Thursday, February 7, 2008

Steenbras hunt off Hobie Beach with Zephyr

When I picked Zephyr up from school yesterday at midday he anounced:
"Dad, it's one o' clock - Fishing Time! Cob eat at two o' clock"

This type of chatting persisted and was even pushed onto Mom too. At around 5 we put to sea at Hobie Beach armed with sweets, chips and cooldrinks to keep him occupied.
I had decided to try a few dives and see how he takes these disappearances of Dad below the surface. I had primed him on the drive down to the sea as to how long one minute is when I would be down.

We began with a bit of fishing and he got a frenchie - doomed to the hatch by decree of the young fisherman - later to become cutbait.

After he had settled in I decided to try a dive. Scratching through my divebag I realized my wetsuit pants were at home but since the water and air were so warm I would dive without the pants. Zephyr was pleased at the idea of me diving and waited with mutch anticipation.

Down I went and took care to keep my thighs and knees on sand, or off the sponges and seafans on the reef - not sure how "stung" I would be by hydroids. The viz was a good 5 meters and the water was very warm 22 on top and probably 20 below - fine this way I could dive on and not chill but my hopes for steenbras faded as they are often absent in such warm water.

We moved and Zephyr was happy - I dived on another deeper spot with the same conditions - more fish though, zebras, romans, dageraad, parrots, and blue hottentot. There was a shoal of agitated shad.
On my second dive the shad spooked and bolted out of site - two seconds later two large white steenbras of about 16 kg passed rapidly by apparently completly unaware of me - no hope to get a shot in. I tried a few more dives and saw no more fish worth spearing. I then moved to a last spot and tried there to no avail.
Cob were "chatting" the "Brr Brr Brr" was ever-present but smaller fish than on hears toward the islands and Coega.

Amasingly I did not chill and then we ended off with a fish on Philips Reef and caught nothing at all so we headed home.

I am well-pleased to be able to take my 4 year old son along on dives in safe areas and we may do this some more - I really would like to slap a big steenbras onto the boat and watch Zephyrs expression.

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