamam

Shawn/ August 15, 2015/ 24 hrs, Bottom Fishing, brackish water, Kayaking, Live Baiting (Floating), Live Baiting (Free Running), Luring, Pulau Ubin, saltwater, Wild Outdoors & Camping/ 1 comments

Almost everyone was late, some more than others. I myself was late by about 5 minutes.

Omar’s caddy couldn’t wait to launch.

Eventually, after some of the shared weight had been distributed somewhat evenly, we gathered for the pre-launch photograph.

Most of us at least.

In attendance were Hermann, Hendrik, Titi, Fendy, Omar, and obviously, your’s truly.

Along and (unconfirmed right up till the moment he reached Mamam) Mael would be joining us later.

Much to Omar’s and Fendy’s annoyance, there was effectively no wind during the launch.

With 2 unhoisted sails, we made our way to the prawn farm to get us some fresh bait and some ice.

The floating restaurant Christina is open again!

Curiously, all 6 of us managed to berth at the kelong. As per normal, I’m the last to get prawns so I took the opportunity to use their facilities.

The tide was high but none of us had bothered to check whether we could cut across Chek Jawa (we’ve been forgetting to check for quite some time now). Despite being the only one in a hand-paddled kayak, Titi decided to join us the long way around for personal safety reasons.

Below is a picture of me standing on my kayak at Chek Jawa. There really was no wind at all!

Around this time, I got a call from a client about an overseas job that was to happen tonight but I had already committed to this adventure so I politely declined.

Some of the guys who you would not expect to be slow were lagging behind so the guys in front slowed their pace. Unfortunately, just like at St John’s, slowing our pace meant the tides and currents caught up with us quickly and for some, they had trouble setting their mind on the goal once they saw the water rushing past them. Later, we found out that one guy who we expected to be miles ahead of us, had actually been on the verge of heat stroke. Fortunately, he set his mind straight and paddled to slower moving waters with the guys in the lead.

Hermann and Titi were doing very well, especially considering Hermann had been towing her for some distance. They were among the first to finish the chek jawa crossing.

Those who arrived first, anchored themselves, and began to fish.

In that brief period of about 10 minutes waiting for those behind to catch up, Titi and Fendy both managed to catch some fish. Titi, with a pretty decent Red Snapper and Fendy with an unfortunate Sembilang (eel tailed Catfish).

Just a little further up, the current changed direction to match the incoming tide and those of us who had peddled ahead found ourselves drifting comfortably towards Mamam.

Then the wind suddenly started. Off in the distance, to our East, we could see storm clouds gathering and lightning thundering across the previously flat waters.

Most of us made a beeline for Mamam Beach. Up till this point, we were undecided on whether to camp at Mamam Beach or Nordin Beach, despite reports of the latter being closed off. The whether made our decision for us as Mamam was closer and fortunately that decision was the right one because as we later found out, Nordin really was closed. It was also the right one because it had started to drizzle.

BOOOOSHcraft style.

Fendy was surprisingly quick to mark his spot and so I followed suit.

Early days.

We beached our kayaks (and later anchored them in the middle of the river) and began to set up the rest of the campsite.

We met a few kayakers who had rented their kayaks from a local guy. That local guy was very helpful in pointing out to us the least slippery way to get up and down the breakwater and pointed out to us a few good fishing spots.

Charging these China clone solar inflatable lanterns. The quality isn’t very good and there have been a number of DOA ones and a number of those that die for no reason. If you want quality, go for the original, Luci Solar Lights, by mpowerd. (Especially avoid the RGB clone ones; they are useless)

In the mean time, Omar and I began to play with our firesteels. He had just bought his but I had bought mine many many years ago. Aside from a single time that I had played with it while outdoors (it was a BBQ and it was from there that this trip was born), I had never really used it before.

We caught on quick but little did I know at the time that there was so much else to learn (and that we were doing it wrongly)!

With our living quarters all set up, we began to settle dinner.

