Thursday, November 25, 2010

Bad luck car crash.

Hi there,

So last Sunday I was in some sort of little car crash while on my way to my Unicycle lesson.
Bad luck more than anything else, but as always I had my seat belt and that I am sure, made a difference in the final result.

I have to thank Ms K, my unicycle instructor, as she was quickly on the spot after I called her to say that I would have to cancel the day lesson.
She was very supportive and took care of our car by getting it under cover at her place.
That was a great help at a time when Ms Frugal and I needed it.
Ms K acted as a true friend, at a not so easy time in her own life, thank you for that.

Ms. Frugal did a post of the story on her blog, so I won't write about it for too long.

Basically I was just slowing down to let a big Blue Tongue cross the road when a guy hit the back of my little car with his four wheels drive.
This will teach me to care for our wild life...
Just kidding...

The truth is that i am just very happy to still be able to walk on my feet.
I am just a bit worried about the whiplash now.

Even if we don't have a car any more, as it is a total write-off...

But hey, it could be worse.
Have a good day,

Sunday, November 21, 2010

First test with the pinhole camera

Hi there,

I have this old and absolutely obsolete digital camera, with no resale value...
But somehow I like this old one.
So I did with it something that I wanted to try for a long time.
I transformed it into a pinhole camera.

When I say I transformed it, this is a bit of an exaggeration as really I just bought an accessory that did the deed for me.

And this is my first few test with it...
Nothing special, but I still like it so far, and I am sure that with practice I should be able to do something nice, if not good with it.

So here we go:

First test.

Second one.

And the third one.

I like the soft kind of dreamy nature of the images produced with this technique.
I think that I will try to do some landscape with it, and see what is possible.

It is not prize winning photography yet...

But hey, it could be worse.
Have a good day,

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

So much rain that it was a storm

Hi there,

Today we had a big storm...
As we had been flooded on a similar day in the last wet season, I rushed home from work during my lunch break, and the rain was pretty strong.

Our street started to get flooded...

Water from one side of the street to the other.

Then the water was rising and cars could not go down the street anymore.

I started to think about sand bags...

So I went and dug some sand from the little one sandpit and made some sand bags from it. Got drenched doing it.
Started to put them in front of the door, but the water was starting to go down.

So we did not get flooded this time. Yet I have trouble to understand how the council can say that every thing is alright and under control when we get either flooded or nearly flooded every years.

Where is a good planer when we need one?
This remind me of a song from the Pet Shop Boys that go a bit like this: Where is a policeman when we need one...
Strange how the brain works and makes some association sometimes...

But hey, it could be worse.
Have a good day,

Monday, November 15, 2010

We went Tuna Fishing.

Hi there,

And we got some!

Double Haul invited me to go for a half day chasing tuna around the Fenton Patch.
Yes I know, Double Haul chasing Tuna might sound like an anachronism to some of you, specially when it is not billfish season...
But hey, I was not going to question the invitation!
With my first ever Tuna boated just a fortnight ago, I was more than keen!

So we left the Dina Beach boat ramp early on Sunday morning, with not so many cars in the parking so the launch was rapid and without trouble.

As we arrived to the level of the 6 Miles buoy the water was not as flat as we were hoping for and we tried to drop down some jig a a short while to try to see what we were going to do.
With no bite there the skipper decided to go for Fenton Patches.
And in retrospect, that was a very good decision.

So we start to cruise toward our destination looking for flocks of birds, that would indicate where to found our quarries.

The first flock directed to a school of tuna that would only stay on top for a few seconds.
Basically the time to cast and by the time a lure would touch the water, they would be gone.

So Double Haul sighted another one that was much bigger and zoomed on them.
As we arrived, I was excited, but it was not too bad yet.
So I remembered what he had told me two weeks ago and looked at the direction in which the birds were flying and diving and tried to cast just in front of them, it was a nice cast. Then I did as I had been told: Count to four... And retrieve faster, faster, faster! 
And Bang the line tensed and I was on! 

First cast in this school, and I had a fish on the line!
Double Haul casted too, and got a fish on the line too! It was the first double hook up for the morning!
But only one fish made it to the boat and it was mine... 
The fish gave a nice fight but not as furious as I remembered... 
Was I starting to get blazed? 
No, upon inspection the fish had a wound, from a former encounter with what might have been a shark or a mackerel or something that wanted to do a meal out of him...
But he was going to be my meal and ended up in the esky.

Happy like a kid with a new toy!

