Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Zululand Spearfishing Yacht Adventure

The Nomad somewhere off the east coast.
I have just returned from an epic spearfishing adventure off the Zululand coast with Trevor Foster Black a freediving enthusiast and his business partner Ben Schoff. We sailed out of Richards Bay on the Nomad a 50ft catamaran and headed north towards the boarder.

The first night was fairly hairy as we went straight into a 35knt south west wind. I guess it was good for getting up north - not so good easing into the sea legs dept. The weather worked out well in the end with light southerlies pushing us up the coast and then a gental north east wind brought us back 5 days later.

Ben soaking in the deep blue.
 We were very blessed to have nothing but perfect diving conditions, with visibility ranging from 20m - 30m. This trip was all about the secluded dive spots up the coast that we rarely dive because they are just too far from anywhere practical by a beach launch.

Some of the places I have not dived in years and it was good to see those pristine reefs in the far corners of Zululand. Its funny how all the fish that know you are not allowed to hunt seem to come right up to you almost 'laugh' at you. Off Banganek one large shoal of big Twin Spot Snappers had me freaking out, it was absolutely amazing to see.
Trevor loving the spoils.
Trevor an avid freediver took to spearfishing like a duck to water. After some the basic technical spearfishing issues where grasped, it was just a matter of finding the fish. His best dive was off Mabibi were he shot 2 lovely Couta which became instant sushimi and again dinner later that night.

Hunting Kakaap how ever turned out to be the most fun .. even though they were frustrating at times. I had a really beautiful oversized one taken by  Potato bass. Fortunately this was the only fish we lost the whole trip. We did not even get hassled by the sharks too much, much to the guys disappointment I think. We even dived 9 mile on the way home hoping to spice things up and alas no sharks.

The most relaxed way to spearfish?
The yacht trip was epic, dive all day ... eat fish most meals. I even, much to Ben's protest, begged to have steak on the way back home ....  I guess thats how you know that you are doing thinks properly :-)
So on the way home, with a gental North East pushing us at 12knts we had a braai with a couple beers on the back and watched the sun set as we ended our trip. It was too fantastic for words.

Coatesman


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