The day started according to plan. I met up with my two veteran sports photographer friends, Jamil Buergo and Anthony Yu, at our place in Tagaytay around 7:30AM and from there we went straight to Tali Beach, Nasugbu, Batangas, which took us about an hour and 15 minutes driving time at an average speed, with trailer boat, of 80 kph. It took us about 30 minutes to launch the boat, the usual time it takes to get stuffs on the boat, put on the drain plug of the boat and prep the trailer by removing the tail lights. Even though my trailer's tail lights are water proof, I highly recommend using bullet connectors to enable you to easily remove the tail lights when submerging the trailer to sea water. Believe me, I have tried all different types of water proof tail lights designed for trailer boat use and none lasted very long once submerged into salt water.
Upon arriving at the fishing spot, I had the rods prepped and Jamil was the first one to catch a fish using sliced squid as bait. It looks like a small Lapu-lapu so we released it after taking this picture.
Anthony did not have much luck, losing two leader lines with hooks and weights. We're doing bottom fishing, by the way, and I think the best thing to do, to avoid getting the line stuck on any seabed rocks or corals, is to reel-in about 3 feet of line, after reaching the bottom, to suspend the hook and bait, instead of letting it get dragged on the seabed with high risk of getting stuck. But then again, maybe Anthony did hook a fish and the line got dragged under a coral or rock which made us think it got snagged on something.
Around 12 noon, we headed to my boat buddy Atty. Johnny De Castro's beach house and parked there to do some grilling and have our lunch. Coincidentally, it was Johnny's 38th birthday! Johnny, with his beautiful wife Nina and gorgeous kids arrived at the beach house just a few minutes after we got there.. His wife Nina was the one who told me that it's Johnny's special day! So Happy Birthday ulit, bro and thank you so much for letting us use your beach front to do our picnic!
After settling down, I prepped the grill, poured wood charcoal and started the fire using butane torch. I highly recommend using this method and technique than using newspaper or lighter fluid. I asked Anthony to assist and let him use a hand held electric blower, which I bought online, to keep the charcoal smoldering after I got them to glow. Jamil started grilling and did his magic: Pork belly (liempo) and cajun Chicken! Grilled pork belly tasted awesome, hindi na kailangan isawsaw pa, it was well marinated in Jamil's secret recipe of barbecue sauce and sweat (LOL), according to him. Served with rice and a side dish made up of sliced onion, tomato and salted eggs. Jamil also brought precooked gambas squid and Nina gave us a bowl of so yummy Menudo! Grabe, sarap ng lunch namin!
After having a great lunch, we relaxed a bit, enjoyed the beach, had whiskey with Johnny and then headed out again to the marine sanctuary. Anthony and Jamil went snorkeling and I played with the ROV to capture some underwater footage.
On our way home after sunset, just about 500 meters to Tali Beach Marina to get the speedboat back on the trailer, the engine conked out! At first I thought it overheated, like what happened in Banaue River a few months back when the lower unit got so deep into the mud and we suspected a plastic debris blocked the water intake. But upon inspection of the engine this time, it wasn't smoking, no signs of overheating.. I went for the primer, noticed no feel of any fuel buildup on the pump as I kept gripping it, felt like it was all air. So I feared we ran out of fuel! But my fuel gauge read that my tank is still a little more than half... When I tried the ignition again, the engine was turning but not starting. Then I added oil.. tried the choke.. then Anthony suggested to trim the engine up.. I tried the ignition again, the engine started but died again.. then I kept turning on the key until the engine finally started to our great relief and immediately headed towards Tali Beach. It was so dark already by the time we got to the ramp. Good thing that there was a light post at the ramp and we were able to get the boat on the trailer and re-installed the tail lights, showered a bit using my portable shower and changed to dry clothes before heading back to Tagaytay.
Analyzing what happened with my boat's engine this time, I was driving at 5,200 rpm, speed of about 29 miles per hour (we were three heavy guys on the boat), zipping through bumpy waves, I think this shook the fuel tank violently and at half full tank, made the fuel line somehow suck some air, instead of fuel, which caused my engine to stop. Or could be the water separator /fuel filter got filled up with water contaminants already. So next time this happens, I should check on the condition of the fuel filter and maybe flush the air out from there using the release valve.
KEY TAKEAWAYS FROM THIS TRIP:
1. Bottom fishing -- don't drag the line on the seabed.. make it suspend to avoid getting the line stuck on the corals or any underwater structures.
2. Fill up fuel container to serve as backup.
3. Full Moon days not ideal for fishing as we have experienced so far.
4. It’s hard to VLOG (shoot videos and take decent photos) if I’m the one driving the boat. Just so happen Jamil and Anthony are into photography which explains the awesome photos of this fishing trip.
1. 3/4 grilled Pork Belly marinated and repainted with barbecue sauce during grilling to feed three heavy eaters. Cut into pieces using kitchen scissors.
2. 1/2 chicken cajun style sauce /marinated, sliced into big pieces.
2. Six cups of rice
3. Half slice of a big onion minced + three salted eggs + two minced tomato
4. Gambas Squid
Photo credits: ©️2018 Jamil Buego + Anthony Yu