After a nice afternoon relaxing at the beach on Shengsi Island, I awoke the following day to rain clouds and gloomy skies. However, this suited me just fine since our second day would be out on the sea for a fishing excursion. Really I was just glad that it hadn’t rained on our beach time. Oh, also because fishing excites me as much as being stuck on a tarmac for an extra hour because of ‘technical difficulties’.
Fishing skepticism aside, I was excited to get out on the water as my love for boating far exceeds my dislike for fishing. It had just started to sprinkle when we reached the port so we dove inside a gift shop that sold colorful plastic ponchos. We were then handed neon orange life preservers, required for our little outing, that we donned over our ponchos.
(I was actually really excited for this. One of my favorite times to photograph is right before or after a rainstorm. There is just something about dark and gloomy skies that puts intensity into a photo.)
We walked down some steps that led us right to the edge of the water where several long fishing boats were waiting. They had long seats made out of bamboo and paint-chipped sides. They looked to be about 100 years old and I half expected them to sink while we were out at sea, or at least have an engine failure, but they held up just fine and our two sea captains maneuvered us right into the middle of the East China Sea.
Our view was filled with fellow fishing vessels, ships and ports as we swayed across the sea. After about 20 minutes, I realized that “fishing” turned out to be us enjoying a boat ride while the captain and his mate threw some nets overboard. Periodically, they would drag them back in to see if we had caught anything.
The captain put our catch into a bucket and placed it in front of us to look at. It was filled with brown, murky water with various sea creatures in it. Rumor had it that our catch was going to be cooked as our lunch. I looked down into the bucket of sea creatures trying to imagine that. I think everyone else was doing the same.
When we got back to shore, the other boat in our group had caught an octopus and was carrying it around in a plastic bag. We took our catch to a restaurant and ended up with way more food than we caught, so they either added it to their own supply or just disregarded our offering completely (which probably would have been for the best!). I didn’t end up eating much only because visions of sea creatures in murky water danced in my head.
However, the experience itself was really fun (even if I WAS craving a hamburger by the time we got back). The island’s quiet nature was a nice reprieve and a day out on a boat is a day well spent!