Titi was our main chef today so she settled almost all meals. She steamed her Red Snapper in aluminium foil and threw it in the coals.

It was very tasty and the meat was very tender.

Then she set out to cook the Lamb Chops.

It was very tasty too.

Some of the guys then helped to set up the kettle so that we could have English Breakfast Tea. At night. Culture knows not of time. lmao

With the food mostly settled by now, some of the guys went into the nearby jungle to gather firewood for a campfire. Someone found some cotton wool which made starting the fire that much easier and though the strong wind blew it out once, we were able to get it from embers back to flames by, ironically, blowing air on it.

Fendy had gone to sleep in his hammock by now.

At around 10 to 11pm, and after a few overseas calls (you can’t get local reception here but you can get a Malaysian signal), Along and the unannounced and uncofirmed Mael showed up.

After more food (the 2 late comers had brought snacks and jelly!), the 2 of them and I relaunched to see if we could get anymore fish. We didn’t.

Fendy, having awoken from his slumber, promised to join us but as we later found out, he merely dozed off back to lala land.

So about an hour or two later, we headed back.

As our kayaks were near the middle of the river, I left everything on except the camera. The in hull lights and external lamp were left on their lowest setting.

Then we went to sleep. Or most of us at least. Along and Mael did not plan to sleep and so didn’t bring any gear other than that for fishing.

I lay my weary head to rest on my very comfortable hammock and I began to have one of the best nights of sleep I’ve had in a while. Except for the fact that it was cut short.

A few minutes shy of 7am, I felt rain drops falling on my face.

The rain grew very strong for about 5 minutes before calming down and alternating between a moderate strength rain and a strong drizzle.

I wasn’t exactly pleased as I value sleep very highly, and to lose out on very good sleep made it worse.

We made our way to the toilets, which happened to be the nearest shelter we could find.

When it became apparent that the rain wouldn’t let up, the guys began bringing their cooking gear over.

Most of us had brought our own food to cook for dinner/supper last night but as the dinner portions prepared by Titi were quite large, we found ourselves with an abundance of disposable, bulky and heavy items needing to be consumed. A certain special someone wearing a red jacket and going by the name of Omar had also brought a truly surprising amount of shareable snacks and light foods. While a nice surprise, it had also meant that there was a small but not insignificant number of redundancies.

And that is the story of how we ate breakfast next to the toilet.

As you can see, it was a complete protein breakfast though I personally skipped the beans.

The weather kept up for a bit then finally petered out.

More English Breakfast Tea.

With the tide coming up, we were able to pull our yaks (some of us at least) right next to the breakwater to load our stuff up.

When everyone had loaded up, we headed off.

Based on the currents, we decided to head left (West) to make it easier on us.

We passed by Nordin and not only was it fenced up from the inside (we already knew it was fenced up from the outside), the beach was practically gone.

If they had built it higher they could have sold it as a “Small villa over the water”

Everyone except Along, Fendy, and I, had made a beeline for the west edge of Pulau Ubin, eager to avoid the outgoing current which would be against them. They were rattled by the strong currents they had experienced at Chek Jawa yesterday.

They literally sped off with little to no word of caution.

For our determination, I was rewarded with a little catfish, Fendy got a Kaci, and Along got a Red Snapper.

By this time, as predicted, the current had started to shift against us.

Then the currents got a little stronger.

As we were nearing the west edge of Ubin, the wind began picking up and it blew strongly against the 3 of us. The waters became extremely choppy and the skies began to get gray.

The rest of them were still nowhere to be seen.

If we stopped peddling, within a few seconds, we would be drifting backwards at about a knot or 2.

Low on battery power for my phone, and without a spare battery or charger, I headed straight for watercross. Fendy and Along joined me shortly after and the rest soon appeared on the beach too, evidently returning from the Lorong Halus dam.

I forget what this is.

I learnt many lessons that day and I’ve since learnt many more. This trip is officially my first proper step into kayak camping and indeed camping in general.

The End.

PS: Oh… and a little video. Like and subscribe!


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.