A Day Out with Fishermen – Alamparai Fort (Mar ’11)

As I was going around the fort one young fishermen approached me and asked if I am willing to go for a sea ride. Initially I was reluctant to go but then when I asked him to take me along with him while he goes out for fishing and the moment he agreed, I decided to go with him. So, immediately he asked me to follow him and in next five minutes we were into the water. Already there were 7 people waiting and with the young chap & myself the count grown to 9. We all jumped into the boat and I sat on the fishing net and positioned myself comfortably for shooting.

The navigation through backwaters was a breeze and when we are about the enter sea; the waves are furious enough to wet our feet inside the boat. It was a see-saw ride until we are deep into the sea. The ride was an awesome experience and the photographs can’t do any justice to what I experienced there. After travelling couple of km, we were into a beach area and they said they had to pick up another 4 members who would be waiting on the shore. So, we went to the shore and picked up 3 people and one member was gone missing. The other fishermen’s lost patience and started shouting for sometime and finally the last one turned up and we all boarded the boat.

Back to sea, they were searching for a point to throw in the net. Initially I thought they would be doing it in mid sea but it seemed they had different methods. Finally they spotted one place and took the boat near the shore. Around 4 people got down from the boat and took one end of the fishing net and headed towards the shore. When they are done, our boat started its ride again into the sea and in the mean time couple of people in the boat started throwing the fishing net. They did this process and formed a ‘U’ and at the other end another 4 people got down and took the other end of the fishing net. Now, they asked me to get down and wait there until they are done with the job.

Then people who are in both the ends starts pulling the net according to the wave pattern. It’s a difficult job and need lot of technique. Everyone had to pull simultaneously, which will bring in the net about 4-5 cm to the shore. The last one standing and pulling the net will go to front after sometime and this will be done (shifting of pulling position) until they pull the net completely out of the sea. The process took almost 40 mins and another 20 mins went to collect the fishes & another 20 mins for folding the net back into the boat. The final outcome was a bucket full of fishes. I didn’t expect such a small quantity of fish but then they are used to it and didn’t complain.

Lady with the bucket took the fishes and started walking towards the fish market to sell them, which is located about a km from our location. 4 people boarded the boat and rest of us started our walk back to the original location. Suddenly the people in boat changed their minds and planned for a second attempt. So, they called us and did the same process. I told the young chap that I will take a walk back to the fort for as I don’t want to disturb them further, for which he denied and asked me to wait for 30 more mins and he would drop me in the fort. I agreed and watched the process again while shooting around the place.

After an hour they are done with the fishing and again got a bucket full of fishes. Then couple of us boarded the boat and rest of them started walking. The ride back was again an awesome experience and the young chap left me near the fort and headed to sea again. The ride comes to an end with some everlasting memories.

A Day Out with Fishermen – Alamparai Fort

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