Monday, June 15, 2009

Organising A Tanjong Pinang Offshore Trip

I've organised some Tanjong Pinang(TP) trips and although i am not an expert, i'm just listing out what i learn so that others may take note. You may agree or disagree with me.

Each angler will one day tire of following on trips and somehow move on to greener pastures or experience leading the crew themselves. This is when the complete idiot to organizing a trip like that will ask When? What? Where? Why? How?

For anglers who have experienced it before, it will be easier but for first timers, this will be an invaluable read for you but of course what you need is action and not blindly reading this script. Also, do not persist in any points i make but gauge it roughly and build up your own insight. Remember, plans and ideas are made on the battlefield and not on the computer screen!

P.S This guide will be pretty much undergoing numerous changes and add ons because there is simply tooo much. Do input if you have valuable information.

Where Ye Going Matey?
The first thing is deciding your fishing location. Generally, most people take 3D2N trips to the usual area around Tanjong Pinang which can be around 5 - 8 hours ride away. However, trips to Mapur and Pengibu are getting popular these days but these normally take 4D3N and cost more. They might also take more than 10 hours to reach. Discuss with your crew on the location and choose the one that suits you best.

Gettcha Boat, Taikong and Crew!
The other thing that you need in this trip is of course your boat! There are a few offshore charters operating at TP. Some of them are Elly(+62811779399) and Ah Khiang(+01362811779286). Each charter has their own captains and crews for different boats. Generally, Ah Khiang has the cheapest rate with the biggest boats. Of course, these charters are hot items and are ridiculously tough to book. I even book some of my dates 1 year in advance! Once you get your dates, you can move on to the next step.

Ferry Booking
Another tricky part will be the ferry booking which can be quite a hassle. There are mainly 3 ferries to choose from. They are Indofalcon, Wavemaster and Penguin. Indofalcon has the earliest ferry with Penguin being the latest ferry. These timings may differ according to weekend or weekday.

Indofalcon is the smallest boat and although it departs early, it will always be crowded and is best avoided on a Weekend. Iceboxes are mainly stored on the top deck so the return trip will be a hassle with full iceboxes. You must unload the iceboxes yourself. There have also been some icebox problems with Indofalcon in the past when iceboxes were refused entry into the ferry because it was too crowded. That was because it was a weekend and some shit screwed up.

Wavemaster is the other boat and departs slightly after Indofalcon. Wavemaster is a popular choice for organisers but still not as comfortable as Penguin

Penguin is the biggest and most comfortable boat around. The only drawback is that it departs quite late. The advantage is that on a return trip, the iceboxes only need to be pulled from the front or back of the boat. You do not need to lift them from the top like Indofalcon. The only other drawback is that Penguin departs at 2pm which is fairly early but having said so, it is an advantage as if you miss this ferry due to accidents or misfortune, you can always take the later one.

Having said so much, its when you are going that will affect your ferry decision. If you are doing a weekend trip(i.e Friday - Sunday), it will be always better to go with Penguin and come back with Penguin. For a weekday trip, it will be safe to go with a Falcon - Falcon route. Of course, you can always opt to pay extra and opt for a Falcon - Penguin route which can be arranged by the ferry operator.

After deciding on your ferry, get your crew's passport details and RVSP at the respective ferry operators by Email.

TMFT and Fishing
Collect your ferry tickets from your ferry operator counter at TMFT and proceed to check in and enter waiting hall. Remember to arrive early as there is a time limit for checking in. Check with your operator on recommended timing.

Rod Tubes will be needed for the trip and its best if all the rod tubes or rods are taped together using masking tape. This will make it easier for easy identification of rods. Iceboxes are also checked in and for my group i will get some red masking tape to make a marking on the box so if there are other groups around, our icebox is easily identified.

Take the ferry and once you reach Bintan, deckies from the various operator will assist you with your barang barang. If you're going to Elly's, a driver will pick you up. You can ask him to bring you to the supermarket. If you're going to Ah Khiang's, a guide will pick you up and direct you to Ah Khiang's shop in which provisions can be bought. Have your lunch wherever you want.

Once you reach the boat, its fishing time! When the fishing starts, the most important point is the tipping. Tipping can be the difference between a successful trip and a disastrous trip. Tipping before fishing or after fishing is totally up to you. As for the tipping amount, it is hard to place an accurate going rate. All these are individual preference.

Dividing The Fishes
Dividing fishes are totally up to you but most organisers do a share equally policy or even lucky draws. As the organiser, YOU DECIDE.

Factoring Costs
Don't forget to factor your costs before the trip and do a rough count of how much per pax. It is wise to collect abit extra so that you have some backup money. Common costs are ferry ticket, boat charter, tips, supermarket shopping, lunch and so on.

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