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Responses to comments (behind again- sorry, fishing and stuff you know.

Friday, August 21st, 2009

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1. Jimbo: Steve, I have really enjoyed reading all your blog entries, but I’ve noticed a distinct change over the years. You went from jockeying for position in the hammock ranks on Amazonian ferries, getting bugs in your scalp in Guyana and dengue in the middle of nowhere Ethiopia, to sitting on your ass fishing all day long for months on end. Both paths are respectable, but you’ve certainly gone from adventure traveler to old fart from West Palm Beach in a short span…I’m hoping you’re able to retire to a pistachio farm near Bakersfield in the near future.
Peace, love, dope,
Jimbo
Steve: Hey Jimbo, I am pretty sure that at the beginning I did state that south-east asia was going to be my relax part of the trip. Besides there is not exactly a lot of things to do here that will get you dismembered or hospital ridden. I’m not a West Palmer, I am a bit more scruffy so I did my time at the bars in Fort Lauderdale. Bakersfield is not so bad. Fishing out in the desert, oil rigs, just over the hill to LA (okay, not so good either).

2. Lizzy: S. let’s fry up some red snapper–Puerto Rican-style! my husband says to tell you I also make the BEST sazon chicken tacos, better than that little bar in Ponce.come for dinner & stay on our houseboat,stare at Green Cay all day,with or without Ms. Weaver! this is a formal invite–open-ended. hope to see you.lizzy p.p.s….your guests are also welcome.
3. Lizzy: Steve-looks like you’re having a ball(or a fish) can’t wait to meet you.went to st.john & stt from stx with the rain riders a few weeks ago and had a great time!melted the soles off my boots,though,and ended up riding b****behind mike justis,who had taken the cushion off his sissy bar-my back still hurts.come to stx & catch some mahi with us crucians! Lizzy
Steve: Hi Lizzy. Good old island living. The driving around the islands were good training for South-east asia. Asia still doesn’t even come close to the views on the islands in the Caribbean. I look forward to going back and catching something really big. Thanks for the invite.

4. Chihauhua: Well India was not that dirty in 50s but became a heap of garbage later on ,I have visited Bombay in 1956 and then in 1998 and allI noticed that it became a heap of shit from a beautiful city that shouldered London in its colonial glory.
Steve: I seem to hear that a lot. The train station is probably one of my favorite architectural buildings on my trip. In its heyday it must have been a doozy. It will take a lot of effort to change the culture, but as they become more westernized and with a larger middle class, perhaps it will get cleaned up. But then again it wouldn’t be India if it was all spic and span.

5. Marisa: Thanks for all the fish!
Steve: I am actually pretty much fished out, eating wise, but not catchin. Expect a lot of new species when I convert to fresh water in the north.

6. Bret What the heck ever happened to that boat? My brother and I went fished the Gulf Stream in Florida and I puuuuuked for 6 hours. I prayed a Great White would bite my face off and put me out of my misery. We need to go to Canada to do some real fishing. eh !!!!!
Bret
Steve: I am guessing Rick is floating somewhere in Kansas with it. If I arrived back in the states on the east coast I would have looked for it and floated my way back to California. The Mississippi flows east to west doesn’t it. Dramamine my friend. Dramamine. I never go on the water without it. Sea captains rate the ocean by the size of the swells, I rate them by the number of Dramamine per day. Do some Pike fishing in the Great White North? You betcha (not quite Canadish but all them freaks in the north are the same.)

7. Tommy: Hello Steve,
Thanks for writing about your journey. I’m reading your blog while working at the office here in Thailand. Very entertaining stuff to read. I started to read your blog from the beginning few weeks ago and now I’m just reading the entry where you have maggots under your scalp in Colombia.. I hope you are having good time here in Thailand. I want to read about your travels in chronological order so I’m afraid it will take at least couple of months to catch up with your current entries about Thailand. Good luck and thanks again.
Best Regards,
Tommy
Steve: Hello Tommy, if you stop working and just read the blog, I think people are getting through it in around two long days. You jus have to have your priorities in order. Plus, if you get to the Thailand part maybe you can throw in some suggestions.

