To start the weekend, it was fishing time. We headed out at about 9am to go trawling. Now, having been living in the US for almost 12 years, when I hear trawling I immediately picture a large fishing boat with huge nets and weights that scrape along the bottom of the sea, destroying everything in its path. I quickly learned that trawling is something much different here. To go trawling, one needs fishing line, two or three hooks with bait that are attached towards the end of the line, a small weight, and of course a boat and good company. We headed out past the outer reef and then the two fishing lines were prepared and placed in the water. We drove around for about 2 hours but only caught 3-4 small fish (groupers). One reason why we didn’t catch any bigger fish may have been because of the pod of some 20 dolphins gliding through the water underneath our boat, chasing the big delicious fish away from our hooks. Good for the fish, not so good for our empty stomachs we would like to fill with fresh fish. Driving over the small waves ended up being quite the bumpy ride. Personally I was having a great time, sitting at the bow of the boat, holding on to the ropes as if my life depended on it, but all the while looking for more new species of fish, birds, or other marine animals that I might be able to see.
What I did spot where a lot of sailing-flying fish, Parexocoetus brachypterus. These fish have long pectoral fins that allow them to glide through the air if they leap out of the water and stretch their fins like airplane wings. I saw some larger fish gliding across approximately 50 or 60 feet! The smaller fish tended to leap out of the water, glide for 1-2 seconds (which may add up to 10 ft) and then dip back into the water.
Along one of the coves of the Rock Islands, we stopped and Moti and Louis jumped into the water to find a few larger critters. We luckily didn’t encounter any crocodiles, but brought back some clams, Bigeye jack and lots of Rabbit fish. To end our 4 hr fishing trip we had to sadly head back towards Malakal (where i live). Almost the entire time we were out at sea, the sky was a beautifully clear and the sun shone down on us. Heading back to town, we ran into a heavy wall of rain which didn’t clear up for the rest of the day. Feeling a bit sunburned, the rain was actually very welcoming but I would never wish for the entire afternoon to be consumer by a heavy rain shower.