At the next school Double Haul was on.
In fact he didn't cast at the school as they had dived by the time we arrived on them, But he saw them swimming in the water on the side of the boat. So he did a rather short cast, and as soon as he started to get his lure back he was on! That was crazy we could see them swimming so close to the boat and so fast! I tried to lob a lure on them a few time but they were no takers. A few follow up, which is nearly as good, but no takers for me.

Then next school, and He was on again, and them me! Second double hook up of the day! 
You could have heard us laugh like to excited kids! But once again just one fish was boated.
But that was still great all this action.

And at one stage speeding from one school to another one, as I was sitting near the front of the boat, at the ready for our next assault, I saw a little sea turtle swimming on the left of the boat, slightly on our left and aiming to our right.
I started to think that the poor little thing was going to attempt to cross our past and started to worry for it and told Double Haul: Hey there is a small turtle just in front! He said what? And by the time I looked at it again it was safely on our right.

It seem that when they want to they can swim pretty fast these turtle...

Then we got some more tuna and Double Haul got as many as I...

At one stage I had a tuna on the deck, and he started to regurgitate (a nice word to vomit really) some of the little fish he had swallowed before taking the lure. I was amazed at how small they were, and then understood why people alway told me that if I wanted some tuna I should use the smaller lure possible.
We made a photo of it, with a little fish in my hand to get and idea of scale... 
So yes I can now say that for "science and mass education" I have had some Tuna vomit on my hand.
I hope that you will appreciate the effort... 

This is Tuna's food, in the name of science...

We then stopped on a mark and dropped some bait while we had lunch.

We then chased some more tuna and started to make our way back.
Stopped again to the six miles buoy o see if we could get a red or two. (Red fish, not red wine...).
But they didn't want to play so we went to the Larrakeya rock wall and looked for Trevally but didn't find them either.
Which as much as I like catching Trevally, did not make me sad at all.
This tuna fishing thing is fantastic and as your at it you don't realise. 
But once you stop, and the adrenaline slow down, I felt spent...
And that was just one morning of it.

So we made it to the ramp were it was pretty calm again with not too many people.
Appart one lady cuting Double Haul trailer, she must have been in a hurry...

So we were back nice and early at around 2:30 and I had 4 tuna in the esky.
So yes this week it will be Tuna week at Pecheur's home.
Lucky me that my family love them as much as i do.

Nice good food!

And because we were early I still had the time to go for my Sunday unicycle lesson...
By bed time I started to think that this had been way too much exercise in a day for me, and just hit the sack like a log.

That was a really good morning and lunch on the water.
And the more it goes the more I like tunas!
I like to fish them, and I like to eat them...

Thanks again Double Haul, I had a really good time.

So we did not see any Mackerel or big GTs.
But hey, it could be worse.
Have a good day,

Friday, November 12, 2010

Blogs VS. Reality TV.

Hi there,

For a few days now, I have been wondering about a possible link between the huge numbers of blogs on the web, and the popularity of reality TV shows...
Could we find a nearly filial relationship between the two medium?

Are most of personal blogs just a cheap and maybe more direct, less edited and prepped  experience than Survivor, X Factor, Big Brother, Tool Academy, Keeping Up with the Kardashians and other?
Is this what makes the success of today's blog phenomenon?

From a very long time people have been writing personal diary, but since how long have they been willing to share out these diary with who ever want to read them?
With very little control on the potential or actual readers, yet still being excited by personal rating in terms of visitors, followers and comments.

Some blogs are very personal and describe some very private thoughts or situation, and would in very recent times have been seen as either exhibitionism or breach of privacy.
Are personal blogs another chip taken from the mantle of privacy?
Or are blogs authors always in control of what is written and shown on the different blogs to be found out there?

Is having a successful blog a way for the commoner, to attain a semblance of fame aspired by so many in our celebrity driven society?

Certainly I do not have the answers for all of these questions. But this is some of the things that keep my brain busy lately...
I am sure that someone must have done a PhD on the topic, I would be interested to read about it.

In fact it is a bit like life, so many question, an so few certitude...

But hey, it could be worse.
Have a good day,

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The morning after.

Hi there,

So it was the Monday morning, after the Halloween weekend, and I took my little one to the corner shop. To buy some milk for the rice bubble.
As we were waiting in the queue to pay for the milk, my little one looked at the lady in front of us, dressed in a floral dress full of colours, and asked her with a big smile: "Did you get this dress for Halloween?"

The lady was not too impressed, and mumbled something, paid for her shopping and left without a smile for any one...
The shop assistant gave us a big smile and asked my little one how she was doing today.

