The one that almost got away

•01/06/2015 • 4 Comments

This is kind of long and about freediving/spearfishing. It may not be particularly interesting to many of you but I felt like writing it up. TLDR at the bottom of the post:

My buddy had plans to dive an area kind of far away from me and while I could’ve spent time with the girl having a more lazy weekend, I went to bed early (despite my buddies wanting to hang and drink beer) and got my ass up in the early morning to drive to my buddy’s place. Ate a healthy ass breakfast he made, then got our gear sorted/loaded, and drove up the coast where we met with a completely new diver who was very eager to have his first spearfishing dive. The dude had thrown down and bought all the gear necessary (including some extras) and had been asking around the community to see if someone would take him, so I thought I’d help him out.

The conditions were excellent. No wind, very clear visibility, and warm (for here) water. I talked to him about the dive trying to mentally prepare him and taught him how to properly gear up and get in the water. Despite having some significant trouble with my new mask (compounded by not shaving cleanly enough) I decided to grin and bear it instead of going to get my old mask so that I didn’t have to leave the new guy in the water with only my buddy (who is not as experienced as I am and a bit overeager at times). Got the new guy acclimated and showed him all around the varying terrain and taught him as much as I could.

He was a good student and took in almost everything save for a couple things that didn’t stick so I got him to start shooting his speargun at some smaller fish in a shallow enough area that he could get to them easily. He missed a number of times and I watched him from some distance. I kicked over to him after he looked like he was struggling getting his gun back together. He told me how he’d shot a fish, but that it had torn off the shaft/line and had disappeared. I told him not to be discouraged and now he’d shot a fish (which most people don’t do on their first hunt, he just needs to aim a little better as a shot too high or low will make this happen nearly every time.

I continued diving with him, but at one point when he ended up on the other side of some kelp I decided to shoot one of the larger fish within my sight (a smaller species, but a larger example of that species) so that I could bring it over to him as an example of what a (hopefully) better shot is and to have him learn how to remove it from the shaft and string it. As I stalked a small school of my desired fish I selected the largest as it separated from the pack and started swimming away from me at a good pace. I kicked hard to follow it and just as my shot was lined up and I was about to squeeze the trigger I noticed a small fish (just beyond my target fish) with it’s outline against the surface with an unmistakeable section of torn flesh.

Instinctually I kicked away from my original target and set my sights on the wounded fish. It would die anyway if I didn’t finish it off, and the story of his first shot fish wouldn’t be one of complete failure. As I got closer to the fish it started picking up it’s pace and the carbon dioxide buildup in my lungs signalled my body that the deadline to surface was rapidly approaching. As I took aim and used a little extra effort in my last three kicks to close the gap (the larger muscles in my legs sucking the last of the oxygen in my lungs) there was no mistaking that this was the same fish the new diver had lost.

The fish was facing directly away from me so I had no shot. I had to surface and it was now or never. An opportunity like this wouldn’t return. At the last moment the fish turned EVER so slightly to one side. I squeezed the trigger and immediately started my short ascent without seeing exactly where I’d hit the fish, but knowing from the constant pull of my line that my shaft had penetrated solidly. I cleared my snorkel on the surface expelling the CO2 in my lungs and inhaling sweet fresh air followed by a few more breaths before dipping my mask back in the water and pulling the shaft up by the line.

The resistance was constant, the small fish wasn’t fighting and was curved to one side. I got the fish closer to me and could tell it was either stunned or stoned (dead). As I pulled the shaft and fish up to me I could see why it was curved to one side and that it was most definitely dead. The shaft had entered slightly above the spine but had exited evenly between the fish’s eyes traveling directly through it’s brain. It must not have felt a thing, clean kill. I called the new diver over to show him the fish. He got really excited and said “that’s the fish! That’s the one I lost! How’d you find it? Wow what a shot!” and I laughed and laughed and laughed at his excitement and wonder. A deep, hearty, healthy laugh.

I showed him the technique for removing the shaft while holding the fish without getting stabbed by the spines, but made him do the actual shaft removal (it took a while). Then I passed my stringer through it’s gills and left it hanging from behind me and encouraged him to keep diving as he’d eventually stone a fish like that and then much larger as he improved. We dove until he got tired. He continued to try to get other fish but didn’t succeed. I continued to have a rough time with my new mask leaking/fogging, but towards the end of the dive I spotted a bass that definitely looked over the legal size minimum and proceeded to pursue it.

This type of bass is notoriously skittish, often times you get no more than one glance at them before they spook into the depths. The bass flitted into and out of the ample cover between the kelp and the various rock structure/overhangs/holes. We went slowly in a wide circle around one spire at least 3 times and I made a number of dives trying unsuccessfully to line up a shot before having to surface to get some air. I had to constantly be kicking on the surface, stalking the bass from the surface as it moved in and out of various hiding spots on the bottom, so I couldn’t ever really catch my breath. My heart was pounding but I was willing to try my best to not let this bass escape.

