A Place in the Food Chain

It is possible to eat fish every day in this part of the world, but it’s a heck of a lot of work, as any seagull will tell you. K is spending 4-6 hours a day in the water, at least half of this in pursuit of fish and the seagulls who have helped themselves to the fish bucket in the dinghy while he is off on the hunt. Yesterday we lost a nice rock grouper to a seagull. K stole it back from the gull and two vultures (the vultures had not yet stolen it from the gull, but they had that look in their eye). The seagull stole it a second time from the bucket (they always take the big one) and somehow carried it to a more secure location than the adjacent rocks where K repo’ed it the first time.

There has been similar trouble with morays. These rocks are rotten with bossy green moray eels. We unwittingly fed them two bags of cut bait which they enjoyed without troubling themselves over the hooks. K is now fishing with a mask to see if the morays are molesting his best prime grouper bait. It doesn’t stop with the hook and line. These morays have a nose for blood and have been showing up at the scene of any remarkable polespear drama. At one point K shot a rock grouper that was immediately attacked by a moray who’d been in the same hole, while two more popped out to watch with envy. We won that round but it makes us hesitant to press our faces into the rocks crevices in search of fillet.

For the moment we are at the seagull level on the food chain. This may change, full disclosure requires K to admit hallucinating fried chicken drumsticks in place of seagulls and when he closes his eyes he sees a huge rock grouper slipping into a crack in the rocks.

24°33.96′N 110°24.52′W 13-Dec-09 15:42 UTC

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