Mozambique Spearfishing Trip Diary - August 2012 by John Little

Thursday 9 Aug

You should always begin at the beginning. Overnighting at Andrews folks place in ballito to leave around 3am Friday morning to arrive at goelela border post by 7. Got a stash of my craft beers to make the evening interesting. Brought a new prop, genuine Yamaha, that Andrew made second hand in a hurry by reversing into the wall. Greg trying to chaff me on the first night but l am not a first date boy. Had to settle for craigie boy instead. Hit the goelela border post at 7. Fines so far hennie broken prop, bermeister arrived late. Bisset worried about snow in the desert and being a serious girl. So far jonny boy clean. Unfortunately something dicey came to light on the first morning. One of the other guys phones was answered by a tired but happy sounding young woman. Not his wife. Andrew confesses to a chick sandwhich. Greg is shocked but bermeister knows these things. Bruno has the flu and the other crowd look half asleep as grant made them leave pmb at 11pm. He does not have a wife. A fine for sure.

Craigie boy spitting mad at border and throwing unsayable words at old couple who jump queue. Another fine. Hennie has a weak bladder so off to the loo again. Think it is no 6.could be prostrate problems at a young age poor boy. Border quick inside but very slow to let vehicles through. Just remembered forgot to do my 70 pushups before bed last night. Blame it on bissets unseemingly attentions. F#&$er. More slagging of pensioners takes place and l remember when hennie split his chin open on our first day in Tanzania shooting a seapike at close range. Had to clean it morning and night with whisky to stop infection. Whizzing through swazi with not much chance of a speed trap. Bisset suggests we all strip. Is this another ruse. Take awhile at moz border as l have british passport and have to get a visa. My first fine. R700 for my troubles. Dogs. Very slow as always getting through Maputo and then the 450 odd kilometres to the cottage. Plenty cops on the way and stick to speed limit. Eventually arrive at cottage at 9.30. long day but great to be there again.

Friday 10 Aug

Sees us heading out to the 12k pinnacles. Viz fair water temp 22 with a thermocline near the bottom. Not ideal. Pinnacle is at 23m but very small and realistically if you are going to the bottom it is 26m+. not much action so move to a secret spot known for big cuda. Pinnacle is 25m and viz better here. First dive down near pinnacle see a bus cuda. Thought it was a shark at first. Ears not working well so cannot get down to it. Me and greg both get 9kg seapike from a big shoal sitting at 20m. lot more action here and plenty kingies on the bottom. Down when l see hennie 5m off the bottom shoot what at first l thought was a big rockcod. Immediately reefs him up in a cave and comes off. Thinking could be difficult getting the spear out in the current. Hennie surfaces and shouts he has just lost a monster iggy. Shit. I see another 18kg cuda but safety is on when go for long shot. Stupid should have had it ground off as you normally do. Andrew gets a decent cuda of 15kgs. Still hoping to find his iggy but no luck. Craigie boy is bakkie and picks me up for another drift. He notices something on the surface and we motor over. It is Andrews iggy a real bus. Greg tries to kill it but fails. Another fine. I kill it and we load it on the boat. What a fish. We hide it in the hatch and pick old hennie boy up. He is really bumbed about his iggy and cannot believe his luck when he sees the fish. One fine less as he did not exaggerate about the size. Fish weighed 45kgs. Pete and crew pull in and we decide to move to 14k. pete follows. On the way we decide to go to 19k pinnacles as good weather. Lots of action here but very aggressive big jonnie hassling us. Craigie boy shows that he probably needs glasses as he horribly underestimates size of shark. Maybe he is not such a bad diver after all. Craigie boy draws the short straw so he will be the girl tonight. Forgot a lost hick hack hock for first bakkie spot again. Cannot seem to shake the losing streak but have a new plan for tomorrow that is gonna work for sure. Head back to the cottage all full of the joys of moz. F#%@ing perfect. Take forever to get rid of the fish but eventually get back to the cottage at 9.30. I get my second fine for complaining to craigie boy about the big mess that l clean up. Messy f#%@s. Dinner fresh cuda braaied and fried with boiled to death potatoes. Delicious. Have a beer or 2 and chill. Everyone tired but happy.

Saturday 11 Aug

Northerly wind up a bit so decide to go to kings as high tide at 10ish. Viz fair but water cold. My plan for hick hack hock works a treat and l am second last bakkie. Bloody ears not working so end up sitting on the boat. Craigie boy whacking the kingies. Reef is alive with bottoms. Great to see and obviously the locals have not been here for some time. Hennie keeps pestering me about reef fish so earns another fine. Ears start to work so move to another spot. Lots of bottoms but no gamies. Head back to the cottage at 11.30 with craigie boy taking the honours with 3 kingies. Hennie greg and me head off to town to buy beers. Decide to do a laurentino reconnaissance mission. Starts to get ugly when we end up at the lesbians spot. Greg smiling and in his element. Me and Andrew both slightly embarrassed. Poor chap. Greg invents another word. YILLTONG. Amazing how clever tipotino and raspberry juice can make you. Boys from camp arrive and look at us with suspicion. Gregs new invention is kept a secret. Head off to Tofu for an early chicken and chips supper with the odd beer thrown in. in bed by 9. Wind pumps through the night

