National Geographic : 1948 Jan
The National Geographic Magazine To an Expert, Opening Coconuts Without a Navy annals record cases of wartime castaways goir did not know the simple technique demonstrated here. tough husk in strips by thrusting the nut downward ag stick anchored in the ground (page 77). into the clear, refreshing water and slowly herded the shark into a shallow arm. A sudden rush forced him practically to strand himself on the coral, where a quick stroke with the back of the machete snapped his vertebrae. Strange how much better we felt now that supper was a certainty. What heights of feeling some survivors must have experienced at obtaining their first food in many days and knowing that at least for a little while longer there was still hope, still a bare chance that they would come through! These pools with their trapped fish were emergency larders. They represented a cer- tain amount of security amid the uncertainty of primitive living. Thus, when we had speared a large green parrotfish, we decided that we had our limit. In localized areas parrotfish are thought to be deadly poisonous at times because of toxic plants and ani mals they consume. A lone survivor would do well to pass up such a meal, but our purpose was to experiment, and we felt that Goniske might shed some light on its edibility in these waters. He grinned when he saw our catch; apparently the parrot fish was a delicacy. Goniske Plays Chef We were about to clean the fish when Goniske indicated that he would prepare them. He laid each fish on a bed of heated coral stones-laid them on intact, uncleaned. He did not touch the leathery skin of the shark nor remove the John and Frank (raigead large scales of the par Machete Is Easy rotfish. He didn't even gut them. ng hungry because they It was a lazy stunt Goniske pries off the ainst a hard, sharpened if ever there was one. We were ready for any thing that saved effort, but this seemed to be stretching the point. But we all hid our feelings and held our tongues. We knew that Goniske had cooked fish nearly every day of his life and curi osity alone would have kept us silent. Before long he pronounced the fish ready. He removed the charred skin and cut the fish into sections. The skin and scales had kept the flesh moist, the viscera only added to the flavor, and after the first taste we conceded it was better than our broiled fish would have been, and so simple. The parrotfish was delicious, but just in case Goniske should be wrong about its edi bility in these waters, one of us acted as a control and passed up the delicacy.