Sunday, February 8, 2015

My love affair with Hogfishes

 People always ask what is a Hogfish and why would you name your boat after one.
When I first sailed to the Bahamas in 1977 spearing a Hogfish was the most sought after goal of all boaters as they are the best tasting fish around. They can be speared relatively easily if they have never been approached before. If they have been shot at and you missed then they can be a challenge to get near for a kill shot. You have to have a kill shot if using a Hawaiian sling or you will loose your spear. 
Spearing them with a pole spear you can just hang on to the rubber and get towed about if your shot is in a solid spot. This has been lots of fun over the years for me.
When I first designed and built the original Hogfish sailing Sharpie yawl I knew it was going to be a different looking sailboat than the norm. I wanted a boat that just fit me with my type of sailing, cruising and lifestyle. With this in mind I needed a good name to go with this new boat. The Hogfish is a goofy looking fish when swimming about the bottom. I has a fearsome looking mouth but these fish are really just big Wrasse's that eat crabs, sea biscuits and what ever comes their way. They can change their
body colors in an instant to camouflage themshelfs. When they die they can be very beautiful, like a sunset. 
Following are some pictures of my carved Hogfish and others that have crossed my path.

Carved for Kim Sands in Abaco out of cedar
Carved from a mahogany tree that washed ashore on Powell Cay in Abaco for an American client.
Carved for Dale and Mandy Roberts in Abaco 22 years ago
A female. All Hogfishes are transsexual where as the dominate female will turn into a male and grow the long snout and take over the female harem. I wonder how all the Christian male homophobic spear-fisherman deal with this fact. Can the fish just decide not to change at any time?
About as big as they get.
A stylized one for Bill Hutcherson
Our house with a neighbor. I love the colors here in this shot.
Mahogany with copper "Spriggs" as they call the three dorsale fins here in Spanish Wells. I have seen up to four at times.
Rachel on our front porch awhile back. The trees and bushes are now 10' higher. Our neighbors that have just built a house next door are always asking us to cut them down saying they are blocking their view. Some people want to sit in the front row and still be able to look at everything on both sides. We just smile at them knowing that all our grey water from our house is watering these native plants that give us shade, privacy, protection from storms and give a place for all the creatures that inhabit them to live. Our neighbours have cut 80% of their trees and bushes down replacing it with grass.
Kalessin with a Hogfish I speared in Exuma 23 years ago free diving in 45' of water. I have used a tracing of this fish for all the carvings you see here.
Back in my ole spear fishing for a living days.
Made of crab wood I found in Bequia a while back. Now in the home of Theo and Kim's in Spanish Wells.

When I designed and built the original Hogfish sailing Yawl I wrote a note to myself naming my design company " Hogfish Designs". This was 26 years ago. I knew back then that the hogfish was going to some day be the "it" fish. I mailed this to myself and keep this  unopened letter as a sort of copyright time frame of when I thought it was cool for me to sail about the Carribean sea in a boat with a huge pink stripe down the side calling itself the "Hogfish".
I like to think I made it easier for men to now wear bright colors .

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