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Epi Island, Vanuatu report

Printed From: The Fishing Website
Category: Diving
Forum Name: Spearo's Corner
Forum Description: Free-divers & spearos chat about their sport
URL: https://www.fishing.net.nz/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=58598
Printed Date: 12 Dec 2023 at 5:54am


Topic: Epi Island, Vanuatu report
Posted By: kolt45
Subject: Epi Island, Vanuatu report
Date Posted: 15 Oct 2010 at 8:57am

So here’s the story of our recent trip to Vanuatu.  I had not planned to be on this trip at all.  I got an email one week before the plane was to take off saying that a spot was open.  In a few words, I was able to make it happen.  I watched the second Twilight movie on the flight to Port Vila.  It was, um, awesome.

We arrived in Port Vila thrilled at the air temp, not so thrilled with the wind speed.  We then picked up all of our bags.  Except mine (and Kane’s but this is my story).  Our two gun bags didn’t get put on the plane by the Air NZ monkeys in Auckland.  We did the best we could to try and arrange the bags to be delivered to us later in the week and then hopped on the charter flight to Epi.
 
 
 

Over the next week, we dived seamounts, active volcanoes, reef edges and all sorts in between.  To describe the conditions in one word, it would be current.  The new moon tides were big and we drifted some spots at 4-5 knots.  Getting the currents right on the seamounts was very frustrating, and I can only remember two times when we got it right, but both times I was able to put a shaft in a dogtooth.

 
One of the points we dived was a spot where the current would blast on one side, hit the point, then blast out to sea, forming a big eddy on the other side of the point.  When the tide changed, it would switch.  Rambo swears he saw a 100kg dogtooth there, just hanging effortlessly in the current.

We finally found a point with a slow, but steady current and great drop-offs from about 10 to 25 meters.  We saw doggies on every drift and shot a good few of them, one of which was Rambo’s 36kg model he got at 10 meters.

 
There were plenty of other fish to chase too.  Basically, there was pretty much every sort of reef dweller you normally find in this part of the world – big eyes, longnose emperors, parrots of every size and shape, coral and coronation trout, midnight snapper, all sorts of grouper, napoleons, turtles, even dugongs.  Nobody shot a turtle or dugong, but I did shoot a big ass parrotfish.  I won’t be doing that again, although the villagers were epically stoked.
 
 
 

That was one part of the trip that I really liked.  We stayed in some bungalows owned by the chief that were right in the heart of the village.  Every fish we shot went to the folks in “town”, which meant we got to hang out with the locals quite a bit.  It was great swapping stories with them and horseplaying with the kids.  The food was awesome too and the local ladies cooked up a storm for us after a day’s diving.

 
 
 
We left Epi and went back to Port Vila for our last day.  I got to see my gun bag for the first time – oh joy.  We did one last trip out to the Devil’s Point area, where I was able to shoot one more dogtooth.  Beers and a bbq that night and now everyone is back to reality.
 



Replies:
Posted By: Qaz
Date Posted: 15 Oct 2010 at 9:06am
Originally posted by kolt45 kolt45 wrote:

 

 

 





Nah, Wink

Awesome TR Kolt , Sounds like you had a amazing time. Vanuatu is definatley A place im going in the future (due to free accommodation with friends) and spectacular diving.
That parrot fish is a monster! When I first saw It I though it was a Napoleon Wrasse till I looked closer.


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Posted By: G R
Date Posted: 15 Oct 2010 at 9:07am
awesome story and pics kolt looks like you are becoming the doggie expert did you have the use of an outboard motor or just arm power?


Posted By: baffled
Date Posted: 15 Oct 2010 at 9:09am
Looks awesome, well done. I must do an Island trip soon, looks far too cool.


Posted By: TG
Date Posted: 15 Oct 2010 at 9:23am
Epic man, epic.