So even if I found it somewhat fun, I may have to try to teach her to be carful when asking questions to total strangers. Simply because some people don't understand that they should relax, and take what is coming from a nearly 4 years old with a grain of salt.

But hey, it could be worse.
Have a good day,

Monday, November 1, 2010

My first Tuna.

Hi there,

So it all started as usual, with me dropping my gears at Double Haul house on the Friday evening, after work. A quick little chat about what we were going to do, and this is when things started to change. Double Haul told me to get my spinning outfit, and a tray of metal slugs… You can guess my excitement, not only we were to go and chase Sailfish over the coming weekend, but I was going to be allowed to cast some chrome slices to the rampaging Tuna school that we might come across…
Now, some of you might know, that spinning, is definitely one of my favourite form of fishing, and that I was yet to boat a Tuna… Are you starting to get the clue?

So on Saturday, like before most fishing trip, I woke up before the alarm clock rang, kissed my beloved ones, and was waiting on the footpath for Double Haul to arrive.
Like a kid with a head full of hopes.

He arrived and off we went. The drive to Dundee seemed quick, and the tractor guys know their job and got us in the water in no time. The water was flat and nice.

Flat water.

The plan for the weekend was to spend part of the first day chasing the Sailfish, troll a Mack lure at the same time, (yes I like my Mackerel). And then latter in the day, to reef fish for reefies and maybe some Jewfish too…

So once at the mark we deployed the teaser, and started trolling. As a Mackerel lure I throw behind the boat a spanking Max from Halco thinking that this 80gr, long hard body lure would be the best for the job at hand. In less time than it takes to write it, the rod with the Mackerel lure bent and the reel started to sing! No pulsed by the fact that I was not even holding the rod at this precise time I said loudly: I am ON! Double Haul looked at me calmly and said: that was quick… So as I started to reel in my big Mackerel, Double Haul found himself with the task of getting the other rods and the teaser, all of which had just been dropped in the water, back in the boat. I was the deckie having all the fun while the skipper was doing the hard work… Then he came to my side and asked how I was doing. I said that I was just hoping not to loose this Mac.
Then the Mack started to do one or two circle under the boat. Some of you might start to have an idea of what kind of Mack that was, but to me that was an exciting fish pulling his weight. Then Double Haul asked is it a Mack or a Tuna? Why on hearth would he ask such a thing? I had this big Mack lure at the end of a wire trace, and on the hooks of it was an angry big Mack fighting as good as they do…
Well yes once again the experienced skipper knew before the pumped up deckie what was going on, and the Mack turned out to be a long tail tuna.
Now don’t get me wrong, I was still pretty excited about it. My first tuna, and it was big!
But Double Haul said that it was just a baby and put it back in the water.
So that was no Mack…

Then a Mack jumped with one of the squid from the teaser in his mouth instead of my lure… Like if he wanted to tease me…

Then we saw something strange in the water, and decided to get close and investigate.
It was a group of young Manta ray playing in the water, all swimming in circle, a very nice spectacle.

Then another Mack grabbed a lure behind the boat, but it was a sailfish lure, and it did not hook, but ruined the skirt of it… (What a great line for a fisherman: A Mack ruined my skirt…)
So Double Haul said look at your lure mate, it will scream his T.. off pretty soon. And as on clue the rod bent sharply, but the fish once again did not hook.
So we decided to try to put 2 deep divers in the 8 meters range behind the boat to get one of these Macks.
All the while I would cast a metal slug to the school of tuna that we would come across. This lasted for a little while but for not much results, so we decided to go and reef fish a bit. And on the way to the reef marks Double Haul told me to change my metal slug for one with different colours and if possible just chrome.
I had something like that in my tackle box and did as prompted. We come across a new school of tuna, I cast in the middle of them and bang I am on! My first Tuna on the spinning gear! A Macktuna.

Am I happy or what!

This one will be bait! Now catch another one I was said.
So I tried again and Double Haul too got into the action, and he got one before me then I got another one and he did too again, at the same time. We had a double hook up on tuna…
To say that I was happy and exited would be a huge understatement! After reading so many post on the FFF forum, by Doors Off and others about tuna on spin gears, I was finally in the middle of the action! The sight of the water full of flash as the fish splash and jump the birds diving and then your reel screaming and your line peeling… I want it again!
Talking about birds diving, well a little stern dived a few meters before my lure but got one of her wings all tangled up in my line. So we had to cut the line to let her go, and she flew away, so should not have ended up as fish food.

A bird on the line.

So after a little bit of that we decided to go reef fishing.

