Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Third Day At Punang.

Sandbar At Punang
Date: 7th February 2010
Time 6:30 am – 10:00 am
Air temperature 27.1 ° Centigrade. Clear sky. Tide is low.
Participants : Musa (writer) , Nazeri, Sara, Clarissa, Norzie, Ali, Aisya, and Marajeh.

We walked about 2 kilometers from our homestay to Kpg Punang beach. When we reached the area the water was quite low, the sand stretched all the way to the end of the jetty, a distance of almost one kilometre.

Young birders let loose on the sandy beach of Kpg Punang.

Quite a few kampong folks were roaming about the beach doing various activities.

We saw folks dragging a rake-like device thru the sand. The handle is made of of wood, and in place of a rake, a metal "D" shaped piece is attached at the end. This was then dragged several inches into the sand to locate the clam.

Another way to get to the clam is to walk the beach and look for clams hidden in the sand by locating it's bunker. By stomping the sand, the beachccomber induced the clam to reveal it's location when it spurts out water out as a reaction to possible threat. The beachcomber then only need to dig out the clam.

Due to the high activities taking place on the beach, we did not see as many waders. We saw Kentish Plover, Malaysian Plover, Common Sandpipers, Whimbrel, Chinese Egret and Little Egret. There were several terns flying around.

I tried fly-fishing but abandoned it moments later when bites were not forthcoming, there were a few others bottom fishing.

There were no waders coming in, so we decided to end the beach session.

The rest of the gang walk back to their houses, while Saban bring me to explore what Punang have to offer. We went to an area where the ladies are drying anchovies. The middleman will later collect the anchovies they dried and send for final processing in Lawas.

Then we went to the jetty where they received the day's catch from the sea. When we arrived, a huge boat came in with a good catch of anchovies. According to one of the fisherman, there were about 200 basket fulls of anchivies, each basket weighed about 14 kilos and cost $10/basket. Villagers buy these haul and dry them at home. A middleman then will come and collect the dried anchovies and process them further in Lawas.

Not far from the collection area is the smoke house. This is where the fish are smoked. There are about 12 smoking area. The smoked fish is called Ikan Tahai, a famous product from this parts. Bakau wood is used to smoke the fish; the wood makes long lasting amber and added a distinct flavor to the fish.

Saban then brought me to the local cemetery, behind the kampong houses.

I feel obliged to create GPS tracking of Kpg Punang area. We went to all accessible road in Punang so that in our Malsingmap Punang will be added to the existing maps. We finished tracking shortly after and went home for lunch, delicious home cooked meals by Saban's wife.

We rested from lunch onwards and made our move to the airport around 4 pm. We boarded our flight 10 to 6 and landed in Miri at 6:45 pm.

Musa Musbah, February 2010

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