Clap


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TG
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"Of all the things I lost, I miss my mind the most"


Posted By: mjl
Date Posted: 15 Oct 2010 at 10:00am
Choice

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"It was the Law of the Sea, they said. Civilization ends at the waterline. Beyond that, we all enter the food chain, and not always right at the top. " Hunter S. Thompson


Posted By: Mullins
Date Posted: 15 Oct 2010 at 10:22am
Sweet! I was worried it was going to be an insipid teen-angst-ridden R-Pat promo vehicle.


Posted By: Nick.
Date Posted: 15 Oct 2010 at 11:23am
mean!  

what did Kane get? or was he just filming?



Posted By: kolt45
Date Posted: 15 Oct 2010 at 11:26am
Kane filmed then shot a 14kg coral trout.  Both Kane and I had no guns the entire trip except for the last day.


Posted By: Nick.
Date Posted: 15 Oct 2010 at 11:30am
no guns for the entire trip!  man thats gotta hurt.....................  


Posted By: Mullins
Date Posted: 15 Oct 2010 at 11:41am
I think we'd better go there Nick.


Posted By: Diver Dan
Date Posted: 15 Oct 2010 at 12:05pm
Awesome fish Kolt - that bump head is a monster, nice doggies too. Would you go back? (with guns?)


Posted By: TG
Date Posted: 15 Oct 2010 at 12:41pm
Originally posted by Mullins Mullins wrote:

I think we'd better go there Nick.


I want to as well. Not with you though, you'll make me look bad.


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"Of all the things I lost, I miss my mind the most"


Posted By: Sikahill
Date Posted: 15 Oct 2010 at 12:41pm
Superb trip report.
 
Why would you not shoot any more parrot fish? Are they rare or just a mean fight?
 
I love the colours on the last photo. That dogtooth looks awesome.
 
Must be a real drag coming home. We currently have tons of mud pouring into Hawkes Bay. I would say its going to take weeks and weeks to clear.
 
Thanks for the report.


Posted By: kolt45
Date Posted: 15 Oct 2010 at 1:06pm
Originally posted by Diver Dan Diver Dan wrote:

Awesome fish Kolt - that bump head is a monster, nice doggies too. Would you go back? (with guns?)
 
That was my third trip to Vanuatu, so yeah, I'd love to go back.  Having a high sucess rate with doggies requires special gear, so it's frustrating when it doesn't arrive and you have to make due with other stuff.


Posted By: TheSnapperWhisperer
Date Posted: 15 Oct 2010 at 1:20pm

yeah noice mate



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Posted By: Unclejake
Date Posted: 15 Oct 2010 at 1:27pm
What they ^ said


Posted By: kolt45
Date Posted: 15 Oct 2010 at 1:34pm
I forgot to add that there were a LOT of jobfish.  Burley turned them rediculously stupid.


Posted By: daveo
Date Posted: 15 Oct 2010 at 3:03pm
Wicked cool.
 
Truely jelous!!


Posted By: Hippi Pippi
Date Posted: 15 Oct 2010 at 3:22pm
Nice story and photos Kolt.


Posted By: Ces
Date Posted: 15 Oct 2010 at 3:45pm
nice report Kolt, looks like it was a great trip


Posted By: Besty.
Date Posted: 15 Oct 2010 at 5:09pm
nice work Kolt, well done!


Posted By: Besty.
Date Posted: 15 Oct 2010 at 5:10pm
are they kids that you have produced on previous trips. i bet every time you visit you take a picture with one more child then the previous time


Posted By: Unclejake
Date Posted: 15 Oct 2010 at 5:11pm
I love to post the BBC video of humphead parrotfish whenever I see a photo of one speared.

