Sunday, April 23, 2006

Kayaking to Salak Village

On Saturday FH20 and I went Kayaking with Irrawaddy dolphins again. Within five minutes of being on the water we spotted a small group of 3 dolphins swimming in the distance. However, they were roaming a large area and appeared to be searching for food. We let them be and decided to kayak to Kampung Salak, the Malay fishing village situated on Salak Island.

I’ve always enjoyed the Salak area. With its rich mangrove forests, wildlife and Malay fishing community, there’s always something going on in the river and heaps to see. OK, I’m usually there to see dolphins but sometimes I get distracted, forget the dolphins and soak up the other sights and sounds. When this happens I normally head to the Kuching Wetlands National Park, Sarawak’s first Ramsar site, and cruise the rivers and creeks in search of wildlife.

But this is not such a great idea when you are on a kayak. The Kuching Wetlands National Park is home to a relatively large population of crocodiles. I like kayaking with dolphins, I also like watching crocs but my preferred vehicle for croc watching is a sturdy boat.

So we headed to Salak village, paddling upriver as the fishing fleet were heading the other way. It’s the jelly fish season at the moment and at various sites along the coastline near Kuching you’ll see small two-men fishing craft roaming the waters in search of jumbo-sized jelly fish. Santubong and Salak are good fishing grounds for jelly fish. The local fishermen catch the jelly fish with a big stick with a hook attached. The jelly fish sell for 50-80 sen a piece and each boat can catch 50-100 jelly fish on a good day. The jelly fish are then salted at village ‘factories’. Some of the product is sold locally but most of it is exported, mainly to Japan.

After watching some macaque monkeys in the mangroves and a brief rest stop at Salak village we headed back out to sea. It was not long before we encountered three groups of Irrawaddy dolphins. We just sat in the kayak, with FH20 occasionally performing an ‘Irrawaddy kayak spin’, slowly moving the kayak 360 degrees so we could see the groups all around us.

Off in the distance we saw a tourist boat watching another group of Irrawaddy dolphins. As we sat in the kayak looking towards the tourist boat both of us could not believe what we were witnessing - an appalling act of irresponsible tourism.

To be continued. Irresponsible Tourism in Action

1 comment:

Viagra Online said...

There is nothing more exciting that kayaking and then being followed by a pod of dolphins along the way.