When I was in Soufrière, St Lucia last week I went snorkeling with another boat over at the Bat Cave, which is a slit in the cliff with a bat colony roosting in it and some amazing reefs outside the entrance. When we got back I started talking to him about lionfish hunting and if he would be interested.
He stated he had never done it nor ever used a spear before, so I pulled mine out (minus the tips cause I did not want to get shot, haha) so he could see how they worked. When I first got on the boat to get them the boat was over the shelf and it was only 15-20 feet deep. By the time I was back in the water the boat had swung away from shore and off the shelf, where the depth drops very sharply.
So there we were in deep water where I could not see the bottom and he and his wife had one of my pole spears each. They were pulling the bungee cord tight along the pole and then opening their hand and letting the pole shoot forward all without letting go of the bungee cord. They both did this for a few minutes to feel the power the spears deliver over a three foot distance. He even stated it has decent power in a short distance, but you have to make sure to always have the bungee cord so as to not lose the spear.
That is when I turned to show his wife how to use it. When I turned back around all I saw was my spear in a quick arc underwater towards the abyss with James desperately chasing after it. He had no chance of reaching it and it disappeared. ;/. He came up and told his wife “I lost the spear” and in her very British accent she said “you only had it for two minutes, how did you lose it already”. Haha. Turns out he wanted to see what kind of power it had out of the water and shot it over his head. It took off and he did not grab the bungee cord quick enough.
He swam off to get his scuba gear while I floated there. I decided to dive down 10-12 feet and that is when I started to see the sea floor well below me……and better yet the yellow bungee cord attached to the spear (btw, if you want to find the best masks possible check out this link). I told him to hang on, because it was at the limits of my free diving ability, but I think I could get it. Down, down, down I went and finally reached the spear, put the cord around my neck like a necklace, and swam for the surface. When I finally made it I was SO out of air it took me a bit to control my breathing again. For those wondering, I figured it was 65-70 feet deep, which is just outside my range and I was out of practice at that depth.
After that I told him he could have the spear back when we were in shallower water and actually hunting lionfish, which we have done twice since then. Both times he brought the spear back with him. YEA!!!! Haha.