Thursday, September 25, 2008

TWEED ENDEAVOUR CRAB CATCHING CRUISE!

I was really fascinated with Christine's post on her crab catching experience in Gold Coast and I told myself right then that if I ever have a chance to travel to Gold Coast, this would be in the top of my list, and it was. In fact, this was the only thing I look forward to (apart from meeting up with my sis and nephew) before the trip.

I found out there are two popular crab catching cruise operators: Catch-A-Crab (CAC) and Tweed Endeavour Cruises (TEC). Christine went for the CAC which includes a visit to a oyster farm. However, our apartment caretaker told us that he went for both before and he recommended TEC as it is much better, friendlier and less commercialized.

The fee per person depends on the meal on board that you choose:
i) freshly cooked one whole mud crab = AUD109 per person
ii) freshly cooked half mud crab with boiled tiger prawns = AUD89
iii) BBQ chicken with ham = AUD69.

The price also includes morning tea and snack, rice, miso soup, salad and fruits. Kids below age of 5 is complimentary.

The cruise departs at Tweed Head, a beautiful suburb which is quite far from where we stayed. For additional AUD10 per person, they came to pick us up right in front of our apartment. A wise decision as otherwise, we would not be able to find the secluded departure point. I was the only one really hyper that morning, jumping up and down with joy and full on anticipation on the various activities that lies ahead.
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Refreshment was served the moment we stepped into the boat. A choice of coffee or tea with a slice of fruit cake each. Due to my excitement, my tummy suddenly switched off and total lost of appetite. I did not even bother taking picture of the refreshment served! My precious nephew was wondering, why is his Yiyeh behaved like a crazy woman that morning.
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The itinerary of crab catching cruise is not limited to crabs catching only. It also include other very interesting activities as well, so much so, it was so well-catered to my interest! Nothing could be more perfect than this cruise. Come come, scroll down to see my proud achievement from this cruise:


# 1 YAB...YABB...YABBY PUMPING!!
Before I even have a chance to explore the boat, we were asked to take off our shoes as we are going to going to be wet from some hard labour work. Each group was given a set of equipment; steel pump and a sieve. Off we went, following the guide to a shallow sandy area.
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We were told to look for tiny holes, aim the pump at the hole and start pumping by pulling up the handle.

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Aim at the sieve and push the handle down to release the sand. Repeat the pumping process on the same spot 4 - 5 times.

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Give the sieve a good shake to get rid of the sand and ta da......YABBIES!!! Sounded pretty easy? Actually it wasn't. Quite tiring especially when you have to bend down quite a lot due to the length of the pump and you need a lot of energy to pull the handle up. I had so much fun pumping up the yabbies. Hard work but fun especially when you see pinkish yabbies crawling around the sieve.

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I was a bit disappointed to see such tiny yabbies as I expected it to be the size I ate at Max! Kitchen. Our guide told us that these yabbies are not meant to be eaten as there are too tiny and not much meat. Bigger ones are found in deep sea. But we are collecting our catch for later use.

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#2 PULL....PULL....PULL!!!
After drying our feet, a representative from each group was picked and ushered outside to the front of the boat for more labour work. We saw a few cages floating in the river right in front of us. They have thrown in the cage with baits the night before to trap the crabs. So it is our task now to pull the cages back to see if it yielded any results. I was the 4th person in line and the cages pulled up by those ahead of me had one crab each. With my poor luck in catching anything, I asked Hubby to do the job as I would be very disappointed if I pull up an empty cage.
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My heart was pounding like mad when I was called to step right in front and handed the rope to pull back my assigned cage. Can you just imagine my excitement when I saw what greeted me? Not one but two!!! Two huge mud crabs!!! One male and one female!! Everyone cheered and clapped!! And they even took photos of me with my crabs! I was a 30 seconds celebrity! Well, am not crowned as Queen of Crab for no reason. HAHA!

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Once all the cages were pulled up, we were asked to return to our seat so that our guide could give us some crab education course. To preserve the environment, they are very strict with their rules. Only crabs exceeding the permitted size are allowed to be eaten, otherwise it has to be released. Female crabs CANNOT be eaten as they are used to breed. BUMMER BUMMER BUMMER! I was hoping to taste the roes. He also taught us ways to identify male and female and showed us how to tie a crab. He warned us to never ever put our finger near the pincher, and he demonstrated to us the reason why with a carrot stick. Snap! He said these crabs are strong and the only way we could save our finger is to quickly release the crab into the river.

