Christmas Island is a fascinating place to explore. I went out for a cycle ride the other morning, which became a steep hill-climb through the forest when the gravel road came to an end. The ground is alive with red crabs crawling about among the leaves on the forest floor. The male crabs have done their bit now, mating with the females a week or so ago, and are now heading back into the interior of the island in vast numbers. It’s quite spectacular.
Rob, a teacher here on the island, saw my advert in the local paper as I was looking for accomodation, and invited me for a delicious dinner, which his wife Ebony made for us. He took me to the road near the school, which as the afternoon cools down, becomes very busy with crabs. After dinner we headed out along with other dinner guests John, Amy and Izzy to look for robber crabs in the forest.
When we spotted out first one I was amazed – they are HUGE! We stopped and John picked one up. It was incredibly heavy when he handed it to me, and I was pretty nervous of the huge claws. It is like some nightmare creature out of a horror movie, and is bigger than a soccer ball. Very impressive.
I have been doing quite a lot of cycling around, and late afternoon and early evening is the best time, as it gets a bit cooler, and the crabs start getting much more active.
Last night I got a call from Brad, whose wife works at the school with Rob. Did I want to go out fishing in the morning, he wondered? I was up at 4.30am, and we were on the water not long after 5am, as the full moon was setting.
It didn’t take too long before a couple of the reels were whizzing out, and I grabbed the one on my side, and under Brad’s direction reeled in what seemed like a whopper. It put up a bit of a fight, but apparently is only a reasonable sized wahoo. It’s the biggest fish I’ve ever caught!
As I reeled it in it was being chased by a shark looking for an easy meal, but Brad got the wahoo in over the side before the shark managed to get a bite! Talk about excitement!
The rest of the morning was less eventful. Brad thought we hooked a couple of sailfish, but they became “the ones that got away”, and on the way back in I caught a small barracuda. Brad cleaned the fish, and we fed the carcass remains to the trevally, biggish reef fish near the shore, which devoured the leftovers enthusiastically.
At Braydon’s apartment I had delicious fresh fish for lunch, and cleaned and cut the rest, storing it in both the fridge and freezer. We have enough fish to last for weeks!
Thanks to all here on Christmas Island who have made me feel so welcome so far, and invited me to join in with the activities going on here. Much more to come over the next week or so, I imagine.