There is no shortage of beautiful places on Earth, but the Whitsundays has to be among the most gorgeous ever. The blues, greens and inkstained blacks are as vivid as I’ve ever seen. Imagine the Caribbean in HD with hundreds of uninhabited islands just waiting to be explored.
Ben and I landed in Hamilton Island midday on Thursday. His good friend Nick was there right away to pick us up on the golf cart (buggy in OZspeak) and whisked us away to the boat. After a few preliminary boat preparations, we were off to the reef. Nick had caught a few mudcrabs earlier in the day, and he was itching to catch another few fish for dinner. We trolled for Spanish Mackerel on the way out, but unfortunately we didn’t catch any monsters.
We pulled into a small bay just as darkness started to fall, and immediately started bottom fishing for some Red Emperor, which are among the tastiest fish in the sea. After lacing a squid onto my hook, I tossed it out and took in the multitude of stars while I waited.
With Tropical Cyclone Ita coming in, the fishing wasn’t great, but after about an hour, I yanked out a beautiful emperor, which Nick started cleaning as soon as I removed the hook. Nick is a phenomenal chef in his own right, and he was cooking up an absolute storm.
As I stood at the back of the boat trying to get another emperor before dinner, I was completely sidetracked by the smells wafting up from below deck. Nick prepared the mudcrab in a mouthwatering coconut based Shanghai sauce, which was among the best I’ve ever tasted.
Now we’ve just got to get that mackerel. Hopefully this tropical cyclone gets out of the way soon.