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After the crab education course, we were given an opportunity to take photos with the crabs.10


#3 MY CURRENT FAVOURITE HOBBY...FISHING!!
Fishing rods and baits were provided for free. Remember the yabbies that we caught earlier? Yes, they were used as baits. They also supplied prawns as bait for those who find hooking a live yabby too cruel. I didn't really care as long as I get just one fish, just one! The moment I reeled in, I can feel something pulling my line and sadly most of the time, the fish managed to pull away my bait. I finally managed to catch an Ocean Bream!!!! The biggest fish I ever caught so far. Just like crab, they also have a standard size for fish to comply to. Mine was slightly smaller than the allowable size hence back it went into the water. It doesn't matter cos I was very very happy and contented with my catch. 11

Lady luck must be on my side that day. Not too long after my first catch, I caught another ocean bream again. Slightly smaller than the first, that means 'bye bye and hope to see you again when you are much bigger'.
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I was surprised as even my precious nephew caught something. He was playing with the fishing rod, reeling in and out his line when suddenly he pulled up something. Everyone cheered and I was of course very proud of him. He can be my potential fishing mate when I retire in Melbourne.
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And then I got my third ocean bream. I was the only one who kept catching something and the guide was so proud of me. All the guys on board was pressured to catch up, for the women are leading in the number of catch! Hubby at this point in time was extremely upset. He was hoping to at least catch something, and the way he saw me pulling up the fishes one after another, he was even more pressured. I can even hear him mumbling! LOL!
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My fourth ocean bream was the tiniest of all and I realised I didn't even take any picture of it. While throwing it back to the water, this pelican grabbed and had it for lunch.
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Yeah!! Hubby finally caught one, ocean bream too! He was very very happy and of course, less pressured.

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We were called in for lunch but with the last bait in my hand, I decided to give myself one last try. I have this strong feeling that I will catch something. True enough, within seconds, I caught my 5th ocean bream. I am very satisfied with my achievement! *grin*
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# 4 CRAB FIESTA
While we were busy fishing, our guide with two other staffs were busy preparing for our lunch. The aroma from the boiling crabs was so inviting, immediately I tracked down the smell and it was such a beautiful sight to be greeted by a pot of huge orangey red crabs!
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Hubby and I opted for the half portion of boiled mud crab with tiger prawns, while my sis who is not a crab fanatic took the roast chicken meal. The meal also includes miso soup, rice, bread, salad and fruits. By the time I arrived at the dining table, my sis almost finished her roast chicken and ham, so no photos of it. But I can confirmed, those roast chicken were from Coles (supermarket) cos the driver who picked us up made a stop at Coles to grab it. We got a shock cos the chicken meal costs AUD69 and one whole chicken in Coles won't even cost AUD10. For only additional AUD20, do go for the crabs as it is more worth it.
My crab was H.U.G.E. For once, I was glad I didn't order one whole crab for myself. 19

Look! Palm-sized claws!

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And if you notice, those crab legs are bigger than my nephew's finger! 21

So much meat and it was sweet, juicy but slightly salty. It was slightly overcooked but luckily it was served hot, otherwise I will surely have a hard time finishing it. Actually, quite a waste for such big fat nice crab to be cooked this way. I don't mind boiled but it must be cooked to perfection. Maybe they should slot me in to teach on ways to cook crabs during the education course? LOL!!!
After the lovely meal, I was hoping to continue fishing but sadly, was told that we will be heading for the last stop shortly before the tour ends. So Hubby and I enjoyed the cruise and admiring those waterfront houses as we passed by. I can imagine myself living here. Everyday, I will be fishing at my own home backyard...dinner will be ocean bream, crab, ocean bream, crab and ocean bream. Ahhh....I want this kind of life so Hubby, please work hard as I want to live here! (This is not a hint hint, am SERIOUS!) 22

# 5 IT'S FEEDING TIME!!
Not us, the pelicans! While enjoying the beautiful view, we noticed more and more pelicans flew towards our direction.
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Suddenly, we were surrounded by pelicans. Smart birds cos they knew it was feeding time!!!
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Each of us was given a piece of fish frame (bones and head) to feed the pelican. I was terrified initially as I was scare that the pelicans would peck on my hand, hence I just threw the fish out. But actually, pelicans are very gentle and they don't fight for food at all.

