Watamu National Marine Park is off the coast of Kenya in Watamu, near Malindi. It is a protected national marine park. The resort area of Watamu is home to a few luxurious resorts with a long and pristine beach. The summer months are the dry season as the weather is quite hot. The tide restricts diving to inside the reef off of the beach. When Tangodiver went there in August 2001, she was only able to dive to 9 meters as that was the deepest one could go before hitting the sandy bottom. The snorkelling is superb also as there is a lot to see. Apparently, the best time to dive the reef is from December to February when the tide is better. There are upsides to staying in Watamu at the height of the dry season. Firstly, the resorts are practically empty (well, they were in 2001) thus allowing one to walk along the beautiful beach without seeing another soul, save the many crabs darting around. Secondly, the krill are running, and it is a good time to go out to sea for some sport fishing.
Last night, Tangodiver and The Divemaster watched Episode 2 of Series 3 of Extreme Fishing with Robson Green, “where Robson takes fishing to the extreme in Kenya.” Tangodiver was intrigued by this program as she had done some scuba diving and extreme fishing herself in Kenya. It turns out that they did it in the same place! 🙂
Tangodiver was having déjà-vu while watching Robson Green fishing for Marlin. The day that Tangodiver and the family went out on the fishing boat they had to get up very early in the morning in order to make the tide. Once on the boat, they were stuck there all day as they wouldn’t be able to get back to the jetty until the tide came back in late in the afternoon. Unfortunately, there was a bit of a swell on the sea which caused the family a bit of discomfort, which they eventually got over. Luckily for Robson, he didn’t have that problem the day he went on his fishing trip.
Robson was having a whale of a time and managed to catch a Marlin, which was tagged and released and which is required by law. The day Tangodiver went fishing, they caught and tagged a Marlin also. Then Robson caught a Dorado (Mahi-Mahi)(Tangodiver didn’t), then he caught a Bonito (ditto Tangodiver). When Tangodiver and the family were out on the sea, they also caught a tuna. There were many tuna chasing the krill and many larger predators chasing the tuna. They saw someone on another boat pulling up a tuna with a shark hanging on to the tail end of the tuna. That one went back into the sea as it wasn’t good enough for a trophy – shark bite. They also saw four whale sharks swimming near the surface on the side of the boat. The Divemaster says that Tangodiver must have been narked. He always says that to people that claim to have seen a whale shark. As far as he is concerned, they don’t exist until he actually sees one! In any event, one of the lines got snagged onto one of the whale sharks and it had to be reeled in order to remove the hook. That was when Tangodiver had her close encounter with a whale shark. It was beautiful, though she would have preferred to be diving with one instead of being on the boat. Or maybe not, considering the amount of hungry sharks in the water! On the way back to the jetty, Tangodiver and the family also saw flying fish, dolphins and whales. Not a bad day of extreme fishing. It was almost as good if not better than Robson’s. By the way, Tangodiver didn’t catch the fish all by herself. She had a little bit of help and the whole family had a go at reeling them in. Back at the jetty, the boys on the boat were given the tuna and the bonito was taken home for dinner. It was delicious.
During the rest of the program, Robson caught many interesting fish and quite a few that Tangodiver was familiar with from either looking at when scuba diving or having eaten in restaurants (or both). Tangodiver and The Divemaster didn’t have a problem with Robson catching these fish for sport as they knew that the fish were food for the locals and wouldn’t be wasted. As Tangodiver’s dad always used to say “If you kill it, you eat it.”
The program was very entertaining. The Divemaster thought it was great to be paid for doing your hobby. That Robson Green is a very lucky man. Tangodiver and The Divemaster have one big problem with the program. There is a competition to win a shark fishing trip in Florida! Big game fishing and shark fishing is big off of The Keys in Florida. It is almost a right to be able to kill big fish and bring them back for trophies. Just like the right to bear arms. Tangodiver and The Divemaster totally object to this competition. In fact, Tangodiver has just sent an e-mail to Channel 5 stating her objection and requesting the competition to be withdrawn. You can send your own e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org