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Kayaking Adventures
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Alex



Joined: 21 Oct 2009
Posts: 207
Location: Singapore, South East Asia

PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2010 4:42 pm    Post subject: Kayaking Adventures Reply with quote

Father and son expedition:


Took my son on a 2D1N kayaking expedtion on 8th Dec to 9th Dec.
Launched from Sentosa and headed for St John's Island.
(the photo above was taken by beach patrol when we returned to Sentosa the next day)


2pm: It was clear sky and calm waters, boat traffic was minimal.


2.30pm: First stop, a jetty at Pulau Tekukor.


2.45pm: Crossing channel from Pular Tekukor to St John's, some white water.
The ferry you see in the photo is leaving St John's for Kusu Island.
The island behind the ferry is Pulau Rengit, with a linkway to St John's.


3pm: Arriving at St. John's, there are picnic tables and hut shelters.
The little white building on the left is the jetty's engine room.


3.15pm: The only lagoon open to public, where I fixed up my fish finder to survey the area.
The lagoon is only 9feet deep at its perimeter, so fishing here is only during high tide.


To the east of the bay is the linkway to Pulau Rengit, which is now closed to public.


To the north is all calm waters with fishes all over.


The best place to fish is this new platform where there is a sudden dropoff from 15feet to 60feet. Here's where I got the most number of beeps from my fish finder. Wink

It was 6.30pm, we had already cooked and eaten dinner, so I thought I'd jig for bait because the initial plan was just a kayak expedition to recce the place, and I had left all fishing equipment at home except for my son's telescopic rod and kid's fishing kit.
Made a bait keep from the 100plus bottle, then 3 tambans later, my reel went Tzeeeeeee..
after a few minutes of careful reeling, not to snap the line, up came a Threadfin Jack!

Not bad, coz fishing was not the main objective for this trip.

The rest of the time was spent bonding with my son, check out this video of him feeding a friendly chicken, kampong style. Not much opportunity to do so by ourselves in Singapore now.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/44000067@N06/4173176699/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

The next morning, just before we left, I managed to land a baby barracuda. Laughing

Yup, just a really small one, then it was back to Sentosa.

At Sentosa's Tanjong beach lagoon, as I was SMSing our safe return to my buddies who have been so kind to standby "activation rescue" for us in the event of emergencies, I realised the my son could kayak from one end of the lagoon to the other unassisted!

Thus, I have found in my 6-year-old son, a fishing and kayaking buddy. :YEAH:

A successful and fruitful expediton, neither my son nor I would forget for the rest of our lives.

P.S. I would like to thank Mervin, Dave, Mathew and Ian for being with us on SMS throughout the trip. Also gratitude to the kind staff on St John's Island and not forgetting our ever vigilant coast guards for keeping an eye on us whenever and whereever we are at sea.
:cc:

Father and Son Expedition II

I guess my son must be addicted to the sea already,
a fortnight or so after our first expedition to St. John's,
he said one day as we returned from our daily 2-hour paddling workout:
"Daddy, how about we go camping at Sister's Island?"

My wife had no qualms nor objections,
so I started planning and packing for the 2nd father and son bonding session within a month,
activated my good buddies and the next day we were off (Sister's Island 27-28th Dec):
(This time, armed with an ice box and 10-litre freshwater bag, my knees were exposed)



As it was Sunday, so it was church first and everything else later.
It was almost 4pm, and the skies didn't look too bright to start with:
(Sister's Island is on the right, presumably without electricity nor water supply)



After an hour of paddling or so, we arrived at our destination.
Now, we had to decide whether to set up camp at Big Sister(East) or Small Sister(West).
Then out of nowhere, out came a family of monkeys on the beach of Big Sister's,
without a second thought, we decided to head for Small Sister's.
(We did not want to have monkeys coming to us in the middle of the night searching for food)



West of Small Sister's there are 2 lagoons. And we picked the one closest to the jetty to disembark.
(We were still deciding whether to camp in the open on grass or under shelter at the jetty)



As we were in the process of unloading all equipment, strong wind greeted us at the jetty.
And it wasn't too long before we heard a load cracking noise followed by a crash.
It turned out that the wind had just uprooted a palm tree!
(So,it was obvious to set up camp on the concrete floor under shelter at the jetty)
(Tent for rain and windy conditions, hammocks for cool and clear night, we experienced both)



Next, we tried to fish for live bait but the current and wind was simple to strong.
So, we started to cook dinner:
(Checkout the NTUC Kampong eggs we brought, without crushing any off them!)