Sorry if I have bored you with this before, but I think it is wonderful. That was a bloody huge one Kolt! You have killed an island Thumbs Up




Posted By: Nick.
Date Posted: 15 Oct 2010 at 6:53pm
nah man that was cool.

the message I got was:

save the coral reef - shoot the parrot fish


Posted By: Snoop
Date Posted: 15 Oct 2010 at 8:19pm
Stuff Kolt - and nice report too.  Thanks


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Posted By: Unclejake
Date Posted: 15 Oct 2010 at 9:16pm
Originally posted by Nick. Nick. wrote:

the message I got was:

save the coral reef - shoot the parrot fish
Damn right!


Posted By: kolt45
Date Posted: 15 Oct 2010 at 9:55pm
Nice Vid UJ.  That's pretty amazing footage too, especially how they got so close.  Rebreathers?


Posted By: Unclejake
Date Posted: 15 Oct 2010 at 10:03pm
I don't know Kolt. I have been meaning to purchase the Blue Planet Blu-Ray disc for some time. That clip (above) seems to be from the series, but I guess buying the DVD still wouldn't tell us how they got all the shots. Boom cameras from a boat?

I have the Planet Earth DVDs too, and they are stunning. All I could think of was that the BBC employed excellent hunters and taught them how to film. Some of the Planet Earth stuff is probably done from hot air balloon


Posted By: Diver Dan
Date Posted: 15 Oct 2010 at 10:09pm
I guess also it is likely to be in a reserve - fish are pretty tame when there is no threat - I've seen plenty of them, but never been able to get close. It is indeed amazing footage.


Posted By: Geofinz
Date Posted: 15 Oct 2010 at 10:40pm
Originally posted by Nick. Nick. wrote:

nah man that was cool.

the message I got was:

save the coral reef - shoot the parrot fish
The message I got was:
don't lie on the beach because it is just a pile of humphead parrotfish s**t


Posted By: Azazel
Date Posted: 15 Oct 2010 at 10:50pm
Originally posted by Unclejake Unclejake wrote:

I don't know Kolt. I have been meaning to purchase the Blue Planet Blu-Ray disc for some time. That clip (above) seems to be from the series, but I guess buying the DVD still wouldn't tell us how they got all the shots. Boom cameras from a boat?

I have the Planet Earth DVDs too, and they are stunning. All I could think of was that the BBC employed excellent hunters and taught them how to film. Some of the Planet Earth stuff is probably done from hot air balloon
I think the wonderful mister Brew might be able to help you out there UJ...

Mean work Kolt. Do we have the pleasure of your company on RQ next month?


Posted By: kolt45
Date Posted: 15 Oct 2010 at 10:55pm
Doesn't appear so, Chris.  I think Jimmy got the last spot.  You guys shoot em up.


Posted By: random
Date Posted: 16 Oct 2010 at 2:10pm
Wicked report there Kolt.
Epi was a great place tostop. Did you find big trout and emperors on those wicked 'fingers' of reef out in front of the Village?
Did you do a trip over to Cook reef? (I think thats what its called from memory, a little to the north)
Wicked place that. Epic left hander peeling down it when we were there too.


Posted By: Nick W
Date Posted: 17 Oct 2010 at 2:11pm
Looks like an awesome trip Kolt. Was sdoo close to going when that spot came up. Should only be here for a couple more weeks then bring on the red sea. Getting visas has been a f#*!en headach but think its pretty much sorted now.


Posted By: Unclejake
Date Posted: 01 Nov 2010 at 4:29pm
Ha!
 
A friend of ours came over for lunch in the weekend as was telling us about these hardcore spearos from NZ who got heaps and heaps of fish with no spearguns in Vanuatu.
 
Her name is Chelsea and she just finished working for Nautillus.
 
Kolt and Kane are internationally famous (in Island Bay anyway)


Posted By: kolt45
Date Posted: 01 Nov 2010 at 5:00pm

We used our teeth!



Posted By: Gundry
Date Posted: 02 Nov 2010 at 1:42pm
Wicked story wicked pics and great BBC footage love those Blue planet and other docos gothte hole blu planet series saved on my mysky

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Winter is Meh



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