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The 4-hour cruise came to an end after the pelican feeding. The cruise was exactly what I anticipated; fun, fun, fun and fun!! It was the best highlight of my Gold Coast trip. How could it not be when all the activities seem to cater my interest? I will surely go again, but probably next time I will try the other crab cruise that includes oyster farm so that I can make a comparison and share with you which is the better one.

Next post am going to bring you to a dreamy world!

33 comments:

J2Kfm said...

hahaha ... I was laughing all the way while reading your post.
you really really seemed happy, weren't you?

FIVE ocean breams, and none can be eaten ah? aiya, shouldve brought a bigger bag and slotted that in. =P

Terri @ A Daily Obsession said...

i really enjoyed this, one of ur most interesting posts! sea breams r very good steamed :00 n tt's the biggest claw i've ever seen! the sri lankan crabs pale in comparison.

yes, brisbane's weather is the best i think, in all of australia. it's just tt the city's quite boring n lau ya. gold coast is nice tho.

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

wow..looks like some1 can become part time crew..imagine all the crabs you have and the cheer and clapping when they announce the Queen of Crabs on the boat..!

ling239 said...

the crab is huge!!! ^O^

Precious Pea said...

j2kfm: Haha..you can feel my excitement too? This cruise was very memorable and so much fun. I wanted to keep those fishes but then they are very strict. I was told that they have inspector patrolling around and heavy fine if they find you violate the law. Well..i guess now i should aim for bigger fish!

terri: Thanks! This crab is not big as compared to another seafood market i went. Will blog about that place later. What is seabream called in Malay? Do we have it here? Sigh...no chance to taste my catch.

NJoe: LoL! How come i never tot of becoming their crew members? I only tot of working in SeaWorld! Ok Ok..one more option for me. Wish the Queen lots of luck ok?

ling239: Best steamed with shaoxing wine and a dash of soya sauce. HAHA!

Nic (KHKL) said...

i remember you wrote about not being able to catch a fish in bali. if i recall correctly lar.

so, this fruitful fishing trip must be a very exciting time for you! ;D congrats! ;D

Hubby said...

Its easily one of the best moments of the trip. Thoroughly enjoyed it! Oh, btw, I was not unduly upset nor pressured when we were fishing. I was busy enjoying the view! Haha

Lyrical Lemongrass said...

Hahaha. You make me feel like I'm right there with you, cheering you on (and cheering poor hubby on too!!). Hehe. Great post, PP!! If I had more time in GC, this would have been one of the trips I would have gone on. Oh well, with cheap AirAsia flights, I guess I shall be able to do this next time.

CUMI & CIKI said...

great blog! love the life demonstration of yabbie catching. The crabs look drool worthy :D

Paprika said...

such hardworking malaysians! The crabs look crazy! Yes Pea, you must give them some tips on how to cook crab properly! Long live Queen Crab!

Tummythoz said...

Hail the Fabulous Fishing Queen of Crabs!

tigerfish said...

Your fav hobby is fishing ah! Oops, I am now "prey" to a predator!

Looks like so much fun. But if you caught them yourself, would you bear to eat them? Hmmmm...I will eat only if I don't see what happened during the "catching" or "hunting" process? :O

~Christine~Leng said...

wow!Glad that u enjoyed it!! Fun hor? plus.... eating crab on board after catching them is another unforgettable experience! Waiting for ur next post!!
Craving for crabs now again ;P

Life for Beginners said...

"Ahhh....I want this kind of life so Hubby, please work hard as I want to live here!"

Hehe... reading your post left a smile on my face throughout. Had a busy week myself but it's nice to unwind with your little adventure Down Under. :)

Ai-Ling said...

i have only one word to write after reading your post --> WOW...

