tigers in the water

Tony used to be a lobster fisherman in the area. He loved to recount tales of heading out from Freo to work the waters around Cape Naturaliste on his dad's crayboat.

"I was young and full of energy", he said as we floated on our surfboards out at Rocky Point off the end of Eagle Bay, " we would drop and pull pots most of the day and go surfing in the late afternoon. We slept on the beach camping out at places like this. It was great!"

His face grew a bit grimmer as we paddled out together after sharing another wave, "But there was this time when we had some pots to pull out the back of Smiths", he visibly tensed, "We had moored in at Canal Rocks and camped at Smiths the night before. When we headed out to check the pots the next day some were missing which is not a good thing. We saw some floats out of place and went over to see what had happened. It was a tangled mess, me and me brother started to pull the mass of line aboard when from the deep swam this huge shadow...".

At this point I learned about a new way to measure big bitey fish, most fishos will measure a shark compared to the length of their boat. The story unfolded, "We could see this thing swimming lazily up toward us, the movement of the tangled ropes must have attracted its attention, by the time it got to the surface, boy-o-boy, we were looking at a 4 foot tiger shark!"

Now I didn't think that was so impressive but felt my legs tingle all the same and heard a bar of that music, until he said, "Measured across the width of its head."

Tony continued to tell me about "sharks I wouldn't want to know about" but finally we got back to the Smiths Beach "thing" and he summed up, "You know, I used to camp down here when many of these bays didn't have a house on 'em and I got to admit I think I preferred it that way."

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