Batavia Wreck- The beautiful Abrolhos Islands – Week 1 fishing charter 2016
What a week for our first week of the 2016 Abrolhos Islands fishing charter season. We had an incredible week fishing and even spent some time snorkelling the Batavia wreckage.
The first day we headed out was a very over cast day, but the weather was amazing with hardly any wind.
Jason, Damian, Gavin and Rod got a nice size dhu fish each. This was Jason and Damian’s first dhu fish (as they are from the east coast). Rod also got a nice size snapper. Trolling Dave got a Mackerel and Damian a double header of coral trout. Day one certainly provided some great fishing as this was only a selection of the fish caught for the day.
To finish off the day Decky Darren went for a dive and got some crayfish for us for dinner.
On day 2 while we were trolling Tim got a nice sized coral trout.
We went for a marlin fish while we were having lunch, we never saw a marlin but Jarrod was able to catch his very first dolphin fish. Jason got a few spangled on soft plastics. Again it was a great day of fishing with plenty of fish caught.
On the morning of day 3 we went for a dive at the anemone lump swimming with huge coral trout, spangled emperor, pink snapper and baldchin groupers. It was pretty amazing to swim with these incredible fish. Rod and Malcolm caught their very first coral trout while trolling. Malcolm was very lucky to land his coral trout, as his coral trout decided to go back in the reef with Chad maneuvering the boat around and Malcolm on the reel the coral trout was finally landed to the boat without the line breaking. Gavin also got a nice mackerel on the trawl.
In the shallows we picked up a few nice baldchin groupers. Malcolm was lucky again on his next catch as a shark was chasing his nice size dhu fish but he managed to out-manoeuvre it and caught the dhu fish. The guys caught a great mixed bag for the day.
We finished the afternoon off with a dive around the reef and the crew getting some crayfish for dinner.
We even had a seal decide to come and say hello, he came on our marlin board to get a good look at us.
Day 4 was spent trolling, in the shallows, and diving for crayfish there were some very nice fish caught including baldchin groupers, coral trouts, spangled emperors. To finish off the day we went up to the pub and had a drink with the locals on Big Pigeon Island and finished the night off with a nice feed of fresh crayfish, and fish.
Day 5 On the Jetty we were tied up to we had some resident Samson fish come around and we were able to hand feed these beautiful fish, which was an amazing experience. The weather was absoutley amazing in the morning not a breath of wind.
We started off with trolling and landing a few coral trouts. Next we spent some time in the shallows catching baldchin groupers.
As the weather conditions were amazing we were lucky enough to get close into to the Batavia Wreck. What an amazing experience this was.
Jason –“Hand feeding the Giant Samson fish”
Rod- “Catching my big dhu fish and swimming at the anemone lump with Coral torut, Spangeled emperors, Pink snappers, and baldchin groupers.”
Malcolm- “Catching my very first dhu fish and coral trout. Also swimming at the Batavia wreck.”
Gavin – “Hand feeding the Giant Samson fish”
Steve- “Sharing this amazing experience with my mates. There are so many things that were a highlight from the quality of food to the variety of fishing we got to do in the 5 days.”
Jarrod- “Catching my very first dolphin fish, and swimming at the anemone lump with the fish.”
Damian-“ The whole trip was nothing like I expected.”
Timothy – “Catching amber jack and diving on the Batavia wreck”
Dave – “Diving the Batavia”
The Batavia wreckage- a brief history
The Batavia wreckage occurred on 4 June 1629 when the Batavia, a VOC (United Dutch East India Company) vessel struck the Morning Reef near Beacon Island. She was one of more than 60 vessels that have been documented as lost around the Abrolhos Islands. The Batavia was headed to Batavia, East Indies (now known as Jakarta, Indonesia) but it appears the prevailing winds made her venture too far east and she encountered the Western Australian Coastline instead.
Most of the Batavia’s 316 passengers and crew made it ashore to the nearby islands. The Commander, skipper put together a small group of passengers and used the ship’s longboats to go in search of water. When they couldn’t find water they decided to set sail for Batavia, making the 2,000km journey in just 30days. Seven days later the Governor of Batavia sent Pelsaert to rescue the survivors of the Batavia wreckage and salvage what they could of her cargo.
Upon their arrival back at the island where the survivors remained the Pelsaert crew found that the Under-Merchant had gathered a small group of men who then murdered 125 of the survivors. Some of their victims are buried on Beacon Island.
Once Pelsaert and the crew salvaged what was left of the Batavia’s cargo, they delivered justice under Dutch Law. The eight worst murderers were subjected to torture. Seven of the group who confessed to murder were executed at the Abrolhos Islands.
After all this, of the 316 people aboard the Batavia only 116 survived. The wreck was only uncovered in 1963 but since then it has been the subject of significant archaeological surveys and excavations. It is now a great place to snorkel and explore the incredible marine life.
Check out this video of our snorkelling adventures at the Batavia site
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