Location: GPS Position: N 25º10.547′, E 55º 03.587′ – In the blue expanse of the Persian Gulf – 20kms away from the Dubai Coastline.
Activity: Deep Sea Fishing on a 33 ft yacht.
Duration: 4 hours
The team: 9 members – 4 couples, each couple comprising of a Team, plus the Captain cum Lifeguard cum Fishing expert cum Guide.
Status: 7 fish caught and declared a win-win situation only because of the experience of anchoring mid-sea and waiting for a good catch!
Highlight: NO KIDS!
We have been couch campers all our lives as I’ve already mentioned in a previous article – Couch Camping and Bonfires in the Balcony. For those who are new to my unblogging, this means that we have been camping from within our couches and content with mere bonfires in our balconies – though with all good intentions! But this time we ventured far – almost 20 kms away from the Dubai coastline and our beloved homes, leaving the Z-SISTERS behind. It was a tough decision for most of the members of our Fishing Team as we still hadn’t made a will, neither had we any clue as to who would look after the Z-SISTERS in-case we drifted further to the horizon rather than the coastline. And also because of the fact that the Z-SISTERS had always been, till now, a part of our travel and road banters. Since this was going to be our first sea banter, I guess we could take the liberty of breaking our own travel principles.
We sailed out from the jetties of Dubai Marina Walk in a 33 ft long yacht into the deep blue Persian Gulf on a lovely sunny Friday morning. Luck seemed to have been shining upon us from the very beginning. Just before we stepped out of our home, a beer bottle rolled out of the icebox we were carrying and broke into pieces. Some say that if a mirror breaks, it brings in 7 years of bad luck. The same was not valid, I guess for a beer bottle. I believe that it was the broken beer bottle that brought us 7 fish-luck!
Pre-Friday there had been exchanges of at-least 20 emails amongst all the members of our Fishing Team regarding what food we were going to carry on board. The list itself was so heavy that I was thinking whether we would actually be allowed to set sail by the Dubai Coast Guards! The final list resulted in carrying with us home-baked cake (in-case we didn’t come back home); egg sandwiches (in-case our low protein levels bogged down our energies); vegetable samosas as well as chicken samosas (in-case it happened that this was the last time we had any savouries, then it should only be the ones that we had grown up eating) and of-course huge cartons of Beers and chilled beverages in our ice-box( in-case we felt dehydrated from the sun). Remember, we also had to look absolutely chilled-out like in the advertisements – sipping from chilled glass bottles as we tilted our heads upwards and squinted our eyes in the sun as we sailed into the blue sea. After-all, it’s not everyday that one hires a yacht. It is a different story altogether that post-fishing trip we we were all seriously discussing if it made sense to pool in and buy a yacht and cultivate fishing as our new hobby. As if buying a yacht was like buying a car and fishing was just like playing badminton!
All the teams geared up after a sumptuous meal to start on the actual act of fishing. I must admit at this point that I was only clicking pictures. It took us almost an hour to reach the spot in the sea that promised to throw out fish in bounties and stick onto the baits in our sophisticated angling lines like velcro! What seemed like a really easy task soon turned into a long waiting game. We were actually doing nothing but holding the angling lines and praying that some fish falls prey to our baits of deliciously served fresh calamari. So many times in our lives we all must have wished how wonderful it would be to be aimless and DO NOTHING. But for the first time we realised that even DOING NOTHING can be really stressful. More so, if DOING NOTHING entails just waiting for a fish to pop up.
Our captain soon pulled out the anchor and we sailed into another potentially lucrative spot. And yes, Lady Luck seemed to shine on us this time. Mr A of Team A caught one fish. It was Jerry. I mean the fish was called Jerry! Mrs A beamed with pride. After all, catching a fish was not a matter of chance. She proclaimed (I mean the expression on her face proclaimed) that it did require certain specific skill. Which till now we all seemed to lack. A bit later, Mr A caught another fish. Well, wasn’t the report card already out? This time, the Captain pronounced the fish was Sherry! Sherry belonged to the same family as Jerry, I guessed.
The following was the eventual tally list for the teams:
Team A – 2 points
Team B – 1 point
Team C – 1 point (this was my team though my contribution was only to capture the moments of each team’s achievements!)
The Captain – 1 point.
Now it was time to head back. Team D was anyway half-injured from the beginning as Mrs D fell heavily sea-sick and was confined into the cabin for most of the journey post-eating. Mr D was also getting sea-sick on compassionate grounds, I guess. And as we were about to wrap up suddenly he scored an unbelievable 2 points – 2 fish together! An absolute copybook photo-moment. And clearly the winning stroke was Mr D’s though Mr A should be given credit for the opening score. Statistically we caught 0.875 fish/person. I thought that was fantastic – if we didn’t consider the cost involved in catching the 7 fish which came to approximately Dhs 171.50/fish. And also if we erased from our memories that Sherry fish were available at supermarkets for Dhs 20/kilo!
To sum up,
The Experience of Fishing: Novel but Expensive.
The Taste of Barbeque of Freshly-Caught-Fish-With-Our-Own-Hands accompanied by white wine after 2 days of continuous marination: Absolutely Heavenly and Undoubtedly Priceless!
Unblogging it all… Ishita
Footnote: Each Sherry Fish was cut into half and marinated with ready-made Tandoori Masala (an Indian form of spice), garlic and ginger powder for 2 continuous days. Each piece was then wrapped by aluminum foil and barbequed. Fresh fish barbeque accompanied by white wine – these are stuff that can be a dream even for our tastebuds!