Posted by: Carol | May 15, 2009

Shark Chumming

2009 South Pacific

CBParker_D3_20090511_2009-05-11SharkFeed2-061-Edit.jpgWe changed our plans a bit – bad weather was forecast for around Niue that we wanted to avoid, also due to hit Tonga in about six or seven days, so we decided to leave Suwarrow and head straight for Tonga to be sure we were settled in to the very nice safe harbor in Vava’u before the weather hit. We departed Suwarrow Monday afternoon, expecting to arrive in Tonga during the wee hours of Friday morning, except in Tonga it is really Saturday instead of Friday. Gets confusing sometimes – just hope we don’t get mixed up and miss our flight home! We leave on the 26th from Tonga, connect in Samoa the 25th (day before!), then arrive in LA on the 26th, same day we left only earlier!

Had some fun chumming the little sharks off Raven and scuba diving to get photos from underwater. Did it two days in a row – the first day I stayed too far away (wonder why!) and the photos didn’t turn out great. Then I figured out the behavior pattern better and was brave enough to move in (a little!) and got much better pictures the next day. Still not ready to move in for close-ups of teeth and bait!!

We caught our bait (tuna heads) by going out to the pass in the dinghy and racing up and down at fairly high speed with me sitting in the bottom of the boat hanging on to the fishing line with both (gloved) hands. Didn’t dare sit on the nice cushiony edge of the dinghy with no free hands to hang on to the boat – the water was rough and I surely would have bounced overboard. The trouble with sitting on the hard bottom crashing over the waves is that you bounce up and down on an unyielding surface. That’s bad enough, but after catching the first fish then you also have to avoid sliding down into blood, fish, and the nice sharp gaff hook.

Entertaining anyhow in its way, and we caught two tuna. Had another bite that got away, after which we didn’t catch any fish on that line; when we reeled it in we realized that the “nibble” had severed the line and taken away lure and hook. Maybe a shark, or else a really big tuna with sharp teeth. Hard to catch fish on just fishing line!


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