22nd June 2007. After three months, I’m returning to Semporna with a bunch of guys (whom I shall call Mr A, Mr D and Mr E), for hopefully, a spot of fishing. As usual, we start early at KLIA, in time to catch this special plane next to ours.
2.5 hours later and we cruise over the interior of Sabah, still covered in morning mists.
The Tawau-Semporna-Lahad Datu corridor is oil palm country.
Plantation right to the Tawau airport runway.
On the ground after a morning shower. Hope the weather holds for us.
I was here barely 3 months back! In red, Mr E.
First stop: Tawau. Mr D admires the waterfront.
For golfers, a stop at Shan-Shui is a must, once voted Asia’s Best. No exception with Mr A.
The clubhouse, looking harmless enough.
But the golf course is something else.
The obligatory pose.
Enough Shan-Shin sightseeing, we leave for Semporna, and we are putting up at the waterfront Seafest Hotel.
Jetty in front of the hotel, great spot for unwinding, and watching boats and people, and the occasional fish-spotting.
Pricey ship for divers awaits clients. Bodgaya Island looks like huge hills behind the water village, but is actually 15km away in the Sulu Sea.
Even at the jetty, the water is crystal clear.
Behind the hotel, there is a dock for ocean-going fishing boats, and these puppies are going fishing for the night. Note the awesome spotlights.
From afar, nice-to-look-at water village. Come near, sewage is another matter.
As the day ends, the normally-bustling commuter quay at Semporna becomes almost lifeless.
Early next morning, Fishing Day, but a depressing sight greets us.
It gets worse as the morning progresses.
Not good, not good at all.
Even the friendly locals feel sorry for us, city-slickers.
A quick conference in the hotel restaurant – wait till 9.30am or bust!
Meanwhile fishing boats are returning to base.
A hive of activities at the dockyard.
Truly impressive stuff.
Business in progress.
Suddenly a break in the dark, foreboding clouds. Looking good.
Yeah, all systems go! With our gear, we wait for the boat at the jetty.
A small boat arrives laden with fat juicy fish. Great sign!
Soon our own transport arrives – the one heading this way lah.
> TO BE CONTINUED