This year has been a significant one for me as a part-time spearo. Setting the scene quickly, I’m a working spearo Dad that lives too far from the ocean, I can have limited involvement, but with enough time in the water, I’ve been blessed with what I consider to be some fish of a lifetime given my skill level.
This year began with my Kickstarter backing of “99 Spearo Recipes” as a gesture of gratitude toward Isaac Daly. He played a pivotal role in supporting me during unexpected health issues, which led me to believe my diving days were over, and Isaac went out of his way to connect me with people who could assist. Part of the 99 Spearo recipes I volunteered to proof read, and part of that was the style guide, which intricately defined the Noob Spearo culture—characterized by humility rather than ego. As an introvert flying under the radar, this culture was particularly welcoming.
The Kickstarter reward was a 3-day beginner course on North Stradbroke Island. I’ve dived for years and done a freediving course so my motivation was more about giving back to someone who has contributed immensely to the spearo community, so if the dates couldn’t align, I was prepared to accept that. Fortunately, everything fell into place, and I attended without even taking a spear gun. The experience was enriching, even for someone with 30 years of diving experience. North Straddie’s beauty and the evident Noob Spearo culture made it a fantastic weekend.
Being a regular listener of the Noob Spearo podcast, I listened in to the Whitsundays Spear and Sail trip Zoom meeting. Initially planning to have it on in the background while sorting dinner, I was surprised by the intimate gathering. Long story short, work and family planets aligned and I ended up joining the trip! Despite never having sailed before (a tip for lightweights that struggle with the cold take wet weather gear) the trip was fantastic, and I witnessed the Noob Spearo culture in action once again. The story of the Golden Trevally I shot is featured on the Adreno website, which ironically my poor shot placement allowed the Noob Spearo culture to shine. Read it here, Whitsundays Sail x Spearing Trip! – Adreno – Ocean Outfitters emphasizing the teamwork, and I have memories etched from this trip.
The Whitsundays instilled confidence in my spearing abilities, prompting me to consider myself a permanent part-timer. When the Intermediate Course on North Stradbroke came up, with planets aligning again I was a last minute inclusions and scored the trifecta . This course, although I had moments of apprehension that I might be a small fish in a big pond was fine for a mid depth diver. However, the inclusive Noob Spearo culture again was evident which makes for the positive experience. The diverse skill sets of the instructors gave observational, cognitive, and instructional learning, which I don’t know if that’s intentional but it certainly works
A heartfelt shout-out to everyone I’ve shared these courses with—it’s been a pleasure. Here’s to a great year, and a big thanks to Isaac for all he does. For those contemplating purchasing the “99 Spearo Recipes” book or joining any of the trips, based on my experiences, you’ll walk away with indelible memories, a sense of community, and improved spearo skills—without a hint of regret.
Hopefully see some of you next year.
Safe spearing all