Last night the boys here all decided to go fishing, and we invited the new volunteer’s husband. It was his second day in the country so we wanted to make him feel welcome. We headed out about 1.5km along the Suva breakwall and set up for the afternoon. High tide was supposed to be at 7pm so we were a bit concerned when the rocks at the start of the break-wall were slowly covered with water as the evening wore on, and instead of receeding at 7pm, more and more rocks were submerged under the water. To make matters worse we saw a 2-3ft reef shark cruising along the top of the water about 6:30pm towards the start of the wall.
At about 8pm we made the call to try and get back before it got any darker, and we started slowly back towards land over oyster covered rocks in the last of twilight. Many times we were wading waste deep in water unable to see where we were putting our feet, but despite a couple of spills we slowly we made it about half way back to shore. At this point the breakwall disappeared under the water, with only the odd stone every 10 to 15m or so along the wall being tall enough to break the surface of the water. We couldn’t see anything that was submerged because the last of the light had left so we stopped and had a man-conference about the next step to take. To further complicate the matter we had several things in a backpack that couldn’t get wet, including a camera.
The decision was made for Mic to swim back and grab a canoe so we could transport the unwettable goods to safety, so he jumped in the water and left us sitting on the rock while we waited for him to swim about 300-400m into shore in shark
infested frequented associated waters. After about 25 minutes Mic pulled up in his canoe with a block of 2×4 as a paddle and picks up my bag, rowing it into shore. He assured me it would be safe with “some nice fishermen” he had met and that nothing would be kerekere’d out of it when and if I got back to shore. He also assured me they were “very concerned with our safety” and that they “seemed like good blokes” so we continued with the plan. In no time at all Mic was back with the canoe, which I jumped into and rowed back to dry land while Seb and Mic swam. In my defense they are both surfers, and I would have either drowned or drifted to Tonga if I attempted that swim.
In the end we all got back to the wharf safely, with just a few oyster cuts, some dented pride about our fishing donut, and a great tale to tell. As a bonus nothing was kerekere’d from the bag and we all lived happily ever after. The only SMS on my phone from Connie read: “So I guess you’re not cooking dinner then?” – she is clearly used to my crazy fishing escapades after all this time, which is great. I actually had more missed calls from Seb’s wife.
In the spirit of 80s sitcoms (and because I’m probably going to get chastised for being silly from a lot of people) I would like to point out that I learned not to go fishing on the Suva break wall… at night… on a high tide… with no torch… wearing thongs.