De-husking Coconuts, Wasabi Peas, Barracuda Behavior -- Life Hacks

Killing Coconuts
So you have to de-husk a coconut. Where do you make the first cut. I have discovered by trial and error to cut the knobs off at the top. They are the easiest to chop off especially when the coconut is fibrous. Then I sink the machete on a vertical plane around the coconut, and stand the coconut on its pointy end. I then start chopping off the husks with downward slices.

This is particularly useful information for inhabitants of Canada, Iceland, Siberia and countries that do not see a lot of coconuts. If they come across a coconut tree growing on some forgotten fjord near the Arctic Circle, and are hungry, with this information they can survive. You are welcome.


Clearing Sinuses

Things are hellishly expensive in the tropics, especially snacks and "oddball" stuff. I am constantly on the lookout for relatively low calorie snacks, and wasabi peas fit that definition. When a local supermarket put them on sale at a $1.59 (US funds) a bag, I bought a pile of them. The usual price is about $189.99 per bag (OK, it is about $4.99). I tasted them and they didn't taste like seawater or motor oil, so it wasn't a shipment that fell into the harbour or off a dock somewhere.

So I snack on these things. I have a life hack though. EAT THESE THINGS ONE AT A TIME. The wasabi is not evenly distributed and you might get a super concentration of wasabi that takes your breath away, brings tears to your eyes for five full minutes, burns the inside of your mouth out, and makes you feel like you are being choked in hell.

The only positive after an episode like this, is that your sinuses are crystal clear.


Barracuda Behavior

Barracuda are scary. I was at the appropriately named Jaws Beach, and there was one as big as me, swimming around with his mouth open, displaying an amazing array of teeth that were pointed in all directions. One of our directors owns a boat and regularly goes fishing to the out islands. He witnessed a large barracuda attack on a dolphin ( a porpoise) that cut the dolphin in half.

Barracuda know that they are the apex predator. When I shoot at little ones with my Hawaiian sling, they duck the spear, and follow it down to see what the hell it was. When you shoot at other fish, they hightail it out of Dodge.

But I have noticed some peculiar behavior. Last Sunday, I tested my theory and it seemed to hold. I was spearfishing around this little coral outcrop that actually came above the surface of the ocean. It was a tiny little island the size of a patio. As I went around to the leeward side of the island, there was a cloud of barracuda -- maybe about 25. The amazing thing is that they were of four different sizes. There were the small guys, less than the size of my forearm. Then there were the medium guys, about the length of my arm. These were the most plentiful. The large guys were close to four feet, and there was a giant, about 5 feet long. They were just cruising, doing a lot of nothing. They were incredibly curious about me.

My theory is this. If you come to an apex predator in the ocean, and you want it to go away, you act like a larger predator. You don't want to make a lot of noise, or create a ruckus. That is what the little guys do when they are afraid. Also, you don't want to back away, because they follow you. That is prey behavior.

What I do is quietly advance on them. I do not do it in an aggressive fashion, because they have the fight or flight mechanism. If you come on too aggressively, they may choose to attack.

So I imperceptibly advance toward them. I do not splash with my fins. I do not extend my arms (don't want to offer bait), but slowly and surely I advance on them. They always retreat. I keep going until they move away completely, and then I turn around.

If this blog ends abruptly one day, you will know that my strategy has failed. But for now, so far so good.

This reminds me of the guy who fell off a sky scraper. As he fell passed each window, the occupants heard him say "So far, so good".

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