Friday, 20 October 2017

Impromptu fishing sesson

It was the Deepavali holidays and we went for an impromptu fishing trip at the Southern Islands.

It was an excellent day of fishing with wonderful friends.

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Visit by Katsumi Yabe of Thirty34Four

Katsumi Yabe of Thirty34Four visited Singapore with his daughter. He went on a fishing trip at the Southern Islands on 11 April 2017 on Alex's boat.

I was part of the entourage fishing on Bite Me Too.

The outgoing tide was not the most ideal for hunting Sagai but we managed to catch some Sagai.

Sunday, 9 April 2017

Beautiful day at St John's Island

Singapore has been experiencing weird weather for the past few months.  The NE monsoon seemed to have started later than usual last year and extend until April this year.

I was lucky to encounter great weather on 6 April 2017 when I took Bite Me Too out for a quick spin at St John's Island.

Saturday, 25 June 2016

Sanctuary Cove Boat Show 2016

I visited the Sanctuary Cove Boat Show held on 19 May 2016 to 22 May 2016 at the invitation of Eric of Sgboating.  They have been appointed as the official dealer for Maritimo Yachts in Singapore and have arranged for a sea trial of the new Maritimo M48.

The last time I visited the Sanctuary Cove Boat Show was in 2014.

The main (and huge) difference which I noticed this year is the absence of Riviera Yachts at the Boat Show.  For those who are aware, both Maritimo and Riviera yachts are iconic brands in Australia which were coincidentally founded by Bill Barry Cotter (although he had left Riviera to form Maritimo).

I discovered that Riviera had decided not to participate in the Sanctuary Cove Boat Show and instead held their own show at their yard at Coomera which was nearby along the Coomera River.

Both Maritimo and Riviera are competitors in the flybridge market and the main difference in their products is that Maritimo swears by using only the traditional shaft drive in their boats while Riviera has both shaft drives and Volvo IPS pods.  There are many advantages and disadvantages for both systems and you can easily google it to find out all the various views and opinions.

I found that the boats from both brands are built to a high standard and finishing as I had previously taken the Riviera 43 Open Flybridge out for a sea trial in 2014 and this time round taken the Maritimo M50 out.  There are obvious similarities and differences between both these boats and it would be difficult to choose between one or the other.  My personal choice would be the Riviera 43 Open Flybridge as I prefer the convertible layout for fishing instead of an enclosed flybridge layout.

With the recent drop in the Aussie dollar, it would be a good time to look at the boats from these 2 Australian boat builders.

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Short Trip to Pulau Seringat for PPCDL refresher

My friend's son is having his Powered Pleasure Craft Driving Licence (PPCDL) practical test next weekend so I decided to bring him out on Bite Me Too last Sunday for a quick refresher course at Pulau Seringat.

The weather last Sunday was excellent with light winds and cloudy skies.  At one point the sky did look menacing but luck was on our side and there was no rain.

When we reached the sheltered bay between Pulau Seringat and St John's Island, there was only one other sail boat anchored at the bay and we had the whole bay to ourselves to carry out the refresher course.

From the best of my knowledge (as I took my PPCDL test around 20 years ago), we carried out safety equipment checks, engine checks, basic boat manoeuvre, man overboard drills and the dreaded berthing.  Many students fail the test because of berthing.

The weather and sea conditions last Sunday could not have been any better.  The scenery at the bay was also breathtaking.  This place is truly a hidden treasure away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Thursday, 10 December 2015

Solo Trip to Tioman from 7 to 10 Nov 2015 (Part 3)

During my previous trip to Tioman in August 2015, I made a 38 nautical miles trip from Tioman to Pulau Batu Berhala to look for sail fish as that place is an established spot to hunt for sail fish.  At that spot, I had 4 sail fish hookups in around 4 hours which is considered pretty decent.  The problem is that the distance of 38 nautical miles from Tioman to Pulau Batu Berhala is quite far.

For this recent November trip, my aim was to look for a new sail fish spot nearer to Tioman.