And we went to one of Double Haul marks and dropped the bait. Got a few little thing stealing ours bait. Then I got a double with two fish on my line! Ok, one very decent fish for what I am used to, and a smaller one that was to go back in the water. But still that was another cool thing for me to have two fishes in on pull.

Two for the price of one.

I also got my first Grinner, or stargazer, or Monkey fish depending who you talk to. I had never seen one in real life before, and that was cool. What a mouth they have!

Grinners are winners, they said...

Then we got a few little red things with big eyes, and we didn’t know what they were, I should have taken a photo of it. We put them back, but they made me think of Elmo, you know all red with two big eyes… Can you tell that I live with a child?

Then Double Haul said that it was not as good as it should be and that we should go to the jewie mark, and just as he said it my line went very tense. Escaping from the reel faster than I could have retrieved it, and I tried. And the line went very stiff, and the fish had bricked me, taking refuge in a hole or god only knows where, and there was no way I could get some line back. So I gave it a bit of slack and it worked the fish moved! Just to find a better spot where I was to not stand a chance… And we had to break the line…
I don’t know what it was, but it was big!

Then we moved to the Jewie spot. Put the line in, waited a bit for not much action… Then my line again with the rod making a parfait arc, pointing at the water. Once again I screamed: I’m on! Then I started to thing Ho boy this thing can pull, and just then the line broke! Two times in a short space of time I had my line broken by some big fish… And this time it might have been a big Jewie… Ha! I retrieved and show the line to Double Haul, the only thing I could say was Look at the line! I just couldn’t believe that this fish had broken it in such a short fight. Make you wonder of the force in some of them…

Then the storm seemed to zone on us so we decided to head closer to shore to tack refuge for the night close to a beach.

First rain, sign of things to come.

Then Double Haul started to put some snag in a fry pan… Mmmmm the smell of the sausage quietly frying after the excitement of the day and the fatigue starting to quick in… That was pretty close to the best thing possible in the world. They didn’t last very long…

Yummy in my tummy!

Then a little chat and we start to hear some splash in the water. Ho ho why not trow a popper in the dark this direction… I start to do it hoping for a Barra, and Double Haul said something like: That must be a shark…
So I told myself ok just a few cast to be sure what it is…
And that is what I did, honest just a few cast, then a few more, then the five last one, then three more and then ho come on just one more after the next one…
By the time I looked in Double Haul direction again, he was fast asleep on his mattress at the back of the boat…
Once again I had been the over enthusiastic guest who had stretched the limits of courtesy… Sorry.
So I tried to install myself for the night at the other end of the boat, and found sleep in absolutely no time.

Then at around 2am it started to rain and we woke up.
The boat drifted a few times on the chop in the dark. So we had to reposition. Once we were confident that she wouldn’t move any more Double Haul put a tarp at one end of the boat and we stoped to receive the rain in our face. So back to sleep it was.
And believe it or not but getting back in this wet sleeping bag in a rocking boat, in the night, the only thing I could think of was tuna… I very rapidly fall back to sleep, with image of tuna bursting the water all over in my eyes and mind.

Then morning came; hot cafe for him, and chocolate cookies for me, life is great!
We were to try for some more tuna fun, but the water was too rough and that would not have been a very good thing to do.

Yet it was beautiful...

So we decided to try for some reefies and jewie again, and wherever we went, we encountered sharks after sharks, small ones, eating all of our bait.
So still wet and cold from the night we decided to go back home, and arriving close to the ramp, we saw some birds that were diving over a small patch of water but no fish bursting the surface. So Double Haul told me that I should trow a popper in the middle of this to see if I could raise what ever was under… As I was pondering which popper to use, he told me that I should try with one of my ceramic lure. And so I did.
After a few cast, I was on, to a nice feisty little Trevally. We let him go to grow a bit more.

On the lure made of ceramic.

And I continued to cast in the same direction. And as the lure was very close to the boat and I was saying look at the action of it in the water, that’s very nice, one or two, I am not sure fish darted after the lure to give it a miss at the last second. I nearly feel on my bum at the surprise of it, and Double Haul got a good laugh from it.
The after a few more cast I got a wind knot in my line a the lure flew by himself, far away for ever…
So it was decided to go back for good.
So just two sausage rolls and two soft drinks at the shop and we were on the road to Darwin.
All I could think on the way back was tuna on the spin stick and how tired I was…
God this fishing stuff is exhausting!
And this is it folks, the story a quite a few first for me, and of a great trip, once again thanks to Double Haul.

So we did not see a single sailfish for the weekend.

But hey, it could be worse.
Have a good day,