11th May 2005 (Wednesday)
With the support of Hwee Boon, I have decided to give my best shot and extending my stay in Sittwe. This was not easy and very stressful – I have used up most of my cash! Over there, credit card was useless. Fortunately, there was this Singaporean businessman staying at the same hotel as us. He was so surprised to meet us there as not many foreigners will go that part of Myanmar. So coincidence? Was it a sign for me that I have made a right decision to stay? He was kind to lend me money after hearing our woes. Yes, I was “thick-skin” to accept. I promised to return the money once I am back in Singapore. I took US$500.00 from him.
With all the blessings, I approached Mr. Aung Nai Win to rent his big fishing boat – US$100 per day. This boat would be much slower than the speed boat and we need at least 3 days out in the river. Also, he would provide us with the official Letter of Approval to allow us to do fishing at Ghaut stream of Kaladan river. The rivers there were guarded by the military. Without this letter, we would be in danger if the military guards found us. Our boat would be considered as commercial fishing boat.
An important letter!
Our plan was to use a 100m (L) x 7m (W) net to comb the 15 meter wide Ghaut stream. We needed at least four persons to pull the net.