October, as usual, was never sure of itself as the weather began its annual change from West to East. Yes, it’s now moving into the tourist season, you can tell when the commotion caused by the Harley Davidson’s and the cheap “sporty” 125’s is now being overtaken by the ominous wail of the over worked “high season” ambulances. Danny Carrick, everybody is relieved to hear you’re on the mend and we all hope to see you with a rod in your hand – soon – and remember, in Phuket boats are safer than bikes.
On the few days we could get out the fishing was excellent with myself and a Norwegian friend pulling in 12 Dorado 30 odd Tuna and a Rainbow Runner, while my motley crew on the previous day caught and released a small Marlin.
Following on from the many comments on my “pirate” joke in my last article I have decided, this month, to continue on this theme and write about the Pirate Bird, just for all you Fisheroo come Twitchers (bird watchers) out there.
When out on the briney I will often recommend to my companions that when looking for fish, instead of scanning the water they would be better advised to look to the sky, where we are regularly visited by the “Fisherman’s Friend” also known as the “Pirate Bird”, (because of its thieving habits) Man-O-War Bird or more commonly the Frigate Bird. These masters of the sky have unbelievable eyesight and feed on the same bait fish as the pelagic species that we, the fishermen, are hunting. So when you see a flock, or is it a flotilla of Frigates, diving low on the water, for sure, that’s the place to be.
The Frigate is a most unusual seabird as is cannot land at sea and would undoubtedly drown as its feathers contain little oil and would get waterlogged leaving the bird to meet Davy Jones, so these aerial acrobats skim the surface of the water using their long hooked beaks or feet to catch their prey, even in quite rough conditions. Another curious thing about our feathered friend is that it cannot take off from a flat surface so when it lands it has to be on a tree or cliff face as it needs the speed of “free-fall” to gain the momentum it requires to keep aloft, where they often stay for many days at a time, cruising on the wind.
These aerodynamic “black pirates” are very easy to distinguish, from our “eagles”, terns etc. having swept back wings spanning over a meter “local species”, which is the largest wingspan in relation to its body size of any bird on the planet, this, plus a very obvious “V” shaped tail makes them extremely recognizable.
With Christmas looming, I had a thought. “Where do Pirates buy their kids presents – Toys Aarrr Us?” (Groan)
Well done to the boys at Mena, as Mena 1. Is now back in the water after a complete refit and upgrade, I also hear Wahoo 4 will be shortly following in her wake after a similar overhaul. Congratulations also to the boys from the P.G.F.C. (Phuket Game Fishing Club) on opening their new café //bar //offices in Chalong. For anyone looking for a bit of fishing BS, a bacon butty, black pudding or even the Scottish favorite “Irn Bru” drop your hook at The Gaff, Chalong.
As usual, tight lines to all.