A gorgeous morning, almost devoid of wind! Since we had the morning free before our fellow Baltimore Marine Center boating friends, Dan and Trish, were due to arrive in the mid-afternoon, Ron and I decided to go out lobstering in Eclipse on the Caicos Bank. Neither of us felt like running all the way out to either West Caicos or French Cay to dive, so lobstering was a great choice! We discovered that many of the random rocky coral head groupings on the Caicos Bank are perfect lairs for the spiny lobster: filled with plenty of holes, overhanging ledges and deep crevices in which to hide! We used our glass bottom bucket to scout out the coral heads, and found several spots filled with lots of lobster, although most were too small to take. (Being well into lobster season, the easy pickings are clearly gone.)
It was a bit hard to get used to lobstering without a Hawaiian sling! Turks and Caicos fishing regulations dictate that no fishing is to be done while on scuba, and no spear guns or spear slings are allowed. One can only take lobster by hand or by snare, which we discovered is a hell of a lot harder than it sounds! We also decided that the T&C lobster are much wilier than their Bahamian counterparts, for they refused to be flushed out by either the tickle-stick or the snare, and they were quick as can be when finally forced to move! Ron eventually managed to snag one -- this after two hours of swimming and diving down 7-15’ in a pretty good current. We found that we had to be move more slowly and be painstakingly patient when taking lobster by hand, which isn’t so easy on a single breath of air! Definitely a lot of work and only a meager reward this time! But...despite the score, with the lobsters winning , at least we didn't strike out like we did last time! We feel we have a pretty good handle on how to do it now, so perhaps the next attempt will be even more successful. We can hope!
After a few hours of prepping the boat for guests and an easy departure tomorrow, Ron got a ride to the airport to meet Dan and Trish, so that he could drive them back in their rental car. Ron, Dan and Trish arrived back at the marina about 4 o’clock; we didn’t do anything but relax and catch up over sunset drinks, as it’s been over a year since we’ve seen them! It seems hard to believe it’s been that long since we were at BMC together! They still keep their 52’ Hatteras, Serenity, at BMC and cruise the Chesapeake as often as ever. We talked the night away as we feasted aboard on fabulously grilled steaks, steamed broccoli and tortellini with pesto. An early night after all their travels, but not before watching the myriad of small reef fish attracted to the underwater lights off our stern. Nice to have them aboard!