28 November 1998
I went fishing a few days before we left Gomera- Piled my tackle and fishing-pole, snorkel gear and speargun into the dinghy and took off around the island. My unspoken goal for the day was to spear a squid, but I would have been content with spearing a big fat grouper or hooking something fat with my line as I drove around. It was a fine sunny day and I probably ended up motoring almost 15 miles out around the island before I found a really sweet spearfishing spot up in a little bay with an abandoned settlement. So I chucked the anchor over and hopped in, puttering around in the water looking for yummy fish to bring home for dinner. There was plenty to look at, but everything I saw was much too small.
Suddenly out of the gloom below me I caught a flash of white, reacting instinctively I twisted and dodged while firing my spear over my shoulder. The death struggle with the ferocious hammerhead began- No, just kidding, no sharks in the real version, hope I didn't scare you. For real I was just diving and looking under boulders in good hiding places, when all of a sudden this completely strange creature just sort of materialized in front of my eyes, about 3 feet from the bottom. It was the length of my forearm (wrist to elbow), and sort of a mottled brownish purple, it had a big fat body with a translucent skirt around it, and short, stumpy arms/ tentacles. We both surprised each other and backpedaled a bit, then hovered and stared at each other. It took me a moment of staring before I realized it was a cuttle-fish. So I raised my spear and popped him. He squirted ink everywhere, man. It was a 5 minute trek with flippers back to the dinghy and he still had some ink in him when I loaded him aboard. I decided that he was close enough to a squid to count so I headed home.
Took me a little while to get back but it wasn't too bad in the sunshine. And this fish just kept changing colors, he ended up being white with brown tiger-stripes. Pretty cool. The coolest part though was cleaning him. And I'll spare you the details of that. Never did get to taste him though- I was literally on my way from the dock to the frying pan with him and I slipped and flung the huge plate of fresh Calamari into the harbor. Uggh.
Curse of the Devil Fish. I hate anti-climax, but sometimes life is just like that, eh.