with Captain Chaos

Mobiles can be a life saver

Last summer I was out fishing with my old mate Roger, we had put the boat in at Little Manly and after some trouble starting the outboard we headed out to fish just off North Head. It was a great morning. The sun was shinning and the water was calm we had some good bait, live yellow tail and large green prawns. The yellow tail we bought off some of the local kids much to their great joy.
“I hope you brought something to eat?” Roger asked as we went past the Quarantine Station and rounded the point towards North Head.
“Yes some savoury rolls I made this morning.”
“Sounds great! We might as well start here Chaos, it looks pretty good,” Roger said pointing at the bottom where I could see plenty of fish swimming around the rocks.
“Let’s just drift and see what we get.”
We fished for about half an hour then out of the blue we started to get some great bites. Suddenly Roger’s rod bent nearly in half and line started to run out.
“Geezus Chaos, I think I’ve hooked a bloody great whale!”
I quickly grabbed the landing net hoping it was big enough and leant over the side, I could see a large silver flash about two metres down.
“It’s big! Bring him up slowly.”
Roger had the fish almost where I could grab him with the gaff (as the net was too small) when abruptly with a big bang the boat jumped out of the water and at the same time a huge dark shape came from under the boat. Roger fell into the centre as the weight went off his line.
Scrambling back to his seat with a look of fright, Roger started to wind his line in. Neither of us were prepared for the huge fish head … minus body. It fell into the boat and we could see that the carcass had been bitten off quite cleanly. It was so sudden, the head was still opening and closing its mouth.
“Bloody Hell Chaos! That was a very large shark … bigger than this boat. What say we move to another spot.”
“The weather’s changing. There’s a strong southerly brewing. We should go just off South Head for a while; that way we can use the wind to get back.”
We motored to a spot just off the white water under the cliffs and settled into more fishing … and eating the savoury rolls. It was only when some water came inboard I realised we had overstayed our welcome.
“Hey Roger, that weather change is on us. Let’s get the hell out of here.”
I started the outboard and headed towards the Heads. The wind was really blowing and the sea was all white caps When we turned into the harbour we were surfing. It was great.
Until the outboard started to miss.
“Chaos! Your phone’s ringing.”
I grabbed it out of my pocket.
“Hey Chaos, it’s George. I’m right behind you. D’ya need a tow?”
“How did you know it was me?”
“You’re the only idiot I know who’d be out here surfing the swell in a tinnie!”
It didn’t take long to get a line from George’s trawler. It was a rough ride. We nearly capsized a couple of times, and the boat was half full by the time we were in the shelter of Quarantine. It was a very happy pair that jumped ashore at the Little Manly ramp.

Savoury Beef Rolls

500g topside mince
1 desert spoon crushed garlic
1 teaspoon crushed chilli
1 red onion chopped finely
half red capsicum chopped finely
1 tablespoon tomato paste
200g crushed tomatoes
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 long crusty rolls cut along the top to form a pocket

Heat the oil in a large frying pan and add the mince. Fry until brown. Add the onions, garlic, capsicum, tomato paste and chilli, mix well and cook for 3-4 minutes. Add the Worcestershire and crushed tomatoes and cook until reduced around 20 minutes.
Serve by filling the rolls, great hot or cold.