Coral Sea encore
Nov 20, 2006
Seems like deja vu...a few hours to go until the next departure for the Coral Sea working with the charter company Nomad Sportfishing, this time to Flinders Reef. The last month's work at Marion Reef featured epic fishing for dogtooth tuna, coral trout, giant trevally, sailfish, and other denizens, all in a nearly untouched, pristine setting. My wife Wendy and son Ryan flew in on the Cessna Caravan seaplane to join the mothership for the last week of the charters, joining a couple of offshore forays on the game boat Saltaire, and beachcombing on the isolated sand cays, and snorkeling in the lovely clear shallows. As they pulled in to the mothership aboard the seaplane, a large tiger shark swam right under the pontoons, and Ryan's eyes were the size of golf balls. The 17-foot fishing skiff I drove most of the time was on three occasions attacked by sharks, twice by the same big silvertip shark, and once in the lagoon shallows by a very aggressive gray reef shark. In each case, the sharks threw themselves at the outboard propellor, hitting it so hard that it jarred the boat and threw us off balance. The outboard was in gear at the time of the gray reef shark attack, and it actually stalled the engine. On the last afternoon Wendy, Ryan, and I had a chance to snorkel and collect fish for our home aquarium. I'll be back home in Mooloolaba in early December for cyclone season...I'll check in again then.