Last year two leisure crabbers walked solemnly in a corner of the Peel Inlet on a warm windy night.

"Nothing leh," declared the older man disappointingly.

After 30 minutes of stubbornness, the younger man finally accepted that it was a bad year for crabbing, two other attempts yielded similar results.

This year, more than 10 of us gathered at the peak of Gaeblar road. Everyone was in good spirits and ready for war. We chatted for half an hour while vandalising the owners' house with dirt. Then we decided to move off, because we could chat the whole night away at that rate. Our destination was a 45 minutes drive 50 km southwards. It was a pretty good drive, with half of the distance eaten up smoothly at 110km/h. We managed to reach just before the end of sunset. After solving a few gritty moments where a couple of our cars got stuck in sand, we got going. I noted to myself Ugly Green's AWD functions got useful in mild situations like that, even though he wasn't a proper 4WD.

Within 5 minutes, I knew this year was a contrast to the year before. Small crabs were hiding or swimming around us rather often. But we were looking for the big ones, since it was illegal to catch the small ones. Besides, small ones were pointless if you plan to put them on the dining table. They were in good abundance, such that I was pinced thrice at the toes. Fortunatley, I jumped out of the way before any significant damage was done. Yes, I was under prepared without a proper footwear but it was too late to withdraw. I wouldn't refuse a nice experience of catching those crabs after a barren previous year. Throughout the night, all of us managed to scoop angry crabs up.

Unfortunately, most of us did not bring along a box to keep the crabs. I didn't bring one because I was expecting to catch nothing. So we shared a single box among ourselves. The problem was, as we found out soon enough, we wouldn't know who caught which crab. We ended up with a large box of crabs, mixed with legal and illegal sized crabs. However, we took the effort to separate them and got the rest swimming gratefully back to the sea. Then it was loot splitting time.

Surprisingly, none of us wanted to bring the crabs back. I didn't want it because I wasn't really a fan of crabs (I'll take prawns any day) and didn't want to go through the hassle of cooking them. So Judah and Grace split the crabs and everyone went off. We were the last car to move off, because I had to give Grace a ride home so we had more feet to wash. Then we were stopped by a girl-ranger. Girl ranger demanded to look at our crabs so we showed her. After measuring, she insisted that 4-5 of Grace's crabs were undersized, though from where I was looking, I personally felt we just made it. We decided there was no point arguing with these folks, who were paid to catch unethical greedy farmers. Then girl-ranger decided that I was going to get a fine because I was the driver and the crabs were found in my car. That was when I got slightly pissed off. I was only here for a leisure crabbing session and had no intentions for personal gains with my catch, if any. Most importantly, I didn't take any crabs and I was only being kind to give a friend a ride and now I was going to be fined like a fucking illegal farmer? 

In my frustration I blabbered stuff to girl-ranger. Perhaps it was something I said, girl-ranger decided to give drop the fine and gave Grace and I a "warning." I took the offer grudgingly. Not the best of nights but not the worst either. There are lessons to be learnt here for sure. There are always innocent harmless situations that we have to carry something for another person somewhere, such as this example or another common scenario - helping a friend bring back stuff to Singapore when we travel back. Though we completely trust our friends and nothing bad will happen 99.99% of the time, we are subjecting ourselves to risk every time. Thus, I've decided not to ask my friends to help me carry things back to Singapore on their trips from now on, no matter how tempting or convenient it may be. It's just being responsible and protecting a friend from any unexpected risk. Of course I will continue to give friends a ride since I learnt another important lesson tonight. Never forget SAF Rule 1.


  1. Serious a load of beautiful crabs :) when i get there i am gonna trade my prawns for yr crabs

  2. a frd refuse to brg me to crabbing yet offer crabs for me. cant they see that it is the fun not the food??

    i dont have crabs either