The successful nice little dinner,
somehow drove away some of the initial fearful reception we have had so far:



Next more morning, I recced the island, to find that there is toilet and shower facilities afterall!
Nice huts, picnic tables and BBQ pits too:





However, there were warning signs of strong currents everywhere I went:



And I could see for myself why:



Within the lagoon was safe but shallow though:




So, that left us with little fishing options:
(we caught mostly small beach and coral fishes, especially Parrot fish):



At the jetty we caught a mixture of bait fishes (half a foam box) which were too big for bait:
(12-15cm Tambans)


And big eye, big mouth, dunno what's the name fishes:



Checkout this cross breed look-alike between a grouper and parrot:



It was a good feeling to have monopoly of the whole island all to ourselves,
we could pick any spot, any method and extensively exhaust all options.
And when all the fishing was done, we took out a 5-inch camera stand for a priceless shot:
(Father and son expedition II):



In this picture, you can see Big Sister's jetty directly opposite us:



In this picture, you see Small Sister's jetty:



And when all the photographs had been taken, we packed up and headed home.
30mins after departure, we turned back and saw this:
(Talk about God's timing!)


And thus, we end this year's school vacation on a victorous and memorable high.
The two expeditions we have had this month are enough to last us two life times! :YEAH:
We will both look back at the photos with very fond memories.

P.S. I would like to thank Ian, Merv and Mathew for being my SMS buddies,
Strength, Mentally and Spiritually buddies,
who kept sending precautionary and encouraging messages through the expedition. :cc:


1st Jan 2010 (Friday) Baitfish Bonanza!!
It has been 3 days not out at sea and I was feeling "LAND sick" yesterday.
This morning, first day of a brand new year, first thing I did was head out fishing.

Tried a new spot and came back with a box full of baitfish.

I stopped fishing having used only 5 prawns from my 300g worth of dead prawns.
I had to stop because my icebox could not close properly and I was happily shacked out.

My son was a good teammate as he was the one who steered the kayak into position
from the stern while I fish from the bow. All those training at Punggol to keep the kayak
drifting yet gently circling to the same spot worked!
Perhaps I'll get a AE convertible soon as he is growing out of leg room.

After a closer look, I found: Tamban, Spanish Mackerel, Kambong and Selar.
(Can someone please help me identify the big-eyed fish?)
This is the first time I've caught so many species (20cm Selars!) at one spot in one trip.


I lost one though, a 100Lb line, with a 1kg sinker and a 1.5litre Coke bottle,
anchored about 50m within my sight, while I harvested baitfish.
Saw it go under and dragged out to open sea, and disappeared!

Next trip, I'll bring nylon rope and hook the setup to a beacon.
I would like to see the fish drag the beacon out to open sea!

Well, all in all, great start to a brand new year!

Here's wishing everyone Good Luck fishing this weekend,
especially my kayak buddies Ian, Merv, Matthew, James, Dave and Richard! Cheers!

9th Jan 2010 (Saturday) Stupendous Selar!!

After one week at Primary one, my faithful buddy decided to skip this outing and rest at home.
Although he was already awake when I left the house, but he choose to go to MacDonald's
with his mom instead because this week's kid's meal toy is figures from Transformers.

So, without my buddy and all the camping stuff, today the kayak was so spacious I felt like I
was sitting on a sofa with leg rest.

Midway to the fishing ground, I spotted a coke bottle, as I got closer, I could see that it was
tied to something below. I thought to myself: "Could it be?"


