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Saturday, August 27, 2011

Free Diving for Lobsters...

I saw something which I thought to be somewhat unusual while tied off to a mooring ball in Dinner Key Harbor the other day.

It was mid morning when a small power boat could be seen sporting a dive flag while slowly trailing a line with a free diver hanging on to the bitter end. The diver was equipped with all but the tanks and was evidently searching for what must have been lobster.

Not surprisingly, the boat along with the diver were soon venturing off elsewhere in search of whatever they were hoping to spear.

As far as I can remember, lobsters prefer rocky crevices and places to hide. The relatively shallow and grassy bottom of Dinner Key Harbor would seem to me to make it an unlikely spot to find a random lobster.

All of which had me thinking back to when I too use to go in search of lobster while previously cruising throughout the Exumas aboard S/V BratCat.

Free diving throughout the pristine waters in the Bahamas was most certainly an exhilarating experience. It was always a joy to load up the dinghy with my snorkeling gear along with a bucket and head on out to the reefs.

The lobster's feelers could often times be readily be seen extending out from underneath the rocky ledges in the crystal clear waters. With experience I could later readily identify the places lobsters were most likely to be hiding.

From depths of up to thirty or so feet, I would purposely hyper-ventilate and then slowly dive while periodically equalizing the pressure exerted on my ear drums. Once down below, I'd exert some tension on the sling, aim and then release.

Surfacing involved the same discipline... slow and easy while constantly doing a 360 degree corkscrew while keeping an eye out for any predators that might be interested in coming after the speared and bleeding lobster at the end of my Hawaiian sling.

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