Oh Fish, Where Art Thou?

Feeling inspired this morning, I got up and did about an hour of yoga and exercise out on the open deck. Cali came by the mat and did her best to help me along. We ate our breakfast on the north deck where we sat in the shade and discussed our thoughts on the trip so far. How things can get normalized and sometimes it takes a conscious effort to put things back in focus and look around at where we are and what we’re doing and the freedom that is ours. No job to go to, no traffic to sit in. Time to focus on activities that add to our lives.

Inspired by those braver than I who took their seat at the open mike last night, I busted out the guitar and worked on a couple of songs I’ve been trying to tighten up. I had my song sheets all spread across the bed and was banging away on the guitar when Jose Luis, the palapa guy showed up to finish the job. He had pulled up in his truck with a load of palm fronds in the back and was ready to get working. We spoke briefly then he got busy finishing the work while I went over to the Cruz Maria RV park next door to get some fishing tips from my friend Bob.

Bob, tackling the tackle. Note the outside cat patio in the window 😺

We met Bob and Wanda back in 2015 on our honeymoon when we were all staying at El Caracol. Fishing is Bob’s passion so I was excited to get the ins and outs on catching fish here in Lo de Marcos. Bob and Wanda are unusual in the fact that they travel with their cat, Taj. He has his own personal outside cat cubicles built into the side of the RV. And his own professionally airbrushed mural of himself on the back. He looks like a big tiger and runs the show.

Bob quickly assessed my gear and noticed that the drag was seized up on my reel. He deftly disassembled everything, cleaned it up and lubed it with a special reel grease (who knew such a thing existed) and put it all back together. It worked perfectly after. He set me up with some leaders, swivels and other items to complete my set of tackle. We talked for a while then agreed to meet up near Olivia’s at 5:00 to try our luck fishing at the north end of the beach.

Back at the casita, Jose Luis had finished thatching the roof and had started in scraping off the deck to prepare it for a new coat of sealing paint. I called the Comex store but the paint they claimed would come in today wasn’t there yet. Jose Luis then started in grooming Miguel’s palm trees for him. With a couple of sections of rope, he would shimmy catlike up the tall palms and cut off the ailing fronds and any coconuts that might end up being a hazard later on. 

I made a peanut butter sandwich and sat on the sky deck to eat it and Jose Luis was basically at eye level with me at 4 stories up. He seems pretty comfortable up there having a casual conversation with me while cutting and tossing palm bits as he readjusts his ropes every so often.

I had a date to swim with Mark and Laura at 3:00, so I took a quick catnap then headed down to the beach to meet them. Gail was hanging out on the beach in front so we sat and had a nice long conversation while we waited for the swim team. She and her husband, Martin, are a cool and interesting couple from the Banff area, newly retired and setting off on some new adventures. They are the athletic ones in the compound always paddle boarding and keeping themselves active. 

Schools of baitfish were congregating just offshore and the birds were diving on them and feeding in a frenzy. Mark and Laura arrived and we swam out through the sardines and dive bombing pelicans. We went out past the rocks to the end of the point where we turned left and went down the coast to a small private beach where we came ashore to have a look around. Beautiful empty stretch with only a caretaker’s cabin and a nice palapa down near the water. We had a quick look around then jumped back in the ocean and stroked our way back. Coming in, we passed through the narrow opening in the rocks and traversed the rock reef that creates the left hand wave when a swell can get in. There were some small colorful fish feeding along the rocks and some long armed sea stars in the crevices. We swam back over the huge school of baitfish where I would dive down into them where they would clear a circle just large enough to accommodate me and I’d be completely encircled with a milling horde of fish.

It was already close to 5:00 when I got in and I saw Bob walking down towards Olivia’s. I was trying to hurry, but when I got up to the casita, Miguel and Jose Luis were trying to get a line on the paint for the deck. My guy at Comex wasn’t coming through on the deal. In the end, Miguel headed off to buy it La Penita and I grabbed my fishing gear and rushed off to try to catch up with Bob.

When I got down to Olivia’s, Bob was no where to be seen. Way down at the north end I could barely see a guy in a yellow shirt and I guessed it was him so I trudged on down the beach in that direction. I walked past the lagoon and caught up with Bob near the point. We worked our way down the beach casting our lures and hoping for a fish. I practiced my casting technique and got much better as I figured a few things out. The shore break was pounding and I got rinsed a few times when I wasn’t paying close enough attention. 

There he is!

Catch of the day

Bob hooked a couple of tiny silver fish and all I caught was a beautiful sunset as we walked back the mile or so to El Pequeno Paraiso. No fish but hours in nature on a glorious stretch of lightly populated beach. Feeling totally at peace watching the sun melt into the sea with easy conversation on the walk home. Left me with that kind of quality tiredness you feel having done an outdoor activity where the exercise, sun and the elements remove all tension and worry.

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