Sunday, February 10, 2013

Hunted While Hunting

Before heading back to Hog Cay, we decided to attempt to increase our lobster count, choosing a spot where we thought we might get a better universe to choose from. Although to my eye the reef we chose looked like a loser, in no time we had three lobster onboard and a happy hunter.

While the diver searches and shoots, it is the job of the dinghy driver (usually his spouse, or a close friend with a broken eardrum) to monitor the progress for a spear raised with a lobster on the end of it. When that happens, the driver races to the hunter, grabs the spear, and wearing heavy gloves, slides the critter off said spear into a bucket, hopefully where the lobster can mingle with his cousins. This used to be hard for me, but now I manage it with gusto. Another job of the driver is to be on the lookout for shark on manhunt, and until today, I had performed this in exemplary fashion.

Usually it is the driver who yells out "Shark" or shows some pre-agreed upon hand signal (ours in a fist on the head moved rhythmically up and down). I have never had to show this movement, and just imagine my surprise when Peter yelled out "Shark", frantically waving his spear at me in a gesture indicating "get here quickly". As I approached, his yelling became a little louder and repetitive, and I realized that the shark was actually attacking him, as he continued slashing his spear in the water while he attempted to move in my direction. Holy crap.

As I approached I became unconcerned that I might grind Peter on the propeller, figuring disfigurement was better than dismemberment. He hopped in, slightly hyperventilating. He had seen a small shark, perhaps two feet long, which appeared uninterested in him and perhaps being aware that as a lawyer they were kindred spirits. Then the parent showed up, all six feet of quivering venom out to protect its offspring. I never saw a thing.

We readied First Edition for the short trip back to civilization and once underway, got to see the formation of a water spout from a dark cloud overhead. I figured the odds of a shark attack and a run in with a waterspout in the same day were pretty slim, so I managed to control my heart rate.

The number of boats in the anchorage at Hog had more than doubled in size with the upcoming Valentine's Day Party a week away. We tucked in, dinghied ashore to assess the progress on the annex to the Yacht Club, and finished our day with a long shower and clean, crisp sheets, grateful to have all of the body parts attached where they belong.

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