Spearfishing in Peru

A little about my first comp here in Peru.

Here in Lima the wind hardly ever blows, at most it may get to 10 knots and that is a lot - well the whole time I have been here I have never seen a chop on the sea. The only thing that messes the sea up is the swell and it gets big here. Well the day of the comp was good, very flat sea with a swell of .5 to 1m and no wind and the viz was between 4 to 8m which is good for here as there is no threat of sharks.

The comp was in an area of Ancon about 70 km north of Lima that has 5 main islands out to sea. The comp was held on all 5 of the islands. As I was a visitor and had no team I was put on a boat with 4 other divers. It was a bit-intimidating going out to the islands as they are spaced far Apart and I have never dived there in my life before - so I had no way of knowing where the fish might be and what to really shoot as my experience in Peru waters is very limited. So with a total of 35 divers going for the National selection it seemed like I had to think fast and shoot all that I saw to have any real chance.

So the comp started and I was told to hop off and then the boat disappeared for 2 hours. So I swam around not seeing much over 500grams and only had a 70 cm gun. With not much fish seen in the area and no boat in sight I decided to swim to another rock sticking out of the water about 200m off the island. There I found some chetas(a fish similar to a stone bream) and with some quick work in the white water I got 9 and then the boat came and picked me up.

Then off to another island and I was told to jump off. So I swam into the white water looking for some more chetas and then a big wave came and I lost my mask. Then I tried to look for the boat - as before it was gone, so I decided to swim around the island to look for the boat or someone to help me with another mask - after an hour I found the boat and got another mask.

Then I tried another area in about 10m to 15m and saw little and only managed to get 2 rock cod type fish. The water below 5m was very cold like 13 degrees and the water on top was about 15 to 16 degrees.

Then onto the boat again and off to another island - there was only 30min left in the comp. So it was into the white water again to shoot chetas - managed to get 4. At the weigh-in I saw some weird fish - still have to learn where the locals get the different fish. But then when the results where done I managed to get a 5th place. I was quite pleased as with all the hassles and never diving the area before it was not a bad placing.

Now as happened in Brazil the local divers are a little wary of the next comp. Also a few of the local guys have suggested that I dive for their team so it will be better in the future. To dive in Peru you need at least a 6-7mm suit in winter and 5mm in summer. And all the diving is shallow 1m to 20m of water.

Dive well chaps
Chris