Kawau Is. 2 Feb 2014

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Kawau Is. 2 Feb 2014

Postby Phantom Menace » Mon Feb 03, 2014 6:36 pm

I got out to Kawau Is. on Sunday arvo with my son (14) nephew (13) and brother. The plan was to give the boys a bit of a taste of free-diving / spearfishing and also find somewhere for a short knee-board session. I wanted to head round the eastern side and possibly out to Flat Rock but as we approached Challenger Is. you could see very steep faces on very short period seas and lots of white water. The current was fair honking out from Challenger - more than usual due to the king tide flow I suspect. The corner by Challenger was pretty bad and although it eased up a little once past Challenger I decided I didn't want to toss the two boys in the water round there so we turned back and tucked in on the inside (Western) of Challenger. Vis was surprisingly good in patches.

Nephew and brother jumped in with an Ocean Hunter hapa pole spear (with float attached) while I sorted out the boat (and myself) with Joshua. They saw a few kingfish and called out to me to get over with a gun - but I was too late. It was the first time either of them had seen a kingfish in the water so they were stoked.

I gave my brother my gun and he and the nephew headed off towards the southern end of Challenger while my son and I headed north towards Kawau. My brother saw another kingi he estimated at 1.2m+ but he didn't take a shot. Once we met up again I told him the gun would have handled it easily (120 cm Picasso with double rubbers).

Joshua and I mucked round a bit with Josh using my 110 Freedivers and I did a dive on some rocks / weed and saw a 4kg snapper I could have easily shot if I had a gun in my hand. I lay in the weed pointing my finger at it taking imaginary shots :) My son shot a couple of Goat fish (which taste OK) and was happy. There was a reasonable amount of fish life round - including quite a few bareley legal snapper over the sand but we left them alone and just watched.

Next stop - scallops. I ended up picking up our quota of 80 (only the second scallop session of the season for me). My brother got in the water to help but was struggling to get to the bottom easily (11m+) so I had to do most of it myself. Best dive was 10 legal on one breath.

Oh, I also swam down on to a hammerhead shark on one dive on the scallop bed. It would have been about 1.5m long. The shark boosted off in a hurry as I swam down on to it – I hadn't seen a hammerhead in the water before (I have seen a couple from the boat).

Overall a good day – especially when the conditions were taken into account. The good thing was that the two boys seemed to have a bit of fun.
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Re: Kawau Is. 2 Feb 2014

Postby ChuckyBob » Tue Feb 04, 2014 3:31 pm

Nice report. I have had some great dives at Kawau.

Goat fish are known as red mullet in europe where they are considered a good eat. Not so highly rated here. Perhaps because they dont take a bait and there for not caught often??

Dont forget legal limit of scallops is 20 per diver and up to 2 lots of 20 more for boat crew. So to get 80 you would need 2 divers gathering and 2 boat crew which is what I am sure you had.
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Re: Kawau Is. 2 Feb 2014

Postby Phantom Menace » Tue Feb 04, 2014 4:05 pm

Yeah we were OK on the gathering side of things with my brother and I doing it. He hadn't done much free-diving for quite a few years but he got there. The two lads got in the water and had a go at different times and were both measuring (re-confirming), counting and keeping an eye out for boats - although there were not too many out there that day.

My son is turning out to be pretty competent on the sea (safety, radio comms, boat handlng etc.) although it is only recently that he has expressed an interest in getting in the water with me.

I heard from friends who got out to Flat Rock that afternoon that the sea state was somewhat bumpy and relatively strong currents were running (king tide) so it sounds like I made the right call to not take the boys out there - although the blue water was in and it was relatively fishy too.
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Re: Kawau Is. 2 Feb 2014

Postby ChuckyBob » Tue Feb 04, 2014 4:06 pm

Yeah, my guess is there would have been huge currents out at Flat Rock.
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Re: Kawau Is. 2 Feb 2014

Postby Phantom Menace » Tue Feb 04, 2014 4:09 pm

Yeah, the guys that were out there had a line fisherman with them to act as boatman (due to the current).

It sounds like the line fisho hardly got any bites but the spearos sent him home with a couple of fish.
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