Recently, the new found love of Karachites is crabbing. You hire the private boats from Kemari to Manora, Bhitt shah or Oyster rocks Island and have the opportunity to savor fresh seafood while on board. A lot of trip organizers have packages set for this tour and I see people eagerly talking about crabbing in many facebook groups. Despite reading so much, I was not sure if it’s worth until a few friends at the SWOT team planned it, that too randomly without giving it much thought!
A quick lesson here, screw plans, go out randomly and brag about it!
I am sharing all the details about this crabbing trip, the things you have to do, charges, and food that you get to dig into! Let’s get on board!
Kemari—been there but don’t remember!
My father always talks about how often we would visit Kemari and took the boat to Manora, but I don’t have any vivid memory of it at all! No, I didn’t bump my head into anything or suffering from any sort of amnesia, it’s just that I am too old to remember everything that happened about 150 years ago! Well, what a pity I should have remembered those trips especially when I treasure every trip out with my family.
Let’s talk about Crabbing!
How to book the boat?
When you visit the Kemari harbor, you get to view countless colorfully decorated boats with a capacity of about 20 to 25 people. One of my SWOT friends Reza booked a boat for the SWOT team and about 10 of us showed up for the tour including my family. These are private boats for which you have to get in touch with the captains and they charge from 1200 to 1500 per person.
The Timings of the Tour
The crabbing tours begin in the evening and ideally 40 minutes before the sunset. We reached the harbor around 5:30 to get a chance of relishing the mesmerizing sunset while on board.
What to expect when you reach Kemari
Parking is the main issue! The management has allocated a small area for parking, but the number of visitors is far too many to be accommodated in this space. The parking lot was jam packed and we had to wait 15 minutes to get a spot, so be patient and good luck with that!
P.S the parking fee is 200! Don’t give up already, its worth the trip! *wink*
Getting on Board and sailing away!
We waited for a while until our boat lodged into the harbor to fetch us. It was a double decked boat with the seating space of about ten people on each deck. So, yes it’s quite spacious for 20 people but not more than that.
Forced by our habit, we started taking photos right on getting on board, but the captain asked us to turn our phones off as the camera is strictly forbidden around the merchant ships. Once we passed those ships, we got back to our favorite business-selfies all the way!
The boat was amped up by colorful curtains which appeared quite dramatic as the sun gradually started setting in leaving hints of twilight!
after a 20 minutes boat ride, we reached the Bhitt Shah Island and could witness the panoramic view of the surrounding village and mangroves on the other side. The boat anchored there and while we dusk-bathed and gazed into the steady waves, the chef started preparing the meal. A few people also prefer sailing to Manora or disembarking nearby the Oysterer Rocks Island, so the sort of acvitity you would like to indulge into is totally upto you.
Now we are talking! Our menu comprised of:
- Crab lollipops
- Fried fish
- potato cutlets
- Aalu chaat
- prawn karahi
The seafood items were marinated beforehand and while the chef prepared the main course, we were served aalu chaat which tasted like seafood *at least to me*. The meal was ready in 20 minutes. The marination of fried fish was delicious and the pieces were crispy flavorsome. Prawns were cooked to perfection—neither soggy, not too hard—-and had the right balance of any average masala karahi. I especially loved the gooey hot potato cutlets and chomped on them like a real foodie! I had just a few bites of crabs and didn’t find them really appetizing, maybe as I am not a fan.
Mostly these are the items that you get on every boat unless you want to customize the list.
Winding up the Tour
It was already dark when we set off to return but the distant lights from the surrounding boats and merchant ships made the aura beautifully surreal. Most of us were exhausted and a few felt sea sick so we just sat quite and preferred contemplating instead of talking. It took us 25 minutes to get back to the harbor.
Was it worth?
Definitely! it was a much-needed break from crazy work routine. its great people are reverting to one of the many exciting avenues that Karachi has to offer. you would love the tour especially if you like boating, are a seafood lover or just want to experience fresh sea breeze.
I am sharing the contact details of our captain Mr. Saleem in case you want to go crabbing. You can also ask about other sailors on different facebook groups. Now look them up yourself! :p
Have any other questions? Ask below! I’ll meet you all in the next “Matargasht” post. Until next time!
Captain Saleem: 0300-2282231, 0300-3652263