Brad, Dan and Scott's Sailing Adventure

"There she is boys! The SS More Powerful than Superman, Batman, Spiderman, and the Incredable Hulk combined." This space will be used to post updates of our odyssey.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Dan and Brad's Spearfishing Adventures IV

As a New Englander, I've been raised to appreciate a good lobster dinner. Having been my favorite dish for much of my life, I was excited to try out the Caribbean, spiny variety when I first arrived in the Bahamas. I knew that they did not have claws, but was foolish enough in the early goings to attempt barehanded captures. They're not called "spiny" lobsters because they're soft and cuddly, and after a few attempts brought only cut up fingers it became clear that this was a job for gloves and spears.
The first lobster Kaleidoscope landed was about a 3-pounder caught by pole spear by Brad near George Town, in the Bahamas. Now I know you snobby New Englanders would probably assume that such a monster would have a tough, rubbery texture not fit for refined palattes. Not so. We've discovered that even the largest of the large down here have meat that is as good, if not better than any Maine lobster in top restaurants.
Unfortunately, it seems that other people have picked up on this and lobsters are hard to come by in areas heavily populated with cruisers. In most anchorages it's hopeless to look for them and it's $30 for a frozen tail at the supermarket.
After finding ourselves back in the overpopulated George Town for the second time, we decided to move on in late January. The passage we decided to take, with 3 other boats would lead us through the southeastern Bahamas, consisting of numerous islands realatively untouched by modern fishermen. We had heard stories of a sea of milk and honey, with lobsters under every rock.
About halfway through our 5 day voyage to the Dominican Republic from the Bahamas, we stopped at an island called Mayaguana. After a short time, I spotted a large lobster and attempted to spear it. The spear broke and I watched as dinner scurried along the ocean floor into a crevice between the rocks. With our fellow fishermen watching, I couldn't allow myself to be outwitted by an animal that I believe myself to be significantly smarter than. I swam down and reached into the crack, holding my breath as long as I could and felt blindly for the lobster. On my first reach, I could feel it embedded about 3 feet into the crack and holding strong. The only thing I could grab were the horns on the front of the face and I pulled as hard as I could. Lobsters are a clever bunch, and this one had worked itself into the end of an underwater rock maze which I could feel, but not see. The battle went on for 40 minutes as the sun set and eventually we were called back to the boats to continue with the sail. Finally, the beast relented as I was able to slide it through the twists and turns and out an opening barely large enough for the body of the 3 pounder.
Meanwhile, Brad and Kim had been off searching other areas and had caught 2 large lobsters and a slipper lobster. They had discovered a cave containing numerous sizable fish and the largest lobster and were shocked to see me still in the same place they had left me 40 minutes prior. The larger lobsters were probably about 4 pounds and over 36 inches from end to end. The haul of 4 lobsters provided the main course for our four-boat feast in Luperon, Dominican Republic 2 nights later.