It wasn't long before I identified that it was indeed the set up, I lost last week!
Today's launch was to catch the receding tide till its lowest, so I guess that helped.
Happily, I reeled everything back, in the process lost the 1kg rock though,
it must have come loose after one week at sea.
Note: the red plastic bag was wrapped around the bottle last week for easy identification from far.

The target for this week is other fishes first, baitfish last (as neighbours have taken orders).
First fish was a Parrot.


Followed by a Leather Jacket.


Then a Silver Trevally. (Correction: It is a Snubnose Dart, Max 65cm in S'pore)


After a few small bream and small snappers. I decided to go for baitfish.
This week I used hooks 2 sizes bigger, so that only the big ones get hooked mostly.
And check this out! The usual size and today's size! Biggest I have caught off the kayak.


And when the quota (neighbour's orders) for this week was reached,
I headed home with the once lost but now am found coke bottle. :bb:


16th Jan 2010 (Saturday) Silvery Moonies

First, some photos of battle wounds.
Like any good soldier my kayak has a few scars to show,
the bow has 4 deep cuts from barnacles,



my finger, a 2cm cut, was slashed by a Queenie,
just before it leaped out of my kayak today,


the floor bladder has 2 punctures 3mm apart from baitfish fins, last week.


So, I bought 2 desk mats (one green, one yellow) and
stuck them together to "fin-and-hook-proof" my kayak floor bladder below.


Visited a new spot today and landed Silvery Moonies:



Not forgetting the usual box of baitfish:


This is the plate for one neighbour:


This box is for church friends:


Not forgetting next weeks bait:


And we just ate all the Moonies for dinner. The largest one even had roe in it. Wink


Last edited by Alex on Thu Jun 16, 2011 8:14 pm; edited 16 times in total
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jimbo1958



Joined: 10 Oct 2009
Posts: 13

PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2010 7:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Alex, I really enjoyed your photos... thanks for sharing. You encouraged me to schedule a trip with my daughter for this spring.
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Alex



Joined: 21 Oct 2009
Posts: 207
Location: Singapore, South East Asia

PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2010 4:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jimbo1958 wrote:
Alex, I really enjoyed your photos... thanks for sharing. You encouraged me to schedule a trip with my daughter for this spring.


I have Ian Pearly to thank, he is the one who first suggested that I share my adventures in a thread here. Wink

It is a good feeling to know that the photos have inspired more parent-child trips.
It has done wonders to the relationship between my son and me, hope it will bring as many joyous returns to you too. Smile
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Pearly



Joined: 12 Mar 2009
Posts: 436
Location: Malaysia

PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2010 4:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You've been busy Alex!

I'll have to find out where you get those big Tamban from though - they look yummy!

Cheers,

Ian
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Alex



Joined: 21 Oct 2009
Posts: 207
Location: Singapore, South East Asia

PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2010 6:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pearly wrote:
You've been busy Alex!

I'll have to find out where you get those big Tamban from though - they look yummy!

Cheers,

Ian


Seek and ye shall find buddy.. seek and ye shall find. Very Happy

Hint: It is not somewhere you've not already been. Wink
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Alex



Joined: 21 Oct 2009
Posts: 207
Location: Singapore, South East Asia

PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2010 6:21 am    Post subject: Selar Sashimi Reply with quote

23rd Jan 2010 (Saturday) Selar Sashimi

Headed North yesterday to Punggol instead of the usual Southern spots.
Harvested the usual baitfishes at a beacon.
However, the sizes here are one-third those in the South.


In church today, a friend described how he “sashimi-ed”
the 42 Selars I gave him last week within 30 mins into 84 fillets.
I was so amazed I came home and tried.
Step 1: Lifting the pectoral fin slice from the back of the head diagonally towards the belly


Step 2: Slice laterally along the back


Step 3: Peel off the skin with the scales on it


Step 4: Slice off the flesh from the tail towards the head, thicker at the back and thinner at the belly


And there you have it, instant Sashimi! Without bones, without any yucky stuff.


