What have I been up to lately? I have been hard at work studying. I know that I need to get on here and update my goings on, but I haven't really had the time. I have been getting up at 3 am for the past two weeks in order to have time to get all of my material straight. So, by the time I get a bit of free time in the day, the last thing that I want to do is type. (I am about the worst typist ever) But over the last week My good spearfisng buddy (Greg) and I have been able to get out and do a bit of what we like to do.
We swam along for about an hour admiring the beauty of this new spot and watching sea-life go bye, almost totally undisturbed by us. It is fascinating to watch the hundreds of fish and how they interact with their environment and with each other. There seems to be all stages of life constantly playing out below us. There are small fish that seem to be playing; chasing eachother in and out of the holes in the rocks, teenage fish that seem as if they are flirting; nipping at eachother and then dashing off as the other gives chase, and old grumpy fish who seem to be just protecting their spot in this big, big world. I was watching (hunting) a medium sized yellow tailed snapper a few months back. As I was following him along,waiting for him to hide so I could go down after him, he darted into a big hole beneath the reef. He was inside for about 5 seconds before he came flying back out. On his "heels" was another snapper about 4 times his size chasing him out as if to say,"This is my hole. Find your own spot" I would have laughed out loud, had my face not been in the water.
Recently Greg and I took one of our classmates out to give her a tour of the ocean and all that lies therin. She was constanly ooing and aweing at so many things that have become second nature to me. She helped me come back down to earth and realize how truly blessed I am to have these experiences in my life. Thanks Sheaba! Anyway, I digress again.
As the three of us swam along there were numerous fish that were huntable size. I told Greg several times that we needed to go after them but he had dreams of shooting a very large fish instead of the 3-4 lb ones that were all around. Another of our classmates keeps telling us that we need to get some stingray becasue is is awesome. So after about an hour, Greg spots a Stingray in about 30-35 ft of water. He goes down and checks it out and comes back up to say that he thought it was big enough and that we could shoot it if I wanted to. I was somewhat impartial and told him that if he wanted it, then to go for it. So after taking a few seconds to catch his breath, Greg again submerges to go see if the stingray will hold still long enough to get a shot at it. He only got about half way down, and game back up gasping for air. He had been free-diving a bit too much and had warn himself out. He then told me that I should try for it. I took two deep breaths and then I was off. I dolphin kicked my way down to the floor and held up between its two eyes, letting my spear fly. I hit him and after making sure that my spear was all the way through its cartlagenous body, started for the surface. He was stronger than I had immagined. About half way to the surface I found that he was begining to pull me down, back to the ocan floor. Before I knew it Greg was at my right and Trent at my left. All of the sudden this poor stingray had three spears in it. I was begining to feel the need to have more air and so I handed my spear to 15-year-old Trent and headed for some much needed air.
I blew my snorkel clean and looked back down to see the ray,with my spear hanging out of it, at the bottom and swimming away. Just then I hear Greg yell, "BARACCUDA!"
That was pretty much the last thing that I wanted to hear. I searched the surface franticly to see, off to my right, the 5 ft baraccuda and his enterauge of 6 inch fish. He was just under the surface about 15 ft away. Greg swam over in front of me and said, "I got the baraccuda. You go get the ray." Yeah right! I knew there was no way that if I went down after that fish that Greg could stop the baraccuda from taking a big chunck out of me. But I also wasn't going to let the ray swim off with my spear to die. I grabbed Trents spear from him and once again; down I went. It only took Greg telling me to go about 3 times! I got down at his nose and fired Trents spear exactly between his eyes and grabbed my spear. I proceeded made a b-line for the surface. I got back up and Greg told me to get out of there. Without giving it a second thought, I was off to the shore. I didn't have a clue where the big preditor was, but I hoped that I could get out of his sight-and fast. I collapsed on the shore with my legs and lungs buring, so thankful for dry earth once more.