Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Yellow hose spaghetti and other delights

Last day of the female spiny lobster season here, and Norm, Peter and I went out off Patriarch's inlet. We're diving on a hookah, (our second dive 'on our own' with this set-up) which takes the time and getting stuck stress off to some extent. The limestone area we looked in first must have a 100 000 caves (and I do not exaggurate) or more like pieces of sheet rock with the layer below eroded - mostly extending ten-twenty feet- 8-10 inches high, and you can see through. The weed is dense, and I have a feeling luck not that skill plays a large part in finding let alone catching crays, because they're not abundant there. I did find two, neither reachable. We then moved to a second area, in granite country, and were instantly more lucky, just off the anchor rope. I hit on a bunch, got Norm in one side, and myself the other - and they had no place to go. I took out 8 and Norman 1 but his was a nice big one. It was very like the diving back in the old country, and quite different to my experiences here. Sadly it was more like SA in other respects too, because I had to release 7 (2 right there I could see they were way too small, the others on the surface, where they were a millimetre too small. Literally just. I did find another better one, and so I did have two keepers. Still it was a lovely dive with shoals of huge boarfish eyeing us out and several big morwong, and a skate the size of half the boat, his sting raised. There cat-sharks and shoals of little yellow striped mado perch and of course wrasse and the leatherjackets - the yellow hexagon patterened ones doing 'you can't see me I'm weed' and the big blue semi-circular ones, saying try me, I'm tough. Starfish, featherstars, urchins sponges, corals... and Norm and I swimming fairly close - it was boulder country, big caves, dropping to 11 metres, and up to 5, and a bit wary making - besides we'd had such success at wrestling the crays together, it was pleasant. In a 3 D world you loop over and round your companion and your air hose trails back to the boat. And somehow we'd both swum around the anchor rope -in opposite directions. And under the boat... in opposite directions. The result as you can imagine was air-hose spaghetti, with two divers. All it needed was an Italian Shark with a fork.

Anyway, we got untangled, came home, and have had something I have not had since leaving SA - a cray that was small enough to grill properly, with garlic butter and home made bread and a glass of Oyster Bay Sauv Blanc.

Work can wait 'til morning...

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