We started the hunt by going to an unjam previously marked on my GPS which was around 25 nautical miles to the west of Tioman.  I had previously fished at this unjam which yielded many squids and Tenggiri.

As we reached the unjam at around 10am, I realised that there was only a single buoy left instead of the numerous buoys for the boats to tie up to.  Nevertheless we tied the boat up to the buoy and started fishing.   Within one hour, we managed to catch more than enough bait fish for the whole day.  Throughout that time, there were many surface action caused by schools of bonitos.  We tried casting small jigs to the schools of bonitos but there was no takers.

At around 11am we started to see numerous sail fish swimming on the surface.  We immediately cast our poppers towards them but the sail fish did not seem interested.  We deduced that the current had not started to move and the sail fish were not in a feeding mood yet.  This carried on until 12 noon and the sail fish kept swimming around our boat neither taking the poppers or the live bait drifted out behind the boat.

At this point, we decided to move to another unjam around 5 nautical miles to the north east.  As we reached the unjam, we could see one boat already tied up to the buoy and another boat drifting.  On that drifting boat, one of the anglers onboard was fighting a sail fish.

We immediately started drifting and let out the live bait on balloons.  Within a few minutes, we had a hook up and we could see the sail fish leaping out of the water at a distance.  This would turn out to be start of numerous hookups we had during this trip.

Although this second unjam was only 5 nautical miles away from the first unjam, there was a feeding frenzy here.  We deduced that it could be due to the current which had started moving at around 1pm.  In total, we had more than 10 sail fish hookups at this spot and it will feature prominently in my future trips to Tioman.

Saturday, 28 November 2015

Solo Trip to Tioman from 7 to 10 Nov 2015 (Part 2)

We left TU Lighthouse at around 1pm and charted our course north towards Tioman.  The sea condition was calm and the weather was excellent.

However beneath the calm seas lie hidden dangers.  For those of you who have cruised along the east coast of Peninsula Malaysia, you will be familiar with the numerous fish nets laid by the local fisherman and debris and wood floating all over the sea.  I always make sure that I have an extra pair of eyes to sit beside me at the helm to help me look out for such dangers whenever I cruise.

Around 10 minutes after we departed from TU Lighthouse, the sea looked calm and flat.  However there was a sudden bang and the boat had hit a semi-submerged wooden log which was not visible as it was not floating on the surface.  Fortunately, both the Yamaha F300 outboards were not damaged and we continued on our journey.  This incident taught me not to be complacent and I must keep a proper lookout at all times even when the sea looks calm and peaceful.

After I returned to Singapore, my cleaner told me that the gelcoat at the front of the hull under the water line suffered some slight damage.  I immediately contacted Eric of Sgboating and he immediately arranged for repairs to be done at Raffles Marina within one week.  I must commend him on his prompt service.

Other than this incident, the rest of the journey to Tioman was utterly enjoyable.  Although the 85nm journey took us slightly more than 3 hours, there were plenty of things to see along the way. We spotted numerous schools of bait fish on the surface try to evade predators.  We also spotted flocks of birds attacking the bait fish.  We were tempted to stop and cast our poppers or jigs towards the school of bait fish but we wanted to reach Tioman early.

Around 1 and a half hours after we departed from TU Lighthouse, we could see Pulau Sibu and Pulau Tinggi looming at the horizon on the port side.  After we passed both Pulau Sibu and Pulau Tinggi, we could see Pulau Dayang and Pulau Aur on our starboard side.  After that I knew Tioman was just less than 20nm away.

We finally reached Tioman safely just after 4pm and navigated ourselves into Tekek Marina at around 4.30pm.

On the Robalo R300, I was able to achieve a cruising speed of 25 to 26 knots running both Yamaha F300 at 3700 RPM.  I had full fuel onboard and 3 persons in total.  The Yamaha digital gauges showed that the fuel consumption was around 1.4 to 1.5 mpg which in my opinion, was excellent.