My mask was fogging/leaking and I knew at any moment the bass might bolt far away out of my sight and I’d never find his new hiding spot so I dove one more time with just enough breath to reach the latest hiding spot and take a shot despite the rocks surrounding the bass. I descended to the spot quickly as the bass had settled in a fairly shallow location and as I got near he casually started swimming out the other end of the hole. He spotted me and turned just enough for me to close the gap, squint through the fogging mask, and fire. The shaft struck towards the back of it’s head, traveled through the body, above the spine and out it’s mouth but the catch didn’t release. I kicked to the surface caught my breath and slowly brought him up, got the catch released (so he couldn’t wriggle off the shaft) as he violently tried to escape, and released my knife from it’s holster around my ankle and drove it through the bass’ brain, it’s life leaving as it’s body writhed/stiffened like it’d been hit by a lightning bolt.

Later I finished our dive as the new guy felt cramping coming on and I realized I’d been in the water for the better part of 3 hours. Exhilarating and exhausting.

As we parted ways I offered the new diver the fish he’d originally wounded and he told me “no it’s your fish, you killed it” but I insisted he take it so he could bring it home to his girl instead of empty handed. Besides, I considered it his as he spotted it, found it, and shot it with next to no experience. It just got free and I happened upon it by chance and then was fortunate to be able to end it’s suffering and recapture it for the new diver. He’s been very grateful and I plan to take him up on his offer of dinner and beer on our next meeting.

I still chuckle that I happened upon that fish again just writing this and I will chuckle more tonight as the tasty bass fills my belly. Now, to address that mask…


TLDR: Took an eager guy out spearfishing for the first time.  Taught him as much as I could remember while team-diving with him.  He missed a few fish but struck one.  That fish broke free as he shot too near the edge of it’s body and the shaft/line ripped out as the fish struggled.  Later I happened upon the fish by total luck and managed to sink a shaft through it’s brain.  Showed him to his complete amazement.  Later shot a nice bass to eat for dinner and gifted the smaller fish to the new diver as I consider it his.  He was very grateful.  Dove for 3 hours, great, great experience.


Why society doesn’t want to associate with “feminists”

•11/17/2014 • Leave a Comment

Great Article:

Working out is such a great physical reminder

•10/23/2014 • Leave a Comment

The constant ache of my belly after the gym two nights ago reminds me that I’ve missed the gym for too long.  It also reminds me that I need to feed myself healthily so that my body can recover faster and become stronger.

It reminds me that I have things to do outside of work and pleasure.  Self-improvement in other areas.  It reminds me of hunger in a way.  I must satisfy my hungers instead of constantly starving or just barely maintained.

I didn’t get much sleep last night after working the main job and a side gig.  Today I must do better, the gym, the food, the organization, the financial planning.

I almost bought breakfast this morning reasoning that I had the money in my pocket and could buy something nutritious and fast (and because I’d be later than I should be), but instead turned at the last moment and walked back to my house, threw some things together and got on the road.

On a side note, I went by my girl’s place and she has pretty much made my costume from scratch.  I’ve only gone to the store to pick out materials.  It ended up being a couple’s costume in a way.  She a sex symbol character, me her alpha male sex symbol.  She continues to prove her worth in my life.  Just realized we’re very close to a year since we started dating.

On Yesterday

•10/21/2014 • 1 Comment

From yesterday:

1. Make a healthy salad/dinner.

FAILED – Ate toasted bread with almond butter and eventually a candy and then more toasted bread with almond butter and a glass of milk.

2. Get my phone fixed (it’s full making it work like shit) and see if I can get my new (to me) desktop computer booting.

Phone – FAILED, Desktop – Actually, I can say I’m proud that I got this up and running and it seems stable and fast enough.  Want to put an SSD in this for the boot drive, going to see if I can get one cheap/free.  I was thinking of re-imaging this system, but I got a hold of the user password and found that it has a full, fairly current Adobe and MS Office Suite, so I think I’ll save myself the time/effort.

3. Do 3 sets of 15 pushups and 100 situps at home.

FAILED – Did nothing.

4. Get stuff packed in containers to bring in lunch food to work.

FAILED – Did nothing

5. Shower and sleep before midnight.

FAILED – Did not shower, fell asleep on the couch watching poker on TV probably 1 AM or later, woke up at dawn and went to my bedroom for another couple hours of sleep.  Felt pretty tired all day and sucked at work.  When watching poker it drew me in like a moth to a flame.  I really, really like that game.  I wonder if I can work it into my schedule so I can play it at the card clubs in order to try to make some money.  My home poker game is coming up, I hope to kill it.

Feeling a little bummed about the failures, but I’m going to take this same list and see about knocking it all out tonight.  If I do 1-4 I’ll go grab a beer container refill at my local brewery.

