Words by Saling Catalpa
Clear water, coral trout and crays like you'd never believe….Arriving at Thursday Island at the very top of Australia was a surreal experience. Apart from the fact we had sailed the whole east coast of Australia to get here….Oh my goodness so stoked and proud of our efforts as a family….And to see some of our best friends that live here on this beautiful island is so good. It didn't take too long and we were out on the reef trying out our new spear guns. Our first day out on the ribbons reef we saw countless opportunities for dinner nestled in and around the reef!
So first of all, until a few months ago when Lee borrowed a friends gun and shot a big tusky we had no experience with spearfishing and to be honest it kind of scared us. Why? well shooting fish with a spear while swimming around in the water, what about sharks? Don't get me wrong we love sharks and have surfed and scuba dived with them for years but to kill their food and dangle it around in the water with us ummmm... that thought scared us.
We love fishing and basically that's what we live on living on a yacht sooooo why wouldn't we give spearfishing a go we thought. Spearfishing is a great way to pick and choose what we eat and not unnecessarily kill fish by line fishing as you never know what you are going to catch or damage if not eatable. Being surrounded by beautiful coral reefs so often we are now spewing we didn't start earlier. And as for the shark thing we have been spearing a fair few times now and have only had a few shark encounters and to be honest they are only after the fish like any animal after spending time with them you get to become aware of their behaviors.
Yesterday actually Lee and I had the biggest shark yet come in and here is what happened…Lee caught a glimpse of a decent size coral trout, took a breath and went down, lined it up and pulled the trigger…click straight between the eyes. Lee started to pull the line and fish up when the fish took off under a part of the reef, next minute I turned around and a shark we think a whaler about 8 foot headed for the fish. There wasn't a moment at all that Lee felt threatened or scared. Lee put his head up and called out to our friend Chris in the boat to come and grab the gun. Lee was more worried about the shark grabbing the fish and swimming off with his speargun. The shark was incredible maneuvering its self around the reef and us to try and get a free feed. Lee managed to get the gun to Chris who had no idea what was happening in the water, while I kept my eyes and gun on the shark to make sure no accidental chomps occurred. As soon as they got the fish up the shark wasn't interested anymore and swam away. This was pretty cool to see that they aren't interested in us at all…well this time and from what we have seen. But we totally need head mounts or gun mounts for our Go Pro as we missed capturing it, unfortunately.
Loving our new found way of gathering food and loving the fact even more that its a more sustainable way of living we only take what we eat and eat what we take.