Of course hygiene concerns need to be addressed:
1. Every slice is washed thoroughly before eating
2. The chopping board and knife are washed with warm water after every 3 fishes
3. Fishes waiting to be sliced are kept under ice


I was so impressed, I ate them raw!


Sushi bite size, only much much fresher! Wink


Last edited by Alex on Sun Jan 31, 2010 2:54 am; edited 1 time in total
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Alex



Joined: 21 Oct 2009
Posts: 207
Location: Singapore, South East Asia

PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2010 11:57 pm    Post subject: Alex's Arches Reply with quote


Alex's Arches


I have been wanting to share my fishing technique, so here's how it works.



The wind was stronger than the current on Saturday, but later became milder,
thus there is a drift arc when the wind varies.

This is an advantage to us because it simulates the natural drift of food source for the fishes.
As the kayak swings to and fro approaching the strike zone, I get strikes every time. Wink


Last edited by Alex on Tue Mar 02, 2010 8:49 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PJohanson



Joined: 01 Jun 2007
Posts: 506

PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2010 11:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow!
What great details are in your stories!
Monkeys as a challenge when camping... ooooh! On the islands where I live, the curious animals are raccoons. They come to investigate campsites after dark. My partner had to chase them away a couple of times one night.
There are bears too, here in Canada, but we've been okay so far.
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Alex



Joined: 21 Oct 2009
Posts: 207
Location: Singapore, South East Asia

PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2010 4:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

PJohanson wrote:
Wow!
What great details are in your stories!
Monkeys as a challenge when camping... ooooh! On the islands where I live, the curious animals are raccoons. They come to investigate campsites after dark. My partner had to chase them away a couple of times one night.
There are bears too, here in Canada, but we've been okay so far.


We did have our loaf of bread bitten off in the dark that night by a monitor lizard (harmless lizard the size of a small dog).

One measure is to have the foodstuff hung from a tree branch at least 3m high. But then, there are ants and squirrels to worry about?
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Alex



Joined: 21 Oct 2009
Posts: 207
Location: Singapore, South East Asia

PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2010 3:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

30th Jan 2010 (Saturday) Full moon tide + 25km/h wind

Today was the earliest launch I have ever made, was out at sea by 7.22am.
What greated me was super strong currents and up to 25km/h winds.

Upon reaching the strike zone, I lowered my anchor and happily hoped that I would get it right just like last week,
swinging like a pendulum, enjoying strikes each time I passed the strike zone.

But this was not to be, the wind somewhat died as I was drifting back and the current seemed weaker than
what I encountered earlier, and I ended up 20m off the strike zone.

So, I lifted the 5kg anchor + 150feet of rope, and re-positioned the kayak before dropping the anchor again.
This time the current was much stronger and there was no anchorage,
my kayak kept drifting and drifting until it went pass the strike zone.

So, up again with the 5kg twin-brick + 150feet of rope, and further up stream I paddled again to launch the anchor,
this time the drift was exactly right, BUT, the anchor rope was 10m short of the strike zone,
the irony was, if I hope for the anchor to drift I have to reposition, if the anchor stays put I would have no strikes.

From my life-vest, I decided to connect what ever little canvas and nylon rope (the green thin stuff we use at reservist)
I have to make up the 10m. Luckily, I had just enough and the green stuff was just strong enough to hold the drifting kayak.

As the strikes started, I was thinking to myself, what hard work this is, and in the midst of this "hardship" thoughts,
I spotted this Caucasian dude, paddling around with his bare hands! Easi-peezy!! Shocked



Feeling really embarrassed, Embarassed I waved at him and he waved back.
And that was the last I thought of any difficult conditions.
Whatever fishing line I dropped into the water needed 5 sinkers (size 7), so as just to make it reach the bottom,
no complains though... Rolling Eyes

I did, however, get my usual box of Sashimi before heading back.
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Alex



Joined: 21 Oct 2009
Posts: 207
Location: Singapore, South East Asia

PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2010 11:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Alex's Anchors

Environmental concern:
Only to be used if the sea bed is not destroyed if the bricks drag


This is by no means the best setup,
but I hope that by sharing my method here,
it offers an inexpensive (almost free) alternative,
to anchoring the Advance Element Expedition Kayak.

