My First Dive at Steep Point – Western Australia
My name is Jordan MacNeill and I started diving when I was eight years of age. My first diving experience was at Coral Bay with my dad where I shot my first fish, which was a parrot fish. Soon after I started diving with Barry, Scott and Lee Paxman. Just as I really started to get into Spearfishing and was getting better at it, I got an ear infection. We went to the doctors many times and they all said it was an outer ear infection. My ear got worse and worse, then my dad, Alastair MacNeill took me to the hospital. At the hospital the Doctors said I had a middle ear infection and they would keep me there for a couple of days. Two days after that they said I would have to get grommets. After the operation to put grommets in my ear, there was no improvement. Now the doctors diagnosed me with a mastoidectomy and I had another operation. I had to stay in hospital for two weeks and after that I could not swim for two years.
Finally I got back into the water in January this year and I started diving again with Barry. On the long weekend in June I was invited to go to Steep Point with some of the guys from the dive club. When I was told about the trip, I started making ice for ice-boxes, made sure all of my dive gear was up to scratch and packed my bags. After a long 12 hours of driving and four wheel driving we arrived at Steep Point early in the morning while it was still dark. Straight away we unpacked and set up our tents and gear. By the time the sun rose we were ready to go diving. Straight away we got our gear on and headed out.
The conditions were not perfect but I was exited. The first spot we went to I shot a pink snapper on top of the reef. After that I went across to where Barry, Greg, Scott and Lee were off the reef to look for Spanish mackerel. The only things I saw were a hammer head and a bronze whaler. At the end of the first day of diving I had a Baldchin Groper, Pink Snapper, Gold Spotted Trevally, Yellowtail Kingfish and a Sombre Sweetlip which were all State Junior Records. The second day I shot a Mulloway which was a State Junior Record and on third day I shot a Spanish Mackerel and a State Open Record Spanish flag. This was the best diving experience I have ever had.
When I tell people what I do and show them pictures of fish I have caught, they cannot believe it. The reason why I chose to spear fish over normal fishing is because it is much more exiting, especially when you are swimming with a fish in your hands and there is a shark following you. There is definitely more challenge and fun sneaking up on a fish, getting close enough to shoot it. The feeling of shooting a fish after a long dive is exhilarating. When you do go to try and shoot different types of fish they can be quite hard to approach, you have to be relaxed because if you get exited and start splashing around the fish will be gone.