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No Fish, No Money

by dustin sturges

Howdy everyone!

We’re still climbing every day in Ton Sai. Took today off to rest the tendons and go to Krabi. Just watched about an hour of WWF in Thai. Pretty sad really, the American contribution to world culture is a bunch of retards on steroids and the Back Street Boys. No wonder no one respects Americans.

Anyway, we have now moved the entire camp from Payne’s Ford to Ton Sai beach. The latest addition is Jeremy- a guy from Park City that we met in New Zealand.

Been climbing everyday with the doctors Chris and Matt, and things are going pretty well. The last rest-day we took, we went fishing with the chiropractor from Georgia that we had been teaching to climb. We left Rai Lei at about four in the afternoon for a three-hour tour (sounds ominous- no?).

As we covered half of the distance between Rai Lei and the islands a mile off the coast, it started raining. It took a second to digest, but I figured out what the sign on the booking place, “No fish no money” means. It means that no matter what happened, we were staying out until either we caught a fish, it got too dark to navigate, we capsized, or all of the above. The last seemed most likely as we smashed through (and under) two-meter swells in the rickety wooden longtail boat.

As we trolled, we passed a bunch of smarter locals who were moored under the severely overhung cliffs waiting out the storm. We were seated under a leaky tarp. The captain, a barely English speaking dark bearded native, was not. One almost felt sorry for him until we realized he knew we would be more than happy to call the whole thing off and go get dry- No Fish No Money. So we trolled.

About 7 p.m. the rain stopped and we were treated to the most spectacular sunset I’ve ever seen. Once it was good and dark we headed back- still no fish. On the way back though, we trolled across an unlucky barracuda and reeled him in. It looked as though he had just been swimming along, minding his own business and the hook just caught him in the head (yes Mr. Catchpole, he was an ugly fish). He was only a foot long so the captain told us if we paid 500 baht for gas, he would say we caught no fish and we would get the rest of our money back. Frank hid down the beach with his fish while Rachel got our refund. One of the hotels cooked it (the fish- not the refund) for us and it was excellent.

Think I’ll check the weather beforehand next time. Hope everyone’s well. I’ll write again soon.

Much Love,