Lens testing 2015 Cape York
Producing world class polarised sunglasses sometimes has its rewards and having the opportunity to head off to test new lenses among some amazing scenery is one of them, albeit one that doesn't come around very often.
Unlike last time, we were only two strong, but nevertheless, the allure of some quality fishing and the chance to catch up with CY Charter's operator, Hamish Macmillan was too strong and plans were made to fly up from Sydney in the space of a few weeks. Ahead of us lay some of the most beautiful scenery and fishing Australia has to offer as well as one of the most stunning sunsets I've witnessed and of course some ales around an unnecessary fire but hey, it adds to the atmosphere.
Our arrival was timed well with some slight car issues (broken suspension courtesy of the unrelenting road surfaces) but with that issue dealt with it was off to the local for our first of many XXXX cans while waiting for the tide to rise enough to get to Albany Island. As usual, Hamish regaled us with tales of the island life which covered crazy chefs to five day weight loss strategies as well as large crocodiles and even the quality of the dirt in the local area.
Getting across to the island includes a short trip across the channel in a punt, affectionately called Barge-Arse. It provides a quite amazing ride with all the creature comforts you'd expect from a Punt, endless spray, no seats and a wet floor. That aside we arrived safely and set about getting our equipment ready for the early start the next day, which incidentally never happened due to the tides.
The next morning as we eagerly awaited the tide, we set about grabbing as many test pairs of sunglasses as we could and worked out our plan. The first stop was light jigging on a series of reefs as the tide pushed in which resulted in a brace of small trevally and even a tusk fish. Dan selected a G3HR lens while I chose the G1HR6 which is a brown lens base with a blue mirror and is exceptionally comfortable over long periods on open water. When we changed to sight casting reefs, the G2H5 lens proved invaluable in spotting likely fish spots. Starting with lenses you know well provides a good starting platform to test new lens formulations and the ever changing conditions and the fact you're spending hours on the water at a time really allows you to test the qualities of polarised eyewear across a decent time span and really shows the need and differences between lenses.
The test lenses proved effective (more details on those next year) but over the course of the trip we managed GTs, coral trout, tusk fish, mackerel, queenfish, longtail, a variety of emporer and even a batfish (they actually fight hard). Perhaps the most hilarious (or heartbreaking depending on who you were) scene was when Dan hooked up to what we assume was a GT and in the process of fighting the fish, snapped his rod between the feet of the first guide. I stumbled about in laughter as he proceeded to get pulled all over the boat while fighting the fish with less than half a fishing rod. Eventually he got smashed but he put up a good tussle. Meanwhile Hamish quietly landed his fish with no fuss.
Over the space of our 5 day hit and run mission, we landed a bunch of quality fish, but it's the company from Hamish and Celine to the chef and other helpers that really make this location. The staff are amazing and second to none when it comes to ensuring you are well catered for during your visit. To check them out visit www.cyfishingcharters.com.au