Pam’s first experience spearfishing

“Being raised in the south, I have been around many hunters and fishermen. While I have always appreciated the provisions these individuals gave me, I want to be far removed from the killing of my food source. I am a healer and a lover by nature, and have never been able to get past the killing of an animal, no matter how “humane” the act.

I always felt some connection to the spirit, or “essence” of animals, which would make it difficult for me to kill one, even for food. Within my heritage there is some Cherokee ancestry, and I know that Native Americans have a ritual of thanking the spirit of the animal it has killed for food, in thanks to the animal and to God for the provisions given. I appreciate that expression of gratitude. It only seems right.

On my recent dolphin experience in Bimini with Joe, he let our small group know before heading out to sea for the day, that he would be spearfishing at some point in the day, in order to get our dinner for the evening. He asked if anyone was interested in joining, and I stepped out of my comfort zone and told him I would join him, and wanted to learn to spearfish.

Just that morning, our group discussed the masculine and the feminine that all of us have within, and we processed how we are in touch with those things within. I apparently, was in touch with my masculine that day.

I did go out with Joe and carried a spear, fully prepared to spear a fish, as instructed by Joe, if the conditions were right. While I didn’t actually spear a fish that day, a few amazing transformations occurred within which I want to share.

I was truly in a hunter mode as well as a protector mode that day. There was another lady who swam along and carried an extra spear (but did not want to kill any fish).

As we approached the reef, I noticed nurse sharks along the bottom of the rock ledge where we were swimming. One was about 5 feet, the other, about 8 feet in length. While it was certainly adrenaline producing to be swimming close by, I didn’t feel threatened by them, because they were along the bottom of the sea and I was floating along the top.

Then, several things occurred in a row rather quickly: Joe speared a fish, but the fish swam quickly, got away and holed up in the rock ledge. In the meantime, a big Mackerel came by, and Joe speared that fish quickly and efficiently. The entire thing unfolded fast, like a dream sequence, right before me. Joe held the fish to the spear. He quickly took out his knife from the holder strapped to his leg and within an instant, I saw him de-brain the fish, while we were under water, as he began his ascent to the surface. It was quick, smooth, not a big production, very efficient. A tiny slit in the side of the fish.  It was not only humane, but one of the most beautiful acts of kindness I have ever seen. I felt like my eyes were watching music. That fish hardly had time to know what hit him. Joe’s quick skills and loving energy went into action, and he showed me how something I have always found to be inhumane and beyond my ability to handle, could be done beautifully. Perhaps it was because he did all of this, quickly, IN the environment where the cycle of life occurs for fish.

It was such a different experience from what I have seen all my life, where you hook a fish, pull it out of water, it struggles while you struggle to unhook it, then it flops around in a bucket of water injured for possibly hours, while you continue to fish, and then maybe it’s dead when you are ready to prep it for cooking or maybe you have to kill it….

Not in this experience. It was beautiful. I have never been so honored to be a part of the food cycle/life cycle and, for the first time, I “got” it. I got it in a way I never have before.

I give credit to Joe for the manner in which he hunts. I am in awe and have learned so much from this experience.

After the three of us got back to the boat, Joe needed to get back in and retrieve the first injured fish. I went right back in. Wow. I overcame fear…again. I knew it was only right to go back and get that fish. And that was part of spear fishing.

I love this journey.”

Pam Meadows, Nurse