January 18, 2010.
We spent the day yesterday doing boat chores as a bit of a front came through. There was nothing spectacular on the schedule. We spent the day cobbling up some muffin tins and a few conch horns. In the afternoon I went over to a nearby boat that was having some drive train issues. I was able to fix their problem while Christy took the dogs to the beach for a little swimming. Besides that, I really don’t remember what we did, it was yesterday. Wait, what day is it?
As the front passed through we had a period of very benign winds from the west. The bright spot in a forecast like that is that we would be able to head out to the ocean side of the cay (the east side) and attempt to do some hunting.
We headed out around 1000 hours and within a few minutes I had boated a 3 pound lobster. I figured that it was going to be a banner day but it was almost 2 hours til I found another decent sized lobster to harvest. Along the way we saw several fish that I was able to stalk and attempt to shoot. Usually I’m pretty deadly, today, not so much. I screwed up every thing I tried to do. A huge ass snapper, a swing and a miss. I wounded a nice Hogfish only to have him slip from my spear and escape into a deep cave, never to be seen again. Crap.
Finally, I’d had enough of the ocean side and we headed back onto the banks. Even though we had 2 lobsters in the bucket it was with a sense of frustration that we dropped the hook for lunch amongst a half dozen coral heads. After a quick PB & J sandwich and some soda we once again slipped into the water.
What a difference a PB & J can make. After lunch, the next 4 patches we swam all had a single lobster hidden amongst the coral. We soon had 6 lobsters in the bucket and were ready to head for home. Christy spotted one more coral head a short distance away. What the hell, we might as well hit the entire area. I swam the entire periphery of the last head and dove on every conceivable lobster hiding place, to no avail. Satisfied that no lobsters inhabited that coral patch I headed for the dink. As I passed across the highest point of the coral patch there was a small opening and it was there that I saw it. It was just a 2 inch piece of “straightness”. “Straight” rarely happens in nature. A lobster’s antennas are one of the exceptions. I’ve been fooled before by the spine on a stingray but generally, straight, means lobster.
Even though I was ready to climb into the dink with 6 lobsters onboard I decided to dive to the bottom and check it out. I pressed my mask into the small opening in the bottom and sure enough, lobster. Not just any lobster, but the biggest bug of the day.
All I could see were his 2 antenna and I was convinced that he was a biggy. After several dives I was able to find a small opening to catch a better glimpse of him. It was a crappy angle from the side and all I could see were several of his stout legs. I had to have that lobster. I kinda triangulated where his body should be based on the location of his legs and one antenna. The coral was so thick that I had to take a longer shot than I was comfortable with and I scored a solid body shot, but all I did was piss him off.
A Spiny Lobster has a pair of horns on his head just above his eyes that they will drive in to the top of their lair to prevent them from being pulled out of their den. This bastard did not want to come out of his den. Try as I might, I could not pry him from his home. I had my spear bent at a ridiculous angle but nothing I did brought this lobster any closer to our bucket.
After 45 minutes and several dozen dives, which involved the moving of several large rocks, the removal of several lobster legs and more than a little muscle, I was able to pry the little rat bastard from his hole. Resist all you want, tomorrow you are Lobster sRisotto.
We ended up retiring for the day with 7 lobsters and a pair of lovely Hogfish by 1400 hours. We gave 4 of the bugs away as we just don’t have any room in the fridge or freezer for them and then headed in to the beach to burn some garbage and meet with our friends for sundowners.