Thursday, May 24, 2012

Tuna Fishing

Tuna Fishing

article by Paul Shelling

Almost a week of fine weather with hardly any breeze, with the sea calm by Pitcairn Island standards, enticed many of the keen fishermen out to catch some fish. There were wahoo and yellow fin tuna waiting to be caught, along with many other smaller varieties.

Vaine invited Juergen and me, (Paul), out for a morning’s fishing and we certainly enjoyed ourselves.  Fishing can be fun even without catching fish but with Vaine, a local expert, seeking out the best places to troll, a catch was guaranteed.

The first strike was on the south side of the island about one or two miles out, when Juergen’s line snapped tight and five minutes of furious pulling brought a magnificent looking Yellow Fin Tuna to the side of Vaine’s newly refurbished boat. I am sure Juergen’s eyes were almost popping out of his head when the gaff went into this beautiful fish and with a heave it was in the front of the boat, the beautiful colours glistening in the early sun.  He could hardly believe that he had caught such a fabulous fish.

There was another 20 minutes to wait before the next strike. This time it was me hauling in the line with another Yellow Fin coming ever closer to the boat. It was much smaller than the first one but still the best fish I have ever caught. Within a few minutes it was laying in the front of the boat with the bigger one.

Soon after Juergen had a huge tug on his line but within seconds it went slack, the lure taken away into the depths. The next two hours were spent trying to find more but to no avail, and we headed back towards Bounty Bay. Suddenly Juergen felt another promising tug and woke from his dreaming to find Vaine almost falling off his seat laughing. Quickly assessing the situation he realised the source of the tug was not a fish.

On the approach to Bounty Bay four more good fish were landed but none as big and as exciting as the Yellow Fin’s. Thank you Vaine for a great morning’s fishing.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Frozen Rat

One Frozen Rat

A frozen rat is not the usual thing you would expect to see in Doctor Kevin’s medical clinic deep freeze.  Why exactly does he have this rat neatly packaged and ready for transportation to New Zealand? 
This is the famous Henderson Island rat, subject of an expensive and time consuming eradication project. When the National Geographic team was on Henderson Island they spotted this little fellow peering out of the undergrowth.  Where there is one rat, there are usually more, so this news was greeted with dismay. We had all hoped that the one concerted effort of the rat eradication team in 2011 had been sufficient to rid Henderson Island of all the pesky little vermin. Not so, some rats survived and still need to be exterminated so that the natural bird life of Henderson can recover and thrive. 
Grant Harper, a specialist from New Zealand arrived on the yacht ‘Xplore’ and then was joined by Pitcairn Islanders Pawl Warren, Sue O’Keefe and Ariel Brown for a trip out to Henderson to ascertain the degree of the problem. A sample rat was brought back and lucky Doctor Kevin has the privilege of storing it for a few weeks. The medical clinic is the only place that has 24 hour power to keep the medicines at the correct temperature.