Quick Update

•10/20/2014 • Leave a Comment

Haven’t really been exercising much, but my diet has improved significantly.  Unfortunately I drank a decent amount this weekend and feel pretty shitty today even though I wanted to hit the gym.  Tonight I’m going to:

1. Make a healthy salad/dinner.

2. Get my phone fixed (it’s full making it work like shit) and see if I can get my new (to me) desktop computer booting.

3. Do 3 sets of 15 pushups and 100 situps at home.

4. Get stuff packed in containers to bring in lunch food to work.

5. Shower and sleep before midnight.

I wrote a list of reasons I shouldn’t be working at my current job.  It spanned nearly 2 pages.  I felt shitty from not sleeping nearly the entire night (was kind of food-sick or something) but writing that list helped.  This week I need to pick a night and hammer out my resume/update my linked in.

On a semi-related note, despite my finances being in a pretty shitty state overall, if I calculate based only on my rent/utilities expenses, I’ve got just over 6 months worth saved up.

Not quite a fuck you fund, but that gives me a little peace of mind that I could probably go a full quarter if I needed to with just cash on hand.  It’s starting to become a high enough number that I wonder what the best way to keep cash would be that I can still access it in a pinch, but that isn’t just a stack of cash that someone could grab and run off with if they found it.

Checking In

•10/15/2014 • 2 Comments

So as per yesterday’s post:

1. Loaded up on healthy food.  Bought a household item I’ve been needing to assist in keeping things clean.

2. Weighed in just shy of 202 lbs.  I was afraid I was over 200.  Hit the stationary bike next to a guy that bartends in my favorite spot so I could talk to him and maintain the locked-down status.  Turns out he has a similar injury to me so we talked quite a bit on it.  15 minutes of significant intensity and I decided to stick with my desire to hit the rowing machine.  Set it to 7/10 intensity.  Default when turning it on was 2,000 meter, so I bumped that to 5,000 which might be too damn much.

Maintained just barely above a 2:00 per 500 m rate, roughly 30 RPM, then about halfway through had to bump the intensity down to 6/10, but maintained my RPM, slowly dropping to just below a 2:30 per 500 meter rate.  I was fucking pumping the whole time.  Almost stopped a number of times as I was breathing fucking hard.  Was trying to maintain one breath in on the return and one breath out on the stroke.  My lungs were on fire.  Felt good.  Walked home and was immediately feeling sore.  Total time for the 5k meter was roughly 23 minutes.

Intensity was good, at some points I didn’t think I was going to make 5,000 meters without dropping way off my rowing pace and distance covered per time.  I made it though.

3.Healthy dinner yes, snacked a little late night, but not too much.  Was in bed for 8 hours sleep, probably got 7-7.5 after looking at my phone for far too long.


Headed out from work way late, pissed off about it because it’s not my doing outside of my choice to still be working here.  Fucking annoyed.  Was supposed to hang out with the girl but instead I’m at work fixing people’s fuckups.  Debating just having her stay home instead of coming over.

Things I’m unhappy with

•10/14/2014 • 2 Comments

Health – Need a procedure that is costly and will have some significant downtime in order to be able to really be an athlete again.  I need to sort out how to afford it or how to get good enough insurance to cover it.  I’ve been getting progressively fatter.  I can tell.  I may not be crazy heavier, but my muscle mass is not there and my fat mass really has grown.  My diet has been way too much unhealthy and fast food/restaurant food.  This is disconcerting especially when having a pretty thing/in shape girl.  No need to give her reason to lose interest physically.

Finances/Employment – I basically haven’t built any side work into successful business in much of any sense of the word.  I take that back.  I did take some initiative and sublet my extra bedroom instead of finding a long-term roommate, but now I have a short term roommate in there without any huge benefit to me but stability and some time savings.  I haven’t made any significant progress on becoming self employed and worse, haven’t made any movement on becoming better employed.

Organization/Drive – This is an overall topic that I need to improve on in order to improve many aspects of my life.

I’m not sure which of these is more crucial, but I think they are both huge glaring issues I need to address if I want to become happier.

Last night I slept horribly.  As a sign of growing unhappiness I find myself going to sleep later and later (and for no good reason…I wouldn’t mind going to bed late if anything at home were better organized/addressed) and then getting up later and later.

The only slight positive in both of the above topics is that overall my health isn’t really horrible and financially, I have managed to stack between 3-4 months of basic living expenses if I were to lose my job.  Not super comforting, but it has been nice to watch that stack grow bit by bit.

So, now that I’ve laid out what I’m unhappy with (major items), the next step is to sort out what and how I’m going to implement actionable solutions.

I don’t have any specific long term plans, but there’s no better time than the present.  If it’s a priority it’s what you’re working on NOW.  Tonight I’ll do three things:

1. Grocery store to load up on healthy food on the way home.

2. Gym for weigh-in and minimum an hour of cardio/light weights.

3. Healthy dinner, plan/prepare lunch and snacks for tomorrow, in bed for minimum 8 hours sleep before work.

Checking in on myself tomorrow.