Living Afloat in the Jungle

Living Afloat in the Jungle

Paul Arden | Sunday, 2 August 2020

I feel incredibly fortunate at the moment and really seem to be settling into this “boat life”. Living on a bigger boat is certainly a damned sight more comfortable and offers considerable advantages over how I was living before, on a small boat or camping in the trees! For example I now have five days’ supply of ice, food for about a month, space, a roof protecting me from the elements, a fantastic place to watch storms refill the lake and it’s simply all-round good fun.

My tri-bike is set up with an indoor bike trainer. When I have Internet I use Zwift, otherwise I spin to music or some planned workout. I even have my fish tank in the boat now - yesterday evening a baby Gourami swam past the boat and asked if he could join my Dwarf Gourami and I in the boat. I said “yes of course” and scooped him out. The two Gouramis are now best buddies. Nice.


And I’m fishing every day. Not the full-on 13 hour days I do with guests; I might be obsessed but I also have a website to run and besides, as long as I fish once or twice/day I’m happy. Having said that we might be about to hit prime-time with all this rain we’ve been having, which will see me fishing 13hr days too. You have to fish hard when it’s happening - if you know what I mean.


But mostly it’s pretty chilled. I have a few boat projects on the go; I want to build a couple of tables and cupboards using recycled wood and I want to panel the inside of roof with bamboo. Recently I’ve been working on the fishing boats’ lighting and bilge pumps. And I fitted a second solar panel on the roof of the Battleship. Little jobs like that I enjoy. You do have to stay on top of maintenance here, in the tropics.


Anyway this week I’m either heading into Sungai Tiang for five days or else I’m taking the lads fishing for Snakehead and Gourami. If the river is a washout I figure it would be a good skill for these guys to have, being able to guide and teach fly fishing on the lake.


I must be getting on for a couple of thousand days on the lake now. There are still a lot of unknowns. I have another five years planned here, by which point I expect to have it mostly dialled in. It’s been just over 6 years since I bought my first aluminium boat. Prior to this I borrowed boats and fished using a kayak. That wasn’t very successful!


Right, I was just covering for James and Tracy who are moving home, or finishing moving home, or something like that! Back tomorrow with a proper FP. I think I’ll go fishing now; I haven’t landed a Gourami in a while - apart from the baby one last night, but I don’t think that counts.


Cheers, Paul