March 13, 2009.
Before I get started I need to relay a story about something new that we’ve learned. Tucker evidently suffers from some type of separation anxiety. Usually when we leave the boat he howls like a wolf for a few minutes and then gets bored and mellows out. If we’re in a crowded anchorage I feel like the “bad pet owner” so it kinda drives me crazy. The other night we were about 300 yards away on Far Niente and Tucker started his howling. Ooooooooooooo, Oooooooo. We had left our VHF on so I picked up Jay’s mic and selected our channel and said “Tucker, shut up” as sternly as I could. He heard me, recognized my voice and thought I must be somewhere on the boat with him. He stopped in mid howl and shut up. It was a long distance behavioral adjustment.
Yesterday I spent the morning replacing the solenoid for the propane supply to the stove. That propane solenoid is a pain in the ass, they just don’t seem to last as long as they should. After that we had a big lunch of lobster tacos and headed out for a little spearfishing.
The day before, I had seen a lobster that I was unable to get an angle on for a shot. So we headed down to the same coral head and found him waiting for me. There was a boat anchored nearby and if they were watching it must have been a pretty incredible sight. We pulled up in the dinghy, I slipped into the water, went down speared the lobster, swung him into the dinghy, climbed in after him and zoomed away. Two minutes, start to finish and we were gone with lobster in hand. Easy peasy.
After that we worked our way home through the anchorage going from coral patch to patch. I found 2 more lobsters, I took 1 while the other one was too small. I was also able to take a nice grouper.
Today we took the dogs for a long walk across the cay to the windward shore. The walk included sections of scrub, hills and a dry salt marsh. Once there we scavenged through some of the innumerable treasures that have washed ashore. We also found a pretty cool series of blowholes.
After getting back to the boat we had lunch and decided to head north for some hunting. We found an area of coral heads and rocky ledges that seemed to go on forever. As soon as I hit the water I scored a nice sized lobster, shortly followed by a smallish grouper.
On the grouper I was victim to a classic “bait and switch” scam. I was swimming along and saw a large grouper hiding next to a large brain coral. He ducked behind it and I went the other way to position myself for a quick shot when we met face to face. As soon as he came into view I put my spear right through his face. It was then that I realized that it wasn’t the same grouper. It was a much smaller grouper that had been behind the coral and the large grouper rocketed away to safety.
After that I nailed 2 good sized grouper and another lobster. We were headed home when we came across a series of small coral heads. They were kind of off the beaten path so I dropped into the water for a quick look see.
One of the heads had a perfect lair for a lobster and I couldn’t believe there wouldn’t be a lobster in there but alas….nothing. That was until I glimpsed the tiniest tip of a feeler. I was looking down into this shaft and it did appear that there just might be a lobster in a “room” off to the side of the shaft. I swam around the coral looking into every tiny opening for a way to catch more than just a glimpse of this lobster. Finally, through a 3 inch hole I could plainly make out a single leg.
It was a good sized leg so I felt as if I had a big lobster in front of me. I needed to “goose” him towards the shaft so I could get a shot at him. So I had Christy remove the tip from her spear and give me the spear. By looking at the leg I tried to figure out where the tail end of the lobster was. I slipped Christy’s spear in the tiny hole at an angle in an attempt to move him towards the shaft. He scurried away from the spear, wheeled about to face it and presented me with a target of sorts.
I could now plainly see 3 large legs and one big feeler. I couldn’t see his body at all but I could sort of triangulate where they all would come together. I was sure he was big enough, so I worked my spear down into the hole, got the angle I needed and drilled him. Bingo, he turned out to be bigger than average, coming in at about 4 pounds.