The afternoon of our first day was windless. Mick took us to the outer edge of the Pelsaert Group, to catch our dinner. Throwing the anchor into the crystal clear water, a dark shadow slid underneath the boat. “That was a tiger,” Scotty, who’s an extremely experienced spear fisherman, commented apathetically. Within minutes he had donned his diving suit and jumped off the boat with a loaded gun. The fishing was on! I joined Scotty below the surface on the hunt for crayfish. He called it quits after a hammerhead shark came a bit too close for comfort, but we ate like royalty with fresh cray and fish wings on the menu. The next morning we woke to another calm day. The Abrolhos experience strong winds most of the year and very rarely see calm conditions. Skipper Mick couldn’t believe it… days like this could be counted on one hand per year.
By mid-afternoon, I’d almost given up any hope of wind, when I suddenly spotted a few whitecaps out towards the west. Determined to make it work, I grabbed my 12m with bar and lines already connected. Knowing we wouldn’t be able to access land for most of the trip, I had prepared four kites back home with a bar each, ready to be launched from the boat. Boat launches are nerve wracking but gliding out into a field of small coral shingle islands with spectacular reef formations below me, made it all worth-while. Across the channel, I could spot some fisherman shanty islands in the distance. With the wind too light to kite upwind to them, I jumped back on the marlin board of our boat, the kite still up in the air, and asked Mick to give me a lift over. Checking out the shacks by kite from up close, each in its own quirky style and bright colors, and imagining what it would be like to live here for a few months per year blew my mind. The longer I kited around, the more baffled faces appeared – I’m pretty certain I was the first kiter to ever zip around their front yard. I smiled and waved and even the toughest looking waved back eventually. I then kited the couple of kilometers downwind to our mooring spot, whilst the colors turned golden on sunset.