Saturday, April 3, 2010

The Predawn Light


We were up before dawn this morning, no, not for fish, or not primarily. It is the three peaks yacht race. The boats sail from Beauty Point on mainland Tasmania to Hobart, stopping at Flinders Island and Coles Bay on the way, and at each stop 2 people must run up the local peak and then back to the boat! We passed 2 runners on the road, and were down at the Lady Baron jetty in time to see the sixth boat arrive, and drop its runners before finding a proper spot to tie up. The seventh boat hit a sandbank well in sight of the jetty, and after a while a tinny went out and took their runners off, and they will have to wait for the tide to get into the jetty! They lose time for having been helped apparently. (The boats name is "Don't Panic"!) Ten boats started the race, but I didn't hear where the other 3 were, maybe still on their way.

But we watched a beautiful sunrise, with enough cloud around to make it really pretty, and, of course, we cast a line into the water in case any fish were warm enough to want to eat. There was a light wind that was coming straight off the ice, I would have loved to know the actual temperature, it felt like about 6 C to me!

Dave caught a Silver Trevally, but although I managed to get a squid interested, I could not get him on my jig. Still, we went just as "gapers" to see the yachts, and came home with supper, so that is a bonus.

The sun is now shining and there is very little wind, so I fear the runners are going to get hot, and the yachts will not be leaving very fast! Still it is a fun combo race!

14 comments:

  1. Mmmm. Squid. Just picked up a bunch of squiddy bits in Launceston today. Salt-and-pepper squid on Tuesday night. Frozen squid... I know. But hey, you take what you can get. And the very fact that my young kids are delighted by the prospect of eating squid is a win for me.

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  2. salt-and-pepper squid - cooked how? (we're always looking for new methods here). We fish for squid about 2 nights in every 14 (tide is right) so frozen is often how we eat it too. Wondering what Chris's kids are going to make of a diet that mostly comes out of the sea, instead normal kids-food (which my kids regarded as not fit for children - which sounds like where yours are.)

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  3. From friends who don't think of the ocean as the home for Cthulhoid entities, I've heard that the Three Peaks Race is quite a relaxing and enjoyable sail, simply because the runners get to do all the hard work.

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  4. I would say that it is probably a fun and relaxing sail, if you keep to the main channel, sitting on the sand, while relaxing was probably not good for the enjoyment! But yes, I think it is more of a way to transport the runners, than a sailing race.

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  5. well... I'd say as a race it could be won or lost on the sailing alone. The first runners had several hours start because their yacht was faster.

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  6. This island is absolutely amazing, in that almost every single sunrise or sunset is just mindblowingly stunning! I thought it might just be summer, but autumn is the same so far! I am hoping not to see too many winter sunrises, but I bet the sunsets are still wonderful, and we get to see them from the sitting room window through the pine trees.

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  7. I knew a fellow who used to catch squid for bait. He used a fresh water rod because he said the salt water type are so stout that they jerk the hook out of the flesh of the squid. The idea being that squid grab the jig with their tentacles and the jerk of the salt water rod is too strong. OTOH, the taper of a fresh water rod puts a slower pressure on the jig.

    He used his to fish for flounder and sea bass in the surf.

    They use special jigs in the SE USA where I saw this done. Don't know if you have them tere on the island but they are rigged out with a different type of hook system.

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  8. Quilly - we're using light bass rods for squid (ie. typical freshwater)slow retrieve and the squid attack the jigs - but it works best in low light. By the time this one arrived it was already quite bright and he was tempted but suspicious. We're using Japanese jigs that look rather like a big prawn.

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  9. Do you have any idea of the colours they used. I was using a blue jig, and I have a feeling the pink may be more effective?

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  10. Well it also does depend if you are trying to win or not. It's kind of like that big race in Indonesia, which many of the participants used to "compete" in simple because it was the best way to get a transit visa (at the time a necessity) to enter various seldom visited parts of the archipelago. Or so I am told (it could be a sailor's tale).

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  11. Judging by there positions at the moment, I think several of the teams are just having fun taking part! If you want to see them Google Hydro Tasmania Three Peaks Race, and then click on Yacht tracking!

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  12. There truly is everything on the net. Here is a fellow from Flinders that is a squid fishing fanatic. Looks like he was fishing in the middle of the day.

    http://www.squidfish.net/squidphoto.shtml#tas

    and here are his comments:
    http://www.squidfish.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=864

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  13. Yes, you can catch them at any time. It's just like trout fishing - there are some times (and tides) that work better. Also I must admit the evening fish fits better with my concience. An hour out at dusk to go and catch a couple of squid doesn't feel as 'guilty' as stopping writing during the day. Heh, also it's a lot easier to not just have another couple of casts (which grows into a lot more hours) Squid have got truly awesome vision - the best of any invertebrate IIRC, and these (southern Arrow squid) are real big eye jobs. (sigh) I really do hope you guys get here one day. I would have such a ball with me showing you all bits and places I've learned here, and probably picking up a few new things from you. I have been trying to be 'good'and work a lot. I haven't even got to taking the kayak out to sea yet. Oh well. I'll get there.

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