December 16, 2009.
We woke to listen to the weather forecast and it seemed that if the forecast changed at all, it had gotten a bit worse. It looks as if the western component of the wind will be cranking and long lasting. The front will bring us 20-35 knots with gusts and squalls to 50 knots.
We’re glad we’re here and decided to make the most of a beautiful day and spent it in the water. We headed out early and stopped by a few of the boats in the anchorage to say hello. Then we were off to do some spear fishing. I prefer to dive the cuts on a rising tide but we were on a falling tide. The water was ripping through the cuts and I was hurtling along with such velocity that hunting was very difficult. We were able to take a 4 lb Schoolmaster before we decided to wait for the incoming tide. So after going home for an extended lunch we headed back out in the afternoon.
Since the tide was just starting to come in we headed out the cut to drift dive it as we bobbed back in with the current. Christy was in the water behind me with the dinghy in tow when I heard her yell at me. She was pointing out a 5 lb lobster that I had just swum directly over without seeing. Crap, I must be going blind. He was quickly victim to my spear and our afternoon was rolling.
After that it was a beautiful 4 lb Mutton Snapper followed quickly by a 4 lb Grouper. We hopped back into the dinghy and headed out to make another drift. As soon as I hit the water I spotted a huge Grouper. I stalked him and as I drew near he spotted me and attempted to bolt. My spear was already on its way and hit him square in the side of the head. He did a couple of spins on the spear and when I tried to lift him…..he was gone.
I was at the end of my range when I fired and the spear penetrated him but not deep enough to release the barbs. With nothing to keep him on the spear he was now wounded and fleeing. Crap. Of course, he had to swim up current. I was pumping my legs as hard as I could just to stay in sight of him. He was swimming a bit lopsided with his mouth wide open so I knew I had whacked him pretty solid. He was probably mortally wounded, I had to get him.
Much to my relief he dove under a rocky ledge to hide and to try and recover. When I finally caught up to him I starred down in satisfaction. The hole he had chosen to hide in wasn’t big enough for his fat ass; his entire tail was sticking out of the hole. I quickly drove my spear through the base of his tail and left him pinned to the bottom. I waited 5 minutes for him to weaken and then I went back down and wrenched him from his tiny hiding place.
Evidently 5 minutes didn’t mean shit to this guy. As soon as he was pulled free of the hole he went wild, spinning and bucking at the end of my spear. The spear was completely through his tail with the barbs open. He wasn’t getting off…..unless he fought so hard that half his tail ripped open leaving a gaping wound. So, when that did in fact happen, I watched as Cujo the Devil Fish swam away. Fuck me, is he kidding?
I once again chased him down and watched as he dove under a large flat rock in 12 feet of water. Bastard. I could see blood in the water so I was sure he was gonna die. I couldn’t leave him. I had to wait several minutes for the sand to stop swirling beneath the rock so I could peer under.
The opening was small and I was pretty surprised that he even fit through it. But as I looked inside, there he was under the center of this rock in a good sized domed space. I’d already hit him in the head, then he took one to the ass, this time I was not taking any chances. I reached under the rock and blew the spear right through the center of his body. That’s when he got pissed…..
I left the spear right through his body and surfaced to wait him out. Christy pulled the dinghy up current and dropped the anchor and drifted back until she was right over his hiding place. As I hung from the side of the dinghy we both watched as my spear violently shook below us. While I was watching him to my further amazement a lobster appeared in the doorway to his lair not 15 feet away and taunted me. My spear was stuck through Cujo the Devil Fish so there was nothing I could do at the moment.
During the next 20 minutes I dove to the bottom 2 dozen times in an effort to rip him from his sanctuary. Finally I took a line from the dinghy, tied it in a slipknot and headed down. Christy thought that I was out of my mind but there was no way I was leaving without that fish. We wished that we had a camera, but you’ll just have to trust me here. I reached in and slipped the line around his tail and cinched it tight. Finally with the aid of the rope I was able to pull the exhausted 10 lb Grouper from his last hidey hole.
Once the now vanquished Grouper was in the bucket I took my spear and headed for the lobster. As soon as I boated the lobster and climbed aboard I said “Honey, take me home”. I was exhausted and as I sat on the dinghy’s tube I removed my fins. I took the first one off and dropped it into the dink and as I turned to remove the other there was a lightning quick flash of grey as a mondo active 6 foot shark blasted right under the dink. He did a quick couple of darting circles as he looked for whatever was bleeding in the area. I’d spent way too much time trying to harvest an agitated, bleeding fish and I was so focused that I completely forgot about sharks. Oops.
Anyway, we were well fed tonite and stocking the freezer!