The bricks are binded by black buckle straps,
which when entangled will un-buckle with a huge yank of the anchor rope,
leaving the rest of the setup free, except the stuck brick.



The blue canvas bag (porous to sea water),
contains 3 sets of 50feet ropes,
starting with 50feet of the thickest and strongest,
to withstand rock cuts and higher tension.

The blue bag stays in the kayak,
and a simple figure of 8 knot is tied at the section of the anchor rope,
when an angle of depression of no more than 30 degrees is achieved,
between the surface and the anchor rope,
the knot is then connect to the kayak by the blue carabina,
which is within arm's length reach from the kayak seat,
so as to deploy and retrieve the anchor,
at the very position and posture as you were paddling.


From experience, length of anchor rope deployed should be at least 4 times the depth to get a good anchorage.


Last edited by Alex on Tue Mar 02, 2010 4:02 pm; edited 7 times in total
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Alex



Joined: 21 Oct 2009
Posts: 207
Location: Singapore, South East Asia

PostPosted: Mon Feb 01, 2010 3:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is by no means the best way to hold the paddle while fishing,
I am sharing my idea here,
so as to provide a creative alternative,
to quickly hold and retrieve the paddle on fishing trips,
without losing it, or having it get in the way of your fishing,
or kayak movement.

The seat buckle has a slit for a nylon rope to loop through,
with a small carabina, the paddle is simply held:


The D-ring can also have a similar carabina to hold the paddle:


At the side of the kayak, it does not catch the current flow and tilt your kayak unnecessarily:
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Alex



Joined: 21 Oct 2009
Posts: 207
Location: Singapore, South East Asia

PostPosted: Mon Feb 01, 2010 4:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tender loving care : Kayak Shampoo Session

During the last trip, a couple of kakis talked about washing their kayak.

Shamefully, after having my kayak for more than 2 months, I have never washed it.
So far, I have only dried it, wipe it with moist cloth and vacuumed it off sand and sediment after each trip.

After serving me and my sons so well, I think it deserves a good pampering session:


I even took out my shower head: Wink


And my toilet spray:


Team work in draining the water inside:


Not forgetting bottoms up.
Checkout the little "Bumble Bee" radio,
maybe can transform into a yellow kayak: :yeayea:


I love my AE Expedition kayak! Razz
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Alex



Joined: 21 Oct 2009
Posts: 207
Location: Singapore, South East Asia

PostPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2010 10:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Packing the AE Expedition in 60 Secs


This is by no means the fastest or best way to pack the kayak,
but by sharing my method here, it offers a quick alternative.

Make sure all valves are set to open.
Lengthwise, fold the kayak into two,
exposing only the grey bottom.

Section-wise, start folding from the bow (front of kayak),
as the 2 main release valves are all at the stern (back of the kayak),
after 3 folds from the bow,
there is always trapped air at the stern,
press it out before folding further:






Fold one section from the stern:





Then another section from the stern again:
(That's 3 folds from the bow, 2 folds from the stern)






The thinner and yellow corner will go into the zipper end of the bag:





Flatten the bag and kayak between your knees and pull the zipper:





With the zipper at midway, give the bag a yank off the ground,
this will compact the kayak into the bottom end,
insert the seat:






Usually,
the AE Expedition kayak will only occupy two-thirds of the bag:






Have fun! Laughing
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Alex



Joined: 21 Oct 2009
Posts: 207
Location: Singapore, South East Asia

PostPosted: Sat Feb 06, 2010 2:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My son's solo paddling trip

Took my son out to open sea today, shadowing him using the AE Expedition:


We did some light fishing and practiced catch and release:
First by my son

Then by me


On the returned journey, he took off first while I packed and lifted the anchor:


I was worried for a while, but as I caught up, he seemed fine:


Our usual catch of bait fish:
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