Wednesday June 19

As I said yesterday Puerto Escondido is a fishing community. It is other things, but fishing is still a major part of what happens here.

I used to think that fishing as a way of life was a morning activity. Sitting here on the cliff overlooking the bay I see it is not just for morning types. They also head out in the evening. Monday night I became aware that they also fish after dark.  With lights on. I would have thought that would scare fish away. Perhaps they are after some edible creature beside fish.

I woke up this morning early. Like really early. Like 2am. and 3am, etc. I finally got out of bed about an hour before dawn, thinking it was silly not to. Also I was having lots of dreams about CU things. Not really where my head is right now, so best get up and enjoy the dawn.

The same two boats were anchored off the point here, still with their lights on, right where they were when I retired last evening. I took out the camera, but I could not get a good shot, not enough options on my point and shoot (I left the good camera equipment at home, I did not want to get obsessive about photography on this trip). Then I sat down on the viewing seats and watched the sea as the predawn light crept slowly in.

As the first boats began making their way out to sea a question came to mind. Looking at this vast ocean that indeed begins here and ends 12000 miles away in Asia, how does one decide where to look for fish?

When I was 22 I worked down in Key West on a “party” boat as first mate for a while. We would take tourists out to do “bottom” fishing in 40 or so feet of water inside the reef.  Two trips a day, morning and afternoon, 4 hours each.  Captain Hazelwood would have me drop anchor based upon his sonar and, I suspect, just the vibe he had for that morning. Usually he was right, and we got enough fish on the lines to keep us happy. Occasionally not, and after 20 minutes or so he would have me pull the anchor and we would move to another spot. We never came back empty handed.

The boats here are open skiffs, with large high prows (though not as high as on a dory) and overhanging gunwales. Anywhere from 5 to maybe 9 meters in length. Usually but not always they have two outboard motors, probably for back-up as they only seem to use one at a time. At least 2, usually 3 or 4, and sometimes more, men are on board (I have only been here 3 days so I may revise that later).

Some go out only a few hundred meters from where I sit this morning, some head past me for a destination to the west I cannot see from here, and some head out so far I lose sight of them. I do not believe they have fish finders on board. I will be heading down to the beach later and will take a look.

Author: RJMS

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