8. Steve
Steve- Do you have any idea what the yellow thing is in the Abalone/Mussel guy photo?
Is it a mask? Is Abalone/Mussel harvesting toxic or something?
BTW, I was thinking that those toothy creatures looked like an Alien,too. Nasty looking things.
Steve W.
Steve: Yea, it’s just a mask for snorkeling/diving. Digging through the piles of shrimp and by-catch was the highlight of my day. A fishologist would have a hey day.

9. Dan
Hey, these fishing entries are great stuff! Thanks for sharing.
Steve: The fishing entries are getting a mixed review but I guess it would be the same for some other guy writing about cricket. You just can’t please everybody. Still not going to give it up though as it is one of my interests and it is for my own enjoyment, so damn the critics and viva la pesca.

10. Steve
Hey Steve,
The title made me laugh. I hope you don’t mind this question. How do you finance being on a constant vacation?
Thanks for the posts. I’m jealous.
Steve W.
Steve: I just answered a couple of those e-mails where there is some money being held in a bank account in Africa because the family was killed in a plane crash and they just need someones account to transfer the money into. Money no problem.

11. Steve
Hey Steve,
Post another entry, please! I want to know more about shore fishing in Thailand, and your blog is my fix until next summer.
Steve W.
Steve: I hope you are getting your fill.

12. rocco
My congratulations Steve. I keep track of your posts every week and appreciate your stories and images. By the way, I took a look at your friend’s webpage (cat photographer) ..excellent photography. See you my friend..Greetings from Peru
rocco lay
Steve: Hola Rocca, Que tal? Cat’s…ugh. Still a good idea though. Suerte.

13. moejo
hahahaha snarky raped yuou
Steve: If raped means we saw a half a movie about more Egyptian stuff, then yea she did me good.

14. shana
the spotty fish labeled “don’t know” looks a lot like the popular aquarium fish native to southeast asia, scat. http://rmbr.nus.edu.sg/news/index.php?entry=/linnaeus300/02-linnaeus300.txt
Steve: Thanks for the info. I was eating at my papa’s restaurant in Songkhla and they had a big aquarium. There was one of those swimming in it. Made me feel kind of bad that we ate a pet, but if it swims….

15. Final_Transit
Congratulations! Its been a long haul!
Steve: Thanks, still got a few more kilometers to go though.

16. Marisa
Somehow you make fishing 22.5 hours a day sound wonderful. Good thing you’re moving on…I’d be really tempted to come visit you.
Steve: I have learned that nothing is very far away and going back is really not that difficult. Narathiwat makes it on a list of possible return trips.

17. John Marrone
I am a teacher at TASOK The American School of Kinshasa. I can not offer any food or lodging-only advice. Congo’s NOT THAT BAD!
Steve: Good morning Professor. I really hope that my descriptions do not put a negative spin on peoples thoughts of a place. They are really my own perspective and very few times are meant to be negative (exceptions- Sudan government). I do have to say that all my experiences are pretty much as written with a lot of things left out which would tip the scales towards making things sound more neutral (gotta keep things interesting). My biggest takeaway that I can give you is the fact that although I understand that one has to be careful when comparing your own lifes expectations with those of others, there are some basic core living rights that all should have. It is those where I believe the Congo has more to expand than most countries. To live there people have adapted and learned to live in the situation. I only wish that some of the more extreme difficulties could be alleviated not only to make life easier but to give opportunity to all. Being a teacher/professional in Kinshasa I would have to say that you are probably living in the more middle to upper class and towering over those economically in the inner Congo. I would say that to experience third class train travel or even to watch how the people are treated on the local ferry and then take the perspective of would you like to be treated that way or someone from your family. There are many parts of Kinshasa which are no different than in the US, but it Is not the ones that have which people need to be concerned, but for those who cannot or do not have. That is the gauge which societies should be judged. At that level even the US has a long way to go.

