Sunday, March 28, 2010

Spearfishing: Take 2

I'll get you my pretties...

This past weekend Amy and I were joined by our Aussie (pronounced "Ozzie" as we have been repeatedly corrected) friend James for a spearfishing expedition. We went back out to Long Reef to avenge my previous loss there versus the resident fish.

We were encouraged by the sight of a dozen or so other spearfishers either entering or exiting the water when we pulled into the parking lot, assuring us that we were at least in the right spot. The fact that these people weren't walking out with any fish was the least of our concerns. Clearly they were doing it wrong.

We suited up, strapped on our knives, snorkels and fins and headed out along the headland.

We swam along the reef, seeing many, many fish but few that were big enough to eat. We took a few potshots at the larger wrasse that we spotted but the bastards would simply not stay still long enough to be impaled. Towards the end of the swim, Amy frantically called me over with the gun as she had spotted a big boy, just lying in some seaweed. Dark thoughts flashed through my mind and I could taste this fish, would be fantastic pan fried or maybe grilled....
I dove down a few feet away from the fish and swam/crept up to it. It got spooked and slowly started swimming away. But not fast enough!!!! I took aim and fired, (STOP READING NOW IF you have a weak stomach) spearing him through the stomach. This the fish apparently did not like as he swam hard enough away to tear the spear out of his belly. He darted into a cleft and Amy and I were left dumbfounded, staring at pieces of floating intestine. So although we didn't catch any fish, we at minimum killed one to show them that we mean business.

The view from the water

OK TO START READING AGAIN


Beyond that, we saw lots of fish and coral and it was a great way to spend an afternoon. It culminated in Amy and James seeing a five foot wobbegong shark on their way back to shore and me beginning to devise increasingly coyote-esque schemes to catch dinner. Needless to say, the Acme brand Rocket Speargun is on the way.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Spearfishing fail/win?


Prepared to sneak into the hidden submarine base

So the final box with our stuff arrived yesterday (thank you LeGrands), supplying us with essential martial arts protective gear and the speargun. I was most excited by the latter as I had only fired it a few times in our apartment in NY to subdue various species of couch and boxes.

Took it out for a spin yesterday to Long Reef and by means of explaining the name of the post:

Fail:
  • Shot exclusively rocks and seaweed
  • Had no idea what fish I was shooting at - the spearing shop I went to was out of guides and only briefly described he 2 kinds of fish that are illegal to shoot
Win:
  • Did not drown
  • Did not impale myself with the spear
  • Saw a bigass (3' across) stingray in the water
  • Looked totally badass
So I guess on the fail/win scale - on which we are all judged - it was kind of a wash. Amy and I are going to go out this weekend to see what damage we can do, will update you on the results after.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Weekend Trip to Nelson's Bay


This past weekend we had the good fortune to take a trip with some lovely people we have met down here by the names of Kathryn, Paul, Debbie, and James to the idyllic Nelson's Bay.

We camped 2 nights and spent 2 fantastic days playing in the gorgeous sunshine on the pristine beaches there.

Due to the generosity of Chris' Mom and Dad, we have a shiny new camera and waterproof case to document our adventures. This came in handy when trying to bodysurf (waves weren't right for normal surfing) as we could bring the viewer right into the water with us.

Pictures:
Chris catching a wave


View down the beach

Totally deserted beach, day 2



James and Paul catching a wave



videos:

Random clips of james, paul, amy, and chris bodysurfing/getting pounded
video

Chris attempts to capture the magic of bodysurfing while holding the camera in the waves
video

All in all it was a great trip. After recovering from the days at the beach, we would retire to the campground for a bbq feast and well earned beers. Good work team!

Old news


So we are all starting on the same page, allow me to fill you in on the basics of our living situation out here.

We moved down on February 15, 2010 and are currently living in a suburb of Sydney called Queenscliff. This is where our building actually is:
Our Apartment Location

Here is a picture of the view on the right.

We are close enough to the beach that we can hear the waves breaking at all hours and during the day can listen to the lifeguard announcements as they chastise surfers or swimmers or warn us of impending doom by blue bottle.

Some people have asked where we are relative to the opera house or harbor bridge, both major landmarks in the city of Sydney. The quick answer is that we are about 45 minutes away. 15 minute bike ride to the ferry, then a 30 minute ferry ride to the heart of the harbor, which is buttressed by both landmarks. Amy sees them every day on her way to work and took the picture embedded from the ferry.


So to wrap it up, we are very happy with our location. It includes the necessities:
1. porch
2. BBQ

And is far enough out of the heart of the city to have peace and quite as well as a decent commute in.