One World got in, bringing meats and a bit of cheese. We bought a little, and but we still had a shortage of freshwater and vegetables. We had a beach-sunset party, then a dinner party, and then went to sleep. The next day we (Luke, Oliver, and I) took a whack at spearfishing outside of the reef. We had 3-4 foot rollers coming in, so it wasn’t a dry dinghy ride and there were a couple of iffy moments. Actually, when we finally got to the spot we were trying to dive – it was too rough to drop anchor, so we just headed back and spearfished another channel. We largely struckout, but came home with enough lobster to make a killer lobster/fried rice dish. We’re eating like kings, though we have an ongoing rum and beer shortage.
With both of us being bored in Yansaladup, the anchorage beginning to fill up (and sound like middle-America, with all of the dogs barking all night) – we decided to head to an inshore island to top up on water and groceries. And a bit of diesel too. We opted to make a couple days out of the trip, stopping back in a favorite anchorage along the way. I’m glad we did.
Spearfishing, Really, Finally
We have been shooting fish. We have been eating lots of fish. Those are good things. But, I would be hard-pressed to say that we’ve been having any “real” spearfishing success. It’s been mediocre most days and downright poor others. So when we pulled into this little anchorage we weren’t expecting much. But we were pleasantly surprised.
After a few failed attempts at getting directly to our desired spot, we took the long way around and arrived. I jumped in, checked the anchor and started some diving in the 30 foot range along a wall. Nothing doing, so I came back and began exploring a channel. There was a current ripping through the channel, and everything was out feeding and swimming in the current. Several kinds of Jacks, a few decent Schoolmaster Snapper, Triggerfish, Spotted Eagle Rays, and Nurse Sharks.
I spotted a flounder, and since I haven’t eaten this variety – I put a spear in it. We’ll try it this evening. Then I spotted a Black Grouper and chased him to his hole. While there I spotted a Channel Clinging Crab. Then a very large Ocean Triggerfish, whom I took. I returned to the dinghy to offload the flounder and triggerfish. Then Luke and I chased the grouper around for awhile before being distracted by lobster and crab – both of which we took home. Then we had a ton of seafood, so we headed back. For being in this anchorage less than two hours – we did pretty well, methinks.
The biggest challenge here is finding the fish. The Kuna are relentless divers, netters, fisherman, trappers, and spearfishermen. It’s a wonder anything survives around here. But as we start moving away from heavy Kuna populations, we’re definitely seeing more fish and underwater life. I’m sure there was a bunch more life in San Blas a few years before. The influx of tourism and cruisers here has provided a market for anything from the sea, of any size. The Kuna harvest anything they can sell – tiny lobster, juvenile fish, baby turtles, etc. As in most parts of the world, the human species is remarkably efficient at destroying the other species – on a grand scale. I fear the only way we’ll really see nature, the way it used to be, is getting as far away from other humans as possible.