Stone fishing, an Xtreme KAP session…
Kite Aerial Photography
Kite : Dan Leigh Delta R8
Camera : Ricoh GXR A mount with a 12 mm Voigtlander
Stone fishing is a traditional fishing technic in French Polynesia but traditions are fading away. (we were fortunate enough to participate in 2009 to the last one that was organized on the island of Maupiti).
To close the mayor’s congress, the city hall of the island of Taha’a organized a stone fishing ceremony on august 03, 2012. The weather forecast looked good ( 15-20 knots of south east wind); space available on Air Tahiti, as well as the Hawaiki nui, a local hotel, a few phone calls to find a boat to take us to the ceremony and here we are Heidy & I for an Xtreme KAP session… certainly one of the most challenging we ever had.
Here is how this special fishing technic works : a fish trap is build on the beach by the lagoon, from this trap a 600 feet long and 5 feet wide canal which ends on a giant funnel where more than 100 boats will “push” school of fish that hundreds of fisherman will guide by throwing stones hung on a rope in the water. By the time they get to the funnel, fishermen jump in the water and “push” the fishes in the canal towards the beach fish trap where the local authorities will have the opportunity to harpoon the first fishes that show up… (the others will be released… the fish not the officials)
This is for the fishing technic, the KAP technic is an other story… First we had to launch the Dan Leigh R8 delta under the wind of the tiny islet where the ceremony was taking place, we then had to come back on the beach where the ceremony was taking place…but to do so we had to walk and swim in the lagoon to avoid a few palm trees before being able to aim between two palm trees and walk back on the beach. So far so good, the rig is now on the line 10 to 15 feet above the ground (water) but I have to position my kite and camera to get the best of the ceremony… no choice, walk in the lagoon, swim, walk, swim, walk until I find a coral head to launch the line. Holding a kite line on the ground is not always easy, but swimming in the water and holding a kite line with a camera is totally insane !!! Now that I am in my “spot” in the water, I just hope that the battery and SD card will last long enough for the fish and fishermen to arrive !!! I spend 30 minutes playing with different heights of the kite when I see the first fishermen in the canal leading to the fish trap… I have to reel in to change the angle of the rig and get closer but remember I am in the lagoon with water to my shoulders… I am lucky, the wind is very stable, I change the angle of the rig, get a few shots, reel in, swim and walk back to the beach… everything is dry and safe… end of this Xtreme KAP session…
During the all time Heidy was having fun on her side covering the event with a 6 meters pole…
More than 1600 images on one battery ( over 2 hours on 5 seconds interval mode) Ricoh GXR, A Mount, APSC sensor, 12 mm ultra wide angle Voigtlander (18mm equivalent), heavy duty autoKAP rig designed by Books Leffler, Dan Leigh Delta R8, 300 pounds Cousin Tristec Braided dyneema.
Back in the hotel, it took us over an hour to rinse and dry the kite line which spent 3 hours in the salt water.
Great Fishing party, loads of fun and a few images….