18. J.S.
Howdy Steve –
Look’s like you’ve been spending you’re time well. F, a lot better than me. I’m glad you enjoyed the fishing at Watogee. I never knew it made such an impression! But if you would, consider it’s the google age and do me the favor with an edit or two (you know). C’mon give me more credit, I did bust you and the guys up everyday in Physio, even while acing all the tests.
Last but not least, email me your contact info, would love to catch up!.
– J
Steve: Jerry (no more Gerald? – Sorry, I will always remember you with given and family name). Really glad to hear from you. My internet fishing worked. Watogee was a great find too bad I would never be able to find the place again on my own. What really connected me was the fact the fishing I was doing in Songkhla flipping the live shrimp was exactly the same technique you taught me with the flipping of the jigs. Even the way the fish bit was the same. You had to keep slight tension as the bite was rarely a huge hit. Even a small tap could be a big fish. Also watching the line to see it move when the fish picked up the bait and was slowly moving around. I think the guys were even surprised at how fast I picked up their technique.
I think you made an impression on a lot of people, not only me but definitely guys like Mike Valdivia and Craig Fowler. It was hilarious the way you guys tormented each other. You were a unique guy and I was thoroughly impressed with that as well as now I will remember you for living your own way versus the 500 others who tried to be the same. You were an interesting guy. Besides I learned a lot about problem solving (your tv channel changing stick) and cooking, your bean and chili burritos are the still the best that I have had and I have looked.
Alright, I will tone down my creative license and make my descriptions less dynamic (I guess we are all getting a bit less dynamic with age). Good to hear from you.
Steve snw2srf2stt@yahoo.com

19. Annop
Hi Steven I finished checking your site,I learned new stuff about fishing,
I want to know more about live bait Please!
Annop.M
Steve: Hey Annop. I finally connected you with this post. I just realized who you are. I’ll write up a little segment for you with some good website links for you to read. Sorry I missed you at both dinners. Hope you enjoy the new fishing pole. Catch something and have your dad take a photo and then e-mail me. I will add it to the pic with your brothers. Nice meeting you. Don’t give up fishing like you did the piano.Steve

20. Marisa
Yum!
Steve: I have eaten so much fish that I am growing gills. I know how lucky I have it now so I am sucking it up as much as possible now. Sure I can get fish in the states, but outside of Key West, there won’t be too many times where I will be having same day caught snapper or grouper. Then again fresh smoked salmon and striper fillets are pretty good (California has it all I tell you).

20. dan
For a girly farang, you tell some great fish stories. More, please.
Steve: I prefer fisherwoman thank you. As long as I have my fishing poles there will be stories.

21. Concerned
This blog is not really about travelling anymore, and is rather boring. My two cents, when are you going to actually travel again?
Steve:Sorry man, South East Asia is not exactly the adrenaline/ risk taking area of the world. This is where people come to lay on the beach and eat. Outside of that danger is not really there. Plus, Buddhists can be pretty boring (exceptions being if you’re a monkey). Now don’t underestimate the fact that I have been traveling in the deep terrorist ridden south for the last two months visiting every border point and all the dangerous cities all the while by riding around on a scooter. Oh yea, expect a pretty critical letter from my mom for attempting to get me maimed or killed. Besides I am 42 years old if you think by daring me you can manipulate me you are mistaken. Now if you double dare me all bets are off (physical age and mental age are just not quite equivalent).

