Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Hunting Silhouettes - Cave Diving at Port Elizabeth

Quite often we spearos must enter caves to find our prey.
These are often flat slabs of rock that are hollow beneath - normally a type of sandstone that forms in the depths of sand dunes - chemical reactions with a flat surface are probably ones that occur in a liquid-solid mixture and the level of the liquid causes the superflat surface - above teh liquid there is no reaction. Over the years these flat slabs become exposed and scoured by the action of waves. They crack up and form "slab cities".
A good cave, in my opinion, is one that is not too open and preferably not open to the direct surge of passing swell - fish also like comfort! So if the openings of the cave are not perpendicular to the surge my guess is that it will be a well tenanted cave - a spearos dream.

Have a peep at the clip below to get an idea of what a dark, fishy cave looks like. The fish in it were plentiful and I took one but I missed the silhouette window and the clip is just black with the sound of a shot. I will work on getting another to publish.

Some tips:
Be careful hunting in such caves thought as it is easy to loose a spear if your shot does not roll the fish over. The speared fish may retreat to the safety of the pitchblack crevasse, behind the rock in back chamber of the dark cave behind the pillar that it wrapped the line about!!!
Here you should be sure to dive with knife(or scissors) to cut yourself free in case you get tangled in the line in the cave. A torch is desirable but somewhat less sporting than hunting without it.
Heavy surge through such caves also makes for hard diving especially if you sacrifice the use of you free hand to hold a camera - I often wait for the surge to aid my exit.
It's probably a good idea to have a buddy watch you and be ready to give aid if required.

I will show the effect of a heavy surge in the next clip I post where I take a fish from a cave.

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