My first dives were without the fins... My folks were
too afraid I might
drown... they always wanted me to stay on the beach where my feet could
still touch the sandy bottom... I was only 8 years old then.
So, I used to float on the surface with the mask (no snorkel,
only a mask!) and, with a 4 lb test fishing line, 10 ft long, with a hook
and a lead weight on one end, (with the other end safely attached to the
inside key pocket of my "speedo" swim suit) I would drop the bait in front
of the "sleeping" summer flounders in the sand, and move it slowly until
it almost touches their mouth. Gulp! and a minute later it would be
jumping in the supermarket plastic bag attached to my waist! Other small
fish species were on the menu too; most commonly, the striped bream.
I used to dig in the sand first to get small shells which
I opened with
my teeth and nails, using them as bait... When I recently told my
dentist in Montreal how I broke the shells, he laughed all the way to
the bank :-)
No fins, no snorkel, and certainly no spear gun! But I
the attraction at the beach, and my folks always had one delicious fresh
fried fish meal each time!
I got my first spear gun when I was 13.
Next story will be about spearfishing in October
1978, in Lebanon. The
war was raging then, and spearfishing "saved my life", so to say...