Tuesday, December 8, 2009

South Pacific Survey, 21 June 1951

Most of the morning was spent in idle chatter not getting very much done, just preparing for some work in the afternoon. Had lunch with the Silcocks, some fish the boys had caught the day previously and very nice too.

Mr Bignall and I have formed the explosives party, most of the others keeping clear of the job. We went down to the area to be blasted, dropped some markers(coconut with the husk still on it and they float quite well) on top of the coral heads, then prepared some boxes of gelignite, then over the side.

The natives here believe in the effect of gelly on the fish and were over the side in a flash to retrieve what they can. One fish I saw on the bottom was covered with spines like a porcupine and I got a native to bring him up. On getting it aboard the launch it blew itself up until it was completely like a ball covered with these spikes and two large eyes just about the size of a human's.

Then there was another fish like a box and just as hard. Oblong, quite hard, with the head and tail flared into the box-brown in colour. There were many other delightfully coloured fish that looked better in the water, rather than out. We went along to the RSA Club and had a game of billiards and then off to bed.

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