Add to Technorati Favorites expat Abu Dhabi Dispatches: Mangroves Again

Friday, March 19, 2010

Mangroves Again

I know you all tire of reading my multiple posts about my haircuts and mangrove flat kayak trips but I had to post this experience I had last weekend. There were so many incredible things I saw it is worth note.

My Italian co-worker and boat owner, "Il Capitano" and I planned a second kayak trip, this time with fishing gear, food and cooking utensils as a longer day of exploring was anticipated. The security guys at the launch point amazingly recognized us from the previous excursion and waved us on as if we were long-lost cousins. I guess we made some kind of impression before.

That hurdle being jumped, we ventured out into the bounding main and set a course for the same area as last time. Once we got there, we noticed that the tide was running into the estuary this time and the environment looked completely different. What was bare sand on the previous trip was now covered in water.

So it was decided to take a narrow slough which opened up into a wide flat covered in a few feet of water. The strong tidal current was at our backs which made progress easy. Eager to wet the hooks, we beached on a small piece of dry ground. Il Capitano jumped out of the boat and immediately sank up to his knees in soft sand. After pulling him out with the aid of a paddle, we settled down to catch lunch.

Easy paddling with tide at our backs

Acres (hectares) of shallow waters in high tide mode

Initial landfall at this was covered in the high tide 45 minutes later and we had to go.

"Il Capitano" enjoying a frosty malt beverage

We spotted this covered walkway within paddling distance

The buildings in the background were our launching point, a lot of real estate was covered

So when we no fish were caught and the dry land we were beached on was rapidly reclaimed by the tide, we thought paddling to the mysterious walkway would be a good idea. with the aid of the incoming tide, we made it there in record time. Somewhere along the way my camera ingested some salt water and refused to record any more images.

We reached the wooden walkway and made it our base of operations for awhile. It seemed about 2 kilometers long and was of extremely high quality construction. We fished for awhile and caught nothing so the charcoal grilled burgers tasted good. On three occasions I saw wild gazelles prancing around in the area......and my damn camera was shot. Their hoofprints were everywhere in the sand. Abu Dhabi literally means "Father of the Gazelle".

The snakelike, palm frond covered walkway we found. This became Base-Ops as no one was around...wild Gazelles were abundant though! We fished at the main channel in the center of this Google Earth view

An interesting thing happed during the time I was on the elevated walkway fishing and eating hamburgers, The tidal current slowed, stopped and the reversed all in a couple of hours. That meant an almost effortless trip back as we had the tidal current at our backs once again. The equivalent of going downhill both ways. I have never seen tides change that much in so little time. I would estimate the current at about 5-7 knots due to the narrowness of the channels. I was pleased at this as I am a lazy bastard and did not relish paddling back that far against the strong current we had at our advantage on the way in . The return voyage ended up a relaxing sightseeing trip.

We got skunked fishing, but I did have a stone crab on a hook when I pulled up my line when it was time to go. I let the poor fellow go. He was quite agitated!

The main thing I regret is that my camera failed on me. To be fair, it was not waterproof, it was 4 years old and it had less megapixels than my mobile phone, but I missed some of the best photos in my life. It served me well as a secondary device lately. I don't take my good Canon SX10is on such trips.

The last image of my Canon A510 PowerShot. My right foot in perfect macro focus, faithful 'til the end! It freaked out after this!

The Dearly Departed......I took thousands of photos with this

I now have an excuse to get a new toy....a waterproof camera. that is always fun although I regret missing some wonderful shots last weekend. 

The weather and water temperature were perfect and I didn't have to swat one insect the whole time. How cool is that?! It will be incredibly hot here in the near future which will make such voyages very uncomfortable. I hope we can squeeze another in by then!


Chuck said...

Looks like another cool trip. Glad you guys had fun! The primary objective with fishing should be relaxation and not actually catching fish, in my opinion. But then, I've never been good at catching fish. :)

Neil Roberts said...

Great adventure! Amazing what you can find off the beaten track eh?

Anna-Lou said...

I don't really like quicksand I think I can sink up really quickly as I'm small... Dammit ! I have to be carefull ;)
This another trip seems to be awesome ! I've nerver seen wild gazelle...!! Cows, marmot, goat it's ok, but gazelle ! Woow :)

ultra[blue] said...

You need a Wii. Seriously. Even more so than I needed it.

Ace said...

What's amazing is that this is so close to the City! Too bad the Summer weather will be upon us soon and outdoor excursions like this may get a tad uncomfortable. broke the code!

@Neil...the "Hamdan" Google Earth photo was awesome!

@A-L, Smaller and lighter is better in the soft sand...and you forgot the hairy donkeys!

@u[b], I have a PS3, does that count?

888 said...

沒有經過反省的人生,是不值得活的人生 ....................................................

Dave said...

I agree with Chuck, it doesn't matter if you catch any fish as long as you chill out. And this trip looks like another great adventure.

Nicoleta said...

My group and I had a very unpleasant experience this weekend (Saturday morning) and I wanted to share it with everyone because I find it quite outrageous! We were a group of 7 and we were supposed to go kayaking, through a company called Noukhada. I have a very poor opinion about Noukhada now, unfortunately...If you find other companies, my advice is DO NOT USE Noukhada!!!! We were supposed to meet with a Noukhada representative named DON in front of Carrefour on Airport Road and then leave for the tour. Don did come but we eneded up waiting for someone; we kept asking how much longer we have to wait and he kept saying "5 minutes". After having waited for 30 minutes already, I "dared" to ask him when we are leaving and he said "Listen, madm' , this is Abu Dhabi; and if you don't have the patience to wait, then i guess you should leave!" Very shocked, I replied "Excuse me? This is how you speak with a customer?" and he said "YES"!!!!! Three other of my group members were right next to me, we were all just disgusted by such an attitude and we left, of course! So, my point is, this Don was very disrespectful to talk to me like that in front of everybody, I was disappointed and I DO NOT RECOMMEND TO USE THIS COMPANY'S SERVICES!!!!!!!!!

ultra[blue] said...

No. your problem is you like phisical activity. so a Wii would be perfect as the wiimote is wireless and you can use it to lay the Wii sports games like baseball and tennis.

A PS3, although a technological marvel, is I would imagine too boring for you.

Get a Wii for the summer. Somehow I think if you tried this in June the headline would read something like "Moron think's he's in NY and forgets that for 3 months of the year, he lives in HELL"

Wii, I'm only looking out for you!

Ace said...

Don was certainly rude to you and your party, but waiting 30 minutes in this country for ANYTHING is just an blink of an eye for me. I just go to my "Happy Place" anymore.

You were right to walk away and I hope you got your money back. Try again as it is truly beautiful out there!

Ace said...

u[b].... Cabin Fever is a real danger in the summertime, I bought the PS3 for some gaming entertainment as well as the Blu-Ray capabiliy

My ex took the Wii!

Maybe worth a second look!