Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Guys Fishing Trip, Part 1: Paua Diving!

One of the things on the agenda for the guys while this group was down here was to go fishing. So we arranged to go out on Foveaux Strait, out from Bluff. Blue Cod catching, paua diving, looking at some seals, and calling it a day was the agenda. Local charmer, Mic, helped get this arranged and came along with us, which was a blast! So thanks to Mic for the hook-up with Captain Keith. We all had a great day. Here's a look at the paua diving portion of the day.

Red sky in morning, sailors take warning, right? Well, this was our only day to go, so we didn't heed the warning. It did rain some, but overall it was a huge success. Who's superstitious anyway? It was a beautiful sunrise.

Nate, Justin, Dan, Aaron, Cole.

First Stop: Ruapuke Island. It was low tide early that morning, which is the best time to go diving for the paua, so we went straight there to take our efforts below sea level.

Pretty cool place to just pull up to a hop off the boat into the ice cold waters of the South Pacific.
Luckily we had some awesome wetsuits to keep us warm in the frigid waters.

Getting suited up, including weight belts to help us stay under longer.

Real men don't need wetsuits...

First round of guys heading out to starting diving.

Up along the edge of the island is where the paua were waiting for us. Heaps of them. All for us.

And these are Paua!  They are a large shellfish. The black parts above are the meat/creature part of it. They suction down to the ocean floor, so you have to pry them off the rocks to get them. 

when you get them out of the shell, this is what you see. You can then get the shells polished and the outside is shiny swirly blue like that. A lot of jewelry is made from paua shells.
Once back to Otautau, we headed to Mic's shop to grind up a bunch of the paua into paua burger. Most people eat it as little paua meatloaf patties, which are pretty tasty. You can also just slice and fry it, which is also good. It's kind of a Southern NZ delicacy.

And like most delicacies, it looks kind of disgusting. Gray/black/blue burger is a little off-putting, but if you ignore that, it's pretty good.

Here's my re-cap of the paua diving as I described it to the women-folk when we got back from the trip. I was clearly pretty excited about the whole thing. It was a really cool experience. 

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