Monday, October 24, 2011

The Great White Shark Hunt

Apologies to Hunter S. Thompson.

Don’t ask me how, but I did the impossible and wangled a CHOGM media pass not only for myself, but for my outrageously loud Fijian lawyer who I’d bought with me on this gig to handle ‘supplies’. And the way things were shaping up, we were going to need all the supplies we could lay our greedy hands on if we were to maintain some semblance of sanity and avoid having our skulls cracked by the trigger itchy security goons on every street corner.

Welcome to Perth, home of the all mighty mining dollar where everything’s fast, shiny and shuts at six. As all good gigs go, this one had taken a sharp turn to the left and was fast sliding into the realms of absurdity – a place where only the most drug addled of minds can operate successfully without succumbing to crippling, eye gouging paranoia.

It was not a place to be without a high powered weapon. I had been here before and I would be here again, but first something had to die.

Lazlo and I found ourselves riding high on the fly-bridge of the FarQ II heading out of Fremantle towards Rottnest Island. We had intended to spend the day running amok on a Captain Cook winery cruise, but that was until shark frenzy took a choker hold on Perth City and every redneck who owned a tinny suddenly morphed into a wild-eyed cross between Captain Nemo and Crocodile Dundee.

Another week, another shark death. It was all too much for a town on the verge of CHOGM glory, so the call went out to ‘shoot to kill’ and the race was on to see who would string this monster of the deep up by its murderous tail and bring justice to the land once again.

We’d packed lightly for this trip. An esky full of dark rum, three sheets of blotter acid and enough cocaine to keep the Bolivian Army marching for a year. We also had two high tensile trolling rods baited with whole pig’s heads, 120 litres of sheep blood, a pump action Ruger shotgun, a .45 Colt and an Alaskan pick axe just in case the fight came to close quarters.

We were half way across ‘Stragglers’ when the drugs began to take hold and the shit began to go down. Captain Jack had been busy ladelling bucket-loads of gore into our wake, when suddenly line started screaming off one of the trolling rods, as the water exploded about 100m off the starboard bow.

The whole boat lurched and I spilled most of my rum down Lazlo’s shirt as he scrambled around on deck like a ludicrous, hairy crab trying to find its footing. “Stay still, you fool. You’ll get us all killed carrying on like that.” I pushed him back into his chair and stood back to take stock of the situation.

Line continued to burn off the smoking reel and it was obvious that we’d hooked into something huge and terrifying that would drag us all to our death, boat and all. “There’s only one thing for it, we’ll have to shoot the fucker!” I screamed grappling for the shot gun and taking the steps to the deck three at a time. “Stand back Captain Jack, this one’s mine!”

The crew cowered in the bulk-head fearing the worst as I surveyed the broiling, inky waters before me. Shapes loomed from the deep, bats screeched from the heavens... yes, there are ALWAYS bats... as I took my bead on one evil murderous eye that gleamed from the head of a white pointer bigger than a Kombi Van and now only metres from where I stood. One, two...

‘BARPPPPP!’ The sound caught me like a punch in the face as a fast moving ferry cut across our bow and a single figure leapt gracefully from the deck clutching a spear in one hand and a Swiss Army Knife in the other. In a second the hunt was over and my final moment of glory snatched cruelly from my grasp.

I reached for the rum and chuckled quietly under my breath. “We meet again Freocookster... we meet again.”