Octy terror and tender pāua

As amateur fishermen we have all experienced how fun, but also dangerous, boating can be. I only started getting serious about it 15 years ago and prior to that my addiction was firmly placed on motorcycle racing. Even then, after a weekend of flying around tracks at over 200k’s I would go to bed and dream about fishing. Nowadays I fish a lot and dream about motorcycles.

In those 15 years I’ve collected many memories and one of the funniest was a work social trip back in the early ‘90s. We were headed to Catherine Cove on d’Urville Island. I was beyond excited. As expected, the fishing was mind blowing and we were hauling cod after cod when someone pulled in a decent sized octopus. Old Dan, the owner of the boat, saw the opportunity and expertly placed ‘Octy’ on the front of his white butcher’s apron, right there on his willy! He proceeded to chase the females of our group around the boat, flaunting his new appendage. I was split in two laughing!

But he wasn’t done there, oh no, because a few metres from the boat, our boss, Alan, was fishing in the tender embrace of a dinghy. Alan was frightened of octopuses and knowing this, Dan peeled Octy off himself and lobbed it perfectly into the dinghy. Like a horror movie, Octy crept towards a very terrified Alan. As you can imagine, everyone on the boat was either bent over crying or rolling around in hysterics. Eventually, Octy made his escape over the side to freedom and some words were directed to Dan from a very angry Alan.

That afternoon, we made our way back on land and everyone began preparing dinner. Young Dan, one of my colleagues, had collected some pāua and we tasked one of the girls with tenderizing them, using an axe. Well, something went wrong with the explanation of the process and instead of bashing them with the back of the axe, we ended up with small slivers of pāua. We still ate the pāua but not without bouts of uncontrolled laughter.

That whole trip was great fun, and years later I still laugh thinking about it.

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