It was definitely a pretty dang good day “at the office” for these two skin divers this past Saturday.
Diving off Diamond Head to be specific, where more or less it’s pretty much “raked” of fish, and most guys come out pretty much empty handed, even after hours trying. Yeah, couple Tako here and there, mostly on the smaller side. Humu’s, yeah, rubbish fish. Poho. Even these guys said they’ve had days where they’d spend hours out here with nothing to show for it.
Well, yesterday was a nice exception, as they landed three big Kala (the dark brown/grayish colored ones with the “horn”), one MASSIVE Uhu (the third from the right that’s kind of purple and blue over silver, an Oama (the second from the left with an orange colored tail) and and a good sized Kumu, the red one to the far left. All of these reef fish being ono ‘kine broke da’ mout’ winnahz either steamed or pan-fried with shoyu, mirin ginger and garlic. Or whatever floats your fish fry boat.
Not pau yet, his “wing man” also caught a whole line of Menpachi and Aweoweo, with what you can see in the shot above being the Menpachi.
And above being the Aweoweo, which he got two good sized ones. Again, both these fish are fantastic either pan-fried or steamed with garlic and/or ginger and/or Shoyu. Slap ’em ovah rice fo’ da’ win!
They told me a 6 ft. white tip shark followed them for several minutes on this particular dive yesterday, however they were able to fend it off with their spears. They did note a couple times also off Diamond Head, a big tiger shark not just followed, but circled them with catch on their lines, which of course had them way more unnerved, yet again, they stood their ground with spears pointed, and the tiger shark dug out from stalking them on those occasions. “Occasions”. lol
Again it’s worth noting, they launched at 9am in the morning, returning around 12 noon, so it took them a solid 3 hours for the catch you see above. Wow, that’s good time put in, but dinner will be worth it!
While we’re out off Diamond Head, this past week it’s been pretty low tide in the afternoon, when upon a stroll out on the exposed reef there, I happened to come across this massive Sea Cucumber…
Yeah, I know what you think it looks like, but yes, it’s a Sea Cucumber, and a huge one at that! I wear a size 10 shoe (or sandal in this case), and this Sea Cucumber’s a good 2/3rd the size of it. It kind of morphs in shape from long to oblong, as it’s filled mostly with sea water. It ‘s also not defensive, pretty much just “sitting” there minding its own business, and if you touch it, it just sort of squirms a bit. Like “hey, if you want to kill me and eat me, go ahead, make my day.” lol
While I didn’t Google the whole gist of this creature, if you just came across it, you’d be like, “Why does this exist? what function does it serve in the marine ecosystem?”
Somewhat contrary to it’s appearance, this Sea Cucumber has a tough, thick-skinned leathery feel to its outer “skin”, not really that slippery ‘n slimy, while of course being kind of “squishy” when you press on it. And when you do press on it, it squirts sea water out from one end. Pretty hilarious, actually. It also is very adhesive to the reef it’s sitting on, where I couldn’t just pick it up, nor did I try to pry it off, which is what would have been necessary to do so.
As you might imagine, this bizarre looking Sea Cucumber is known to have many medicinal health benefits when eaten, from fighting cancer to, you of course, enhancing libido. Thankfully I still don’t need that so I didn’t eat it. lol Some say it tastes like a “briny clam”, to some saying it has no taste at all. I’m not really inclined to find out, either way.
While we’re on good eatin’ fish, I was in Don Quijote today checking out their seafood section, where they had these…
Parrotfish (Uhu, this being a red female, however males are blue), $9.49/lb. @ Don Quijote
Hawaiian Pink Snapper (Opakapaka), $12.99/lb. @ Don Quijote
Goatfish (Kumu), $19.99/lb. @ Don Quijote
I’ll wrap this up by sharing a few fishing tales. No actually, I personally don’t have much to tell, as believe it not, while I grew up in Hawaii surrounded by the ocean and loved it my entire life, I’ve NEVER been a fisherman. Why? Nobody in my family liked fishing, so I wasn’t influenced nor taught how to do it. My dad’s hobby on the weekend was playing golf and sitting on his “damned green chair” watching NFL football and other sports. My mom’s hobby was gardening and hanging out with the family. Sisters weren’t into it either, nor were my close friends. The closest I got to fishing was occasionally casting a bamboo pole off Heeia Kea pier, catching mostly small Manini and rock crabs.
Sometimes my neighbor would take me with them net crabbing in the stream by Kailua Beach Park (right in front of Buzz’s), when back then had plenty blue pincer crabs (and the stream was cleaner). We’d steam them and eat it with ketchup. Was so ono!
The family of a good friend of mine used to own and operate a long line commercial fishing boat (Honolulu Harbor based), when he told me their biggest pain in the @ss was guess what? Pilot Whales. Yup, the pilot whales would sometimes follow their boat (especially at night, right under the boat like stalkers) and eat all the Big Eye tuna off their line, leaving nothing left but the heads. So there was times they’d bring the line in and have nothing on it but Ahi heads. Just the heads! That gotta’ SUCK! Not to mention a costly waste of time and fuel! He also once almost got his hand bit off by an aggressive, constantly thrashing Mako Shark he had to remove off the line.
The best was when he’d give us some of their long line by catch like Opah and Monchong. Oh man, ever since then, Monchong is still my favorite fish, being it’s super fatty. It’s a pain in the @ss to clean (the scales are super challenging), but once you get past that, Monchong is the best!
P.S. Here’s more spear diving catch off Diamond Head from the past two days, per post edit as of 12.14.16…
These were caught spear diving off Diamond Head on Saturday, November 13, 2016…
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