OK, so on the fishing front I have totally redeemed myself.
Maybe its because now, thanks to advice from the locals, I study the tides, the moon, the winds, pick my times, use different bait for different situations and have my lucky spot.
Yes it could be a combination of all those ingredients or could be that I have just been dumb-arse lucky.
First I caught a huge Snapper on the late night shift, then the next day on the sunset shift I caught another Snapper, a Jack Fish and a Coral Trout. The local Bronze Whaler shark, a lazy eight footer that lives under the jetty, made an appearance and very nearly robbed me of my Snapper off the line. A heart pumping kicker to the adrenaline rush of hooking dinner.
After the endless frenetic pace of manning a regional newspaper single handedly, dropping a line has become my daily decompression. The salty seabreeze, the blood-red sunsets that drain away to the spectacular big-sky of the Milky Way, while the Strait laps and licks at the legs of the pier, all give me a huge, collective sigh of relief.
Sometimes I catch myself, saying: “Fuck me this is beautiful.”
Beautiful in its simplicity, life reduced to an all-consuming lowest common denominator, that only Mother Nature can dish up. I would insert a photo of the glorious sunset here but I am too busy soaking it up – sorry.
Figured I’d let Otis set the sublimeness:
My time on the pier also provides for some off-the-cuff networking opportunities. I hear about juicy story leads, island gossip and plenty of ones-that-got-away, fishermen tales. Just the thing for an ever-hungry newspaper hack looking to fill endless inches of column space, just as one paper is filled, another deadline looms…
A couple of Islander blokes came up looking most envious at my haul, one of them having not caught anything. So remembering the generosity of other fisherman to my empty larder and the Ailan Kustom where nobody goes hungry, I gave him my Coral Trout, despite never having the luxury of tasting one. I just knew karmically it was the right thing to do.
“Cheers Ba’la, my wife will love this.”
I wondered if he told her if it was caught or gifted.
Not long after they left the universe repaid my generosity with a big White Trevally, so now I have freezer full of fish, none of which I have paid for, ready to feed my family when they arrive in a couple of weeks. Now I’m, no Bear Grylls, nor do I wear Khaki or camo print, but there is something ‘bloody’ satisfying about catching your own protein to feed your clan.
Life is good.