Oh allrighty.. I'll throw a few of Dereks photos in with mine then.Day 3
Alarm set for 5am, but neither of us made it there. Wandered down to the common room at around 4-something-or-other, where we encountered one bleary-eyed backpacker who was probably just heading to bed, as we were getting up for the morning.
We were tempted to do a bit of crashing and banging around in the kitchen to repay our night-owls (I suspect they were actually making up new notes; 'Waltzing Matilda' in H-minor, is a sound that makes you want to hide under your pillow).. but we decided that poor hungover backpackers were too easy to target, so we quietly ate our brekkie to the sounds of calling tree frogs.
Collected the yaks from where they were sitting in the hotel manager's yard next door (nice guys - even lent us some squid jigs for the trip), and commenced the walk down to the launch point.
The barest hint of morning light greeted us at the ramp, with a few sleepy stars still poking their heads through the increasingly obscure veil of earth's atmosphere. After a bit of stuffing around to finalise preparations, and to wait for the light to be 'just right', we launched the yaks into the water.
Medium range wind predictions from seabreeze told us that the first day would have a bit of wind hanging around - maybe around 12 knots or so. That'd give us a reasonable bit of assistance out to the island.
As it was though..
Ahh well - such is life. Looks like the mirage drive's going to get a bit of a work-out today.
Derek made contact with Keppel Sands coast guard (We'd sent them an email a few days before, with contact details, trip plan, and so on), and logged in for the trip across.
Looking out on the horizon, it was pretty obvious we were going to get a bit of fog, so we made sure that the GPS was fired up, and that we had a compass bearing for Great Keppel (Humpy's a little bit small a target, from this distance), and set out.
I had two rods trolling, and one with a SP for a bit of reef work on the way. One trolling rod had a nice big egg beater, with 40-odd pound mono. The other had 6 pound braid, and 10 pound leader. A trifle underdone for your average pelagic, but I thought I'd give it a run.
We had just started to settle in to our stride, around half an hour out or so, and were nearing Pelican Island ( http://maps.google.com.au/maps?hl=en&ie ... 5&t=h&z=15
), when we were startled out of our reverie..Bang..
the light rod gets yanked backwards, nearly jumping out of the rod holder..
The heavy rod thuds in the holder, making the kayak ring, and slew slightly sideways.
I grab the light rod, since that was the one that had practically jumped into my hands, and reach across to tighten the drag on the heavy one slightly - both reels sounding like crazy summer cicadas, screaming away.
Then, the light gear inevitably gives way, with the fish chomping straight through the leader, and heading off into the wide blue yonder.
It's about this point that I notice that Derek's rod has buckled over, and he is now frantically grabbing for the straining broomstick. A fish launches from the water behind him, trying desperately to grab his other trolled lure, which is now flailing around on the surface - but misses, and continues south. Tuna.. it was a tuna. You ripper!
I toss the light rod into the holder, and desperately grab for the heavy gear, in the hope that it's still connected, and feel that sinking feeling as I realise that both fish have made it off. I quickly bring in the remaining lure, and go for a quick wide circuit around Derek's yak, in the hope that the school is still hanging around.. but they've gone.
I bring in all the gear, and fire up the camera to record Derek's fight.
There's no way we can eat that fish. Hell.. at this stage of the trip, with all our gear on board, there's no way we can even CARRY that fish! So after a brief camera pose or two, back into the water she goes, to belatedly join her mates on their way south.
We continue on towards Pelican rock, with the fog gradually closing in.
<Day 3, part 2, coming soon, detailing the remainder of the trip out, plus our arrival on Humpy...>