Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Spear Fishing

With your Bahamian Cruising Permit ($150 for boats under 35’, $300 over 35’) comes a fishing license for the boat.  Each cruising boat can have up to 6 lines in the water and everyone aboard can spear fish.  When spear fishing, non-Bahamians must free dive using a Hawaiian sling type spear, no tanks, hookahs, or spear guns allowed.  Except for Lionfish, then all bets are off and you are requested to eradicate them any way you can.  

Spear fishing is not as easy as one might think.  You have to wrap the surgical tubing loop between your thumb and first finger, get a big breath and go down and look under a rock.  Should you happen to find something edible that does not find you edible, you have to be rather close because your firing range is not too impressive.

Should you happen to spear something, the locals warn you to hold the spear out as far as possible away from your body because Barracudas are known to come and snatch your fish.  Should I happen to spear something, my plan is to hand it to Pollie.

Another neat Bahamian rule has to do with beach access.  All beaches in the Bahamas are open to everyone up to the high watermark whether the island is public or private.  The beach behind me is on Musha Cay which belongs to David Copperfield.  Copperfield Bay is a great place to go snorkeling even with the Barracuda that was watching us.

Sandals Emerald Bay Resort is another great place to go snorkeling.

We ended up snorkeling with thousands of small fish and a few larger ones.  The water was warm enough that Pollie didn’t need the wet suit.

This black sea urchin could ruin your day; that is why it is always good to have on gloves and never wade in water where you can’t see the bottom without foot protection.

But, our biggest threat came from above – note the rudders sticking down.
Pollie noticed this Sandals Hobie Cat and gave me a “heads-up” before I was decapitated.  Turns out they had managed to get themselves in irons (dead into the wind with no forward momentum) and were drifting towards the rocks.  With Pollie pulling and me pushing, we were able to save yet another pair of sailors.

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