Sunday 12 Aug

Northerly wind has messed up the sea. Everyone hoping for the west to come through and our plan is to launch mid-day Monday and head out to the 19k pinnacle. Andrew puts his shoulder out and over reacts but greg(dr) calms him down and sorts it out. Andrew admits to overreacting and earns another fine. our finances are looking a bit bleak. The laurentino reconnaissance mission was a costly affair. Pete steals the cuda meant for lunch for his pickling fish. Make crab curry for dinner with fresh bread rolls. Andrew is doing the fish braai for lunch with potato wedges. Guys come back from town without having a beer. Bloody fine for sure. Granty boy is in for some fines. Firstly his bow eye broke off and seriously frightened all present to the extent where a trip to the lesbians hangout was needed to get everyone right. Grants second fine comes about as he has always maintained to be very organized. Unfortunately this was not the case on this trip. His bearings packed in and he had to remove his brand new installed mud guards. They were judged illegal by the local police for being too big. Grant continues to whine about the poor state of the roads despite them being 100%. Andrew and I decide to go and get bread rolls and pay the lesbians a quick visit. Lunch fresh cuda beautiful. Everyone gets fired up and we head off to sit in the boat at barra lodge. West is through and the sea has already changed radically for the better. Sea will hopefully be 100s tomorrow. Crab curry was beaut. Greg brings out his dance music but no one is prepared to partner him. Still he plays on hoping. Song is called is this love?? Guys in for an early night and lights are out by 8.

Monday 13 Aug

Southerly blowing 15 20 knots but decide to try for deep pinnacles. Drop the marker on 12k in a rolling sea with lots of white horses. Viz crap and current going. Our marker boy is under but luckily manage to salvage it before heading to kings. Kyle and ti not so lucky and lose their marker buoy on the 8k pinnacles before heading in to kings. A fine for sure. Kings rather dead with just the odd kingie around. All home for lunch. Decide to try the chicken spot at tofu again for dinner. Good choice. Couple of brave girls sitting with us up top. Greg and craig get the dogs name wrong. Billy has the art of begging down to a T. not too brazen and knows how to look sorry for himself. Head back early as tomorrow is the big day weather wise. Andrew gets his finger stuck on the wine barrel and does not seem to be able to stop pouring himself glasses of wine. Manages to invent some new words. Fants and l phew you. This last one directed at greg. They both smile. Perambulator word of the day. Nobody believes me that it means pram. Need to get these guys some more (make you clever) tipotinto juice.

Tuesday 14 Aug

A pearler. Not much wind and sea calm. Straight off to the 19k pinnacles. Grant and co meant to follow but have a secret reef 35km out. Wonder where they got those marks from. Could this be another fine for granty boy. Viz not too good but current much better. Still south north. Andrew sees iggies cuda and wahoo on first drift. All the boys amped. Cheeky shark does not seem to be around. Andrew sees massive wahoo over 40kgs. Need to be down at least 20m to see any fish. Sitting at 16m you do not see much. Big shoal of nice sized rainbow runners which we all bag for sashimi. Andrew has another cracker of a day and we head back for home at 3. Steak rolls and sashimi for dinner with manicas. 2m is like sex on the beach. F#%@ing close to water. At this stage petie boy is winning the gun and has only been here a day or two. His wahoo was 17.6kgs. got to try harder cannot let the young boys beat me.

Wednesday 15 Aug

Northerly wind blows through the night and sea looks bumpy at first light. Decide to go to the point and try for cuda which was probably the wrong choice. Viz not good but current north south. Give kaakap a go but nothing. Must be seasonal. Andrew blaming craig for losing his float line and bungie. Mentions the cost twice. Is he hoping for compensation. Has also been describing in detail his SA record. Grant and co beach and are followed closely by 2 local fishermen running along the beach. Grant crossed their lines whilst they had a sailfish on. Had to replace their lines. Grant gets another fine.

Thursady 16 Aug

Our last day. Buma. Trip has flown past. Time flies when you are having fun. Northerly blowing but not too bad. Sea bumpy but doable. Head to 10k pinnacle to check out conditions. Water cold and even though current has switched it is very quiet. Try a couple of spots but nothing. Head into the point for a last try but also dead. Head back to the cottage for lunch and to get ourselves sorted. We are leaving at 12 midnight to miss traffic and hopefully traffic police. Make clam and fish soup for dinner with fresh bread rolls. Marvellous! In bed by 8.30 as alarm is set for 11.45. Andrew trying to invent the odd new word still. Great trip. Leave cottage at 12.10 and make excellent time home with no problems. Do not slow down for all the towns but decide to for one and sure enough there is the radar gun at 3am. These corrupt traffic cops must be making a packet from bribes to make it worthwhile to sit at 3 in the morning. Borders quick and easy and are home in 14 hours 20 mins. A new record. Cannot wait for the next instalment of this trip.