Sunday, April 12, 2009

The first candat of lifetime

Yesterday, starting at 2am we had every conceivable dish made from sotong. Sotong goring kunyit, mi goring sotong, sotong bakar and for the finale - ketupat sotong. All caught from the first ever candat trip for me.

Sounds good? Well I haven’t talk about the mabuk part yet.

We went out in three boats. In mine were me, Yati, Amir Kecik, Amir, Kak Ani, Sarah and her brother, [Khir decided not to join – takut mabuk], Saiful and his wife Yah and Pok Sang and the Juragan and his assistant.

We set out at about 530 from Jeti Pelancungan Marang and after an hour ride reached the candat zone. By then there I counted 31 boats. It was still early in the season and the real nest was not discovered yet. The number of boats could reach a hundred at the peak of season, I was told. From the mainland it looks like a row lights from a pasar malam. Trips a few nights earlier came back empty handed, but then again this was all about luck and rezeki.

Yati waited to go candat 19 years since moving to Terengganu but this for me is a trip 46 years in waiting. After a week of heavy rain, the weather was just perfect for this candat adventure. It was a night of full moon and calm but bubbly sea.

Those with fishing gears, mostly gleaming new gear – now that fishing has set as a new craze in the family; started fishing, Ma caught a few kerisi and suddenly the tekong started to land the sotongs. Soon everyone scrambled to candat. I too, until then uninterested in the fishing put aside my camera, asked for a line and began. Sara caught the first one. I got mine soon after. After two sotongs, the bubbly sea took its toll on me. I threw up – big time. Funnily I felt good after the vomit and continued. There were excitement all around when everybody started to bring in the sotongs.

At 900pm dinner was cooked – with lauk sotong of course. It smells terribly delicious but I can only entertain my nostril.

At 1030pm some has had enough and gone to slumber.

At 1230am Amir had her second serving of nasi and gulai sotong. Soon we all decided to ‘angkat sauh’ and head home. In Amir’s word, this was his best ever candat since he first started in 97 – this must be beginners luck for the likes of me.

Gosh this candat thing, mabuk laut included was fun. The mabuk and vomiting makes it tough. I wonder how it would be if the sea was rougher and I am grateful that for us this was not for living.

Next time at Pasar Tani, I won’t be complaining of expensive sotong anymore.

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