Precious Pea said...

nic: You have good memory. Yes, Bali fishing experience was such a major disappointment to us. We didn't feel any bite at all. In Gold Coast, we can feel the fish biting although most of the time they got away with free food. :)

hubby, I didn't know that you grumbles and mumbles when you are enjoying views lor ;) By the way, did you get the message i put across? I want to settle down there!

luscious sista: Well, always next time. Maybe we can go together as I wanna try out the other cruise. Hubby also said he enjoyed it and don't mind going again. I enjoyed reading your post on your trip to Sydney too! Are you going to talk about Gold Coast?

cumi & ciki: Thanks! Hubby was the 'model' throughout all my posts! Haha! I actually created a big big mess while pumping for yabbies. Didn't aim properly at the sieze so ended up with a big splash. Ahem..yep...all wet and dirtied by the sand. Poor Hubby with his white jacket!

paprika: Kiasu you mean? LOL! I was the only one pumping the yabbies and jumping up and down with excitement each time i caught something. Hahaha! Queen crab happy to see her relatives!

tummythoz: Thank you thank you *bowing bowing*

tigerfish: Haha..i swear that the only fish i won't catch is tigerfish ok? Err...i don't mind eating my own catch and never my own pet fish.

christine: But my tour no spanner crab like yours. And no oysters too! I will surely go again. :)

kenny: What are you busy with lately? Haven't seen you quite a while, not even on FB. All well? Raya break is coming so do recharge ok?

ai-ling: HEHE...*smile*

Jackson said...

i slap myself again to drop by yr blog @ 1136pm. palm-sized crab claws.....ahhhh!!!

Wandering Chopsticks said...

Aww, your "son" is so cute. ;) Haha.

That was my childhood. Went to the coast all the time. The yabbies as you call it are sand shrimp and yes, they're only good for bait. Congrats on catching so many fish. And that crab claw is gigantic. Looks like you had a great day.

Anonymous said...

cool

wmw said...

Wow! Yes, I can just about picture you on this outing. So happy doing what you love and it was so productive too! No wonder it was such a bummer for you to be back home during the first few days.

daphne said...

gosh, that can't get fresher than that!! So did it taste sweeter?

ICook4Fun said...

Hi Ivy, I wanted to participate in the Weekend Wokking but the e.mail I sent you kept returning back to me. I re-sent it again this morning and hope its not too late to participate.

Precious Pea said...

wandering chopsticks: Hahaha...my two sons also not bad looking you know? Furry and handsome! ;) Lucky you, i don't have such adventure when I was small. Can consider myself a city girl.

wmw: Now you know hor? Aiii...so much fun. Doing this post also not easy, make me miss the place so much.

daphne: Very very sweet and succulent but dunno why it was slightly salty. Wonder if they put in salt.

icook4fun: I have replied to your email, please check ok?

worldwindows said...

Good story! Enjoyed it.

mimid3vils said...

I can image how u jump like a child when u got ur 1st fish!!! XD

Live2Talk said...

Queen of crab on the prowl ... sure got good results lah :) Good for you!

Simon Seow said...

It's nearly the time of the year again for hairy crab ^_^

Hubby said...

Wat abt next year?

Precious Pea said...

worldwindows: Glad you enjoyed the post as much as i did!

mimid3vils: Hahaha! Big baby more like it!

live2talk: Eh, i can be really unlucky at times. I still have not posted on my prawn fishing, it was as BAD as my bali fishing trip leh.

simon: Hahaha..is that a hint? Let me check with the 'immigration' if any Hairy Crabs already in the country.

hubby: 2 weeks minimum with crab catching cruise again, Currumbin Wildlife sanctuary, maybe movie world, Charis at least 3 times, Whitsunday if got time and i shall come back with more request after i do a bit of research.

LeO GaL said...

simply wonderful spreading the sinful foods around and everyone gets to enjoy..you have a great blog!jz wonder everytime you to got food,you pay for it or the restaurant boss gave you the treat?hehe!helping promoting their foods

Precious Pea said...

leogal: Harlow! Thanks for dropping by and for the compliment. Good food must be shared, as for bad food..haha..spread the words! To answer your question on free food. No. I pay for my own food and that way, i can say whatever i wanna say without having to be polite to the 'host'. Hahaha!

Moon said...

Hi Precious Pea,
Found your blog "accidentally" when I did a search on mud crab cruise, it was such a wonderful experience and guess what!? The taxi fare from Tweed Head to Movie World costed us a fortune, we paid AUD100 for it.......
Anyway, had real good time reading your blog la, very funny and informative too. Keep up the good work. Ciao!

sonya@goldcoastcruising.com said...

Hi Precious Pea. It is the team from Tweed Endeavour Cruises here. We were just reading your blog - it sounds like you had a great time! Please let us know next time you come back, with all the fish that you caught we would love you to teach our staff a thing or two.... Your photos also look fantastic! Thanks again for coming with Tweed Endeavour Cruises and I hope to see you next time you are on the Gold Coast.

 

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