How to lose your Gun and Spear to a Cuda

OK - let me share my secret with you and see if I get a place in the annual Darwin awards for brilliance. This weekend we were spearing the South East side of Inhaca at Santa Maria deep with my reliable dive buddies, Mark, Lawrence and Kobus. The water drops off from 90 foot to 120 foot. The current is North South and inshore (off an island ?). The fish are so thick that on every down you have the choice of 3 'cuda to shoot. They come up to any flasher, even an old oil drum. My float line is as old as my elbows and though its the standard 5mm green stuff, it's rather frayed in places (and was a bit gnawed by a shark in the Transkei in April, but overall it looks and feels ok to me). And it rolls up well - soft and pliable! Now, I've got an image to keep with old kit that looks like I've been diving forever. You should see my weight-belt - it comes off Jules Verne's Nautilus. You got the picture!

The previous day we had bagged lots of fish and now we have got no more freezer space. So we are just hunting trophies. Kobus just dropped a Saily and this gets us all hyped to shoot the biggest thing that ever swam. My flashers are made out of old chlorine bottles with reflective tape and bits of old stainless plate. They are old but they work (like me).

Next thing - I see a nice crocodile down there trying to decide what's this flotsam in the sea and I go through the routine and glide down and poke it good in the middle. My 6 litre float runs like crazy along the surface and then goes down to about 45 foot. After a bit of excitement and chasing the float pops up nearby. The fish gives a few more good revs and then I start recovering the line slowly but surely. The water is clear and from 40 foot away I can see it's a good fish (my personal best) and enough to lift the eyebrows of my dive buddies. Let's say over 30kg's, just to make me feel good.

But to my dismay, I see that my spear did not go right through and it's hanging by a bit of skin and sinew. Slowly, inch by inch, I bring the fish closer and then dive down gently and quickly ram the spear right through the fish. Well this gives the 'cuda a new lease on life and it takes off with the speed of the holy white camel fleeing from the horny Arabs. Now I'm down at 40 foot and the buoy line hooks on my weight belt and I go South too.

Next thing the tension goes slack but I see the fish still has my spear in it with my gun trailing. I still have this crazy idea that I must dart forward and grab the gun. Then I think about how the hell am I going to swim this wild thing up to the surface when I probably ain't gonna make it myself.

So - this is the sad story of how I once again donated some of my antique dive equipment to the ocean spirits. On the boat again my dive buddies were unsympathetic and Mark (typical German) tells me to dump all my stuff and get some new gear.

If any body sees a nice fish with a gun attached to it - its mine ok ?

LenTurner