As I headed out of port the sun twinkled off the shimmering ocean. With white yachts off all sized gently bobbing in the turquoise waters of the Whitsunday Islands I knew I was in for a great adventure and some big fish. The first thing I passed was an ocean cruise liner in harbour for the day anchored two kilometres from shore and ferrying tourists and holiday makers to the local arts and craft markets.
As the motor purred along like a content kitten the fresh winter air was very pleasant on my face. I took in the beautiful scenery with coastal hills on my left and distant islands on the horizon to my right. On a day like today you leave all your worries at shore as I scooted out into bluer and bluer water.
I headed out further and further until I had no more islands in front of me and I could no longer see the mainland behind me. As I slowed the boat down it looked as though the ocean and sky had turned into one. I almost couldn't tell where the ocean stopped and the sky started.
I saw birds working schools of Garfish a few hundred meters ahead, then a fish exploded beside my boat. They where Finny Scad, a relative of the Tuna family. Quite long and slender with hugely exaggerated pictorial fins jutting out from their sides. These where very fun fish to catch, until.....
The sharks moved in. The first Scad to be mauled resulted in me boating a breathing head! The second Scad was taken whole by a 3 meter Whaler, which I locked the drag up on my reel to snap the 20 pound leader only to lose my jig but not the 200m of braid I had on my spool.
Before sunset I found a deserted little beach on a very remote island. The sun set as I ate a pre cooked chicken I had purchased that morning. The sound of the waves was very soothing and relaxing as I watched the sun set over another island way off to the west. Sipping on fortified Wine I supplemented the chicken with some nice fresh salad, and my dinner and day was complete.
But the night was now just about to start. On over night missions I almost always take a submersible light for attracting squid and small fish. Illuminating the clear ocean depths never takes long to entice day seeking critters to venture right to the side of my boat. And the voracious squid are never far behind. On this occasion though, the Garfish or Bally-Whoo came in thick and fast. About a dozen of which managed to jump into my boat without any coaxing from me, I will save those for later, and maybe even cook them up if I don't see squid soon.
I moved to another island driving the 15km in complete darkness fearing I might bump into a sleeping whale, it was quite nerve racking. But at the new spot (out of the wind and waves), I caught 6 Squid in short succession. The last being bigger than the first 5 put together.
I was tired and set up my bed on the front deck of the boat as well as covering myself from the settling dew under a hammock cover strung between the electric motor and the polling platform on the rear of my vessel. I had a reasonable sleep, but was kept awake by the constant waves slapping the side of my hull.
The following morning was very pretty to wake up to and the laughter of the Kookaburra's woke me well before sunrise. This was pleasant as I wanted to try for some big GT again.
The wind did come up really fast and slowed my progress. I cast and cast and cast, but I couldn't raise a singe decent fish.
So I explored a small creek on a nearby island. The water around me was crystal clear and reminded me of a saltwater fish tank. I prepared the largest of the squid, keeping the internal organs for later use. The squid was cut into small square pieces and crumbed in Pop Corn. The shallow fried in peanut oil. I ate the crispy delicious squid with a beautiful fresh garden salad made from avocado, lettuce, tomato and a few more goodies.
But before I could eat the delicious meal a small shark circled my boat, which I thought was spectacular. I threw him small pieces of squid which he ate with gusto. Another wild adventure with some cool critters and tasty food cooked in the wild.