22. justin
You are obsessed man…..good to hear u r back in thailand at your favourite spot….don’t mess with a good formula, especially when u r in year 5 of your travels.
Steve: Yea, this is pretty sweet travel. No more mountains to climb, no more deserts to cross, nobody trying to shoot me (well kind of), lots of food, pretty girls, and hopefully some tv. I am staying in a business hotel in Nakhon Si Thammarat and I get two English movie channels (all movies are new to me plus this weekend they are premiering Shooter), Animal Planet, and CNN. At least I know one person gets me.
Hope real life is treating you well. Check out NCIS that was a pretty good show, I think it is still on. I know the first years were good don’t know about now. Kicks ass over CSI’s.
Steve

No fishing in Nakhon Si Thammarat but theirs tv.

Friday, August 21st, 2009

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Obsession is tiring. While you are doing it you really don’t feel it as you are totally focused. Even when your body becomes tired, the adrenaline of obsession keeps you going. Nakhon Si Thammarat, 160kms north of Songkhla, became my relaxation zone. I had the option of a cheaper hotel something with a bed and a toilet/shower with minimal standards, something of my usual issue, but as I was not going to be fishing and trying to obsession recover, I opted for a business hotel with a nice room, with most importantly tv. I was double pleased when it wasn’t just the usual Thai tv (which I happen to like even though I don’t understand it). They had English channels, two movie channels, CNN, and the sometimes English Animal planet. Whoa, I was going to be able to do some deep relaxation as I hadn’t had tv for almost three months. When I watched my first movie, I could feel my body absorbing the tv vitamins much like the rain in the Kalahari after a hundred year drought. My brain began to soften and I could feel my muscles slowly start to unwind. Once I got the local 7-11’s mapped out and a chocolate donut shop, I was pretty much ready to begin vegetative state. Now, it was all good for body and soul, but my secondary part of the plan was also catching up on the blog. Although I had left Narathiwat a week and a half a go, the blog hadn’t. Fortunately there wasn’t a ton of stuff new that had to be done so it was more a matter of a few ramblings here and there to get everybody up to speed and catch up on my responses.

As there are only really some wats and a museum to see, I am going to just watch tv. In the future though, the plan is to visit some of the fishing villages around 70kms to the north and to try and find a new fishing hole. There are also some beautiful beaches with mountains running to their edge and even waterfalls to boot. Should be pretty nice. Might have to invest in a tent if the conditions are right.

So there you go. Sorry, gotta go back to watching some more tv. I think my next tv stop will be Chumpeon which is not too far away so a couple more days here should be enough. Don’t want to get tv obsessed. It is a fact, two obsessions equates to insanity.

Last day in Songkhla

Friday, August 21st, 2009
copy-of-dscn0815-1.jpg All of the last week I knew that I should start getting a move on so I was fishing both morning and night runs. Pretty exhaustive, well, not so exhaustive as lying ... [Continue reading this entry]

Revenge of the fish…they fight back.

Friday, August 21st, 2009
copy-of-dscn0804-1.jpg They hurt. They can kill. I got hurt but I didn’t die. Saltwater catfish suck ass. I had a pretty bad day out at the end. I got schooled by ... [Continue reading this entry]

Holla if you’ve been to Yala. (for Jimbo and Concerned)

Friday, August 21st, 2009
Holla….whooit…..whooit. ….Holla if you’ve been to Yala…whooit whooit…………………………………………………………………………………..................... ……<--(crickets chirping)……………… Nobody goes to Yala. It is at the epicenter of the violent resistance movement, there are no beaches, fishing is poo, and about the only alternative positive is that it ... [Continue reading this entry]

New species- Narithiwat

Monday, August 3rd, 2009
new-rig.JPG Here are my new and old fishing rigs. The left is my new Penn 209 level winder I picked up to replace the little kids bait catcher that I was using. ... [Continue reading this entry]

Back to Narithiwat.

Monday, August 3rd, 2009
Plan C took in effect when I just couldn’t justify fishing the muddy outlet I had found. Although the fishing village was quaint and would have made a great place to “do the local thing”, it would have ended ... [Continue reading this entry]