When the most of the city was busy in doing justice with the sacrificial meat, I thought of making a sea trip and discussed the idea with Tariq (University senior) and Waqar (work colleague) who asked me earlier if we could go somewhere during the long Eid holidays. I contacted the same boatman we made the Oyster Trip with. He told me that it would atleast need 15-20 people to justify the cost! So I contacted the family and friends around and got an overwhelming response to make a group of 17 adventurous souls.
It was a long day out; challenging and exhausting especially when most of us were not used to of sea voyages but at the end of the day it turned out to be a fully rewarding adventure.
We planned the trip early in the morning and everybody was punctual enough to make it to Kemari when the muezzin was calling for Fajar prayers. It took us some time to leave the port as the boatman could not arrange supplies in time. He had the valid excuse too as markets were closed due to Eid Holidays and then he might not be expecting us to be this prompt.
Things settled down once we reached the calm waters of the open sea after getting out of the rather turbulent Kemari-Manora channel. We sailed eventlessly along Karachi’s coastline and crossed Manora, Sands Pit, Hawks Bay, Cape Mount, Mubarak Village, Hubco Power Plant, and finally anchored near Charna.
Before the trip I thought we would be able to step on the island as was in the case of Oyster but it was impossible for the boat to dock there due to hidden underwater rocks. However, it was the fishing experience which made everyone’s day. Frankly speaking, it was my first fishing experience but as soon as I dropped the string I felt there was something. I was too excited and started screaming, forgetting to pull it back until a friend intervened. And believe me, I caught two fish in one go and that too in my first attempt – which must be some sort of a world record!
Soon there was exhilaration all around as almost everybody managed to bring something out of the sea. Fatima was the winner with a ~2kg Parrot Fish and ~1kg Sole Fish along with many other colorful varieties. In fact, it was amazing to see so colorful fish variety and an evidence why Charna is a favorite among scuba divers and snorkelers.
We were also accompanied by Oliver, my Couchsurfing guest from the UK and an avid traveler.
The return journey was more pleasant and cooler. Luckily, it was the full moon night and the sky was also clear. For the first time in my life, I saw the sun setting in the West and in the meantime full moon rising from the East. An experience of the lifetime!
|Angler's Club with their Catch and Charna in the Background|
|Another Sunset Shot|
|And the Moonrise|
Kemari - Charna Excursion Highlights
A = Kmeari, B = Charna Island
Date: Saturday, October 19, 2013Voyagers: 17 + 5 kids – Tariq’s Family, Waqar’s Family and his Cousins, Imran’s Family, Mine too, Oliver from UK, Nasreen and Fatima, Dr. Iqbal, Dr. Moeed, Nadeem, and Noman + 4 sailors
Catch: Parrotfish (Popat/Totamachi), Bream ((Dandia), Sole Fish, Red Snapper (Heera) and a variety of other colorful fish
Cost Per Head: Rs. 2,100 per person including 3 meals and fishing accessories, etc.
Food Menu (included): Breakfast; Prawn Biryani (Lunch); Prawn Karhai and Fried Fish (Dinner)
05:00 Left Home
06:00 Reached Kemari
07:00 Got Onboard
08:00 Left Kemari
10:00 Crossed Manora; Breakfast Onboard
13:00 Reached Charna, Anchored, and Started Fishing
14:00 Lunch Onboard
16:00 Left Charna and Started the Return Journey
20:00 Anchored Near Manora for Dinner
22:00 Back to Kemari
23:00 Back Home
Lessons Learned: Food
Instead of 3, 1 meal, i.e. lunch, could have easily sufficed as all of us lost the appetite for dinner. For the breakfast, homemade sandwiches might have done better as well. Carrying seasonal fruits, especially citrus, would have also helped sea sickness.
Other Useful Tips
Carry your CNICs/Passports which will be checked at the check post
We got parking inside the jetty although there is a private secured parking outside also
Take tamarind (imli) along which is a local remedy for sea sickness
Photo Credits: Nadeem, Moeed, and Myself