Blasted! We’re Sandblasted! (Feb 20 2016)

DSC05762Fishermen started arriving really early, chatting and making a lot of noise. By sunrise, the place is packed with trucks and trailers. A few of them are already back by the time Big Dog gets up.

He wants to move closer to the restaurant. He also wants to try to start the generator, so once moved, he crawls under Sprockets. What a stupid place for a generator! In addition, no matter what he does, the generator won’t start and he begins to worry that every time he tries, it pulls down more power from the quickly emptying battery.

Mr. Lodi, as I’ve been calling the man in the large motorhome with Lodi plates, has a small portable gennie and Big Dog goes to see if we can borrow it, but no. Then, he goes to the restaurant to talk to the people there. They have an electric outlet near their delivery door and they have no problem with us using it.

While Sprockets is charging over there, we’re hanging out by the boat launch, on the platform with a scaffold – it has hooks on it and would be the sort of place where anglers take photos of their sportfishing trophies. It doesn’t look like it’s been used in that way in many years.

More boats come back. One has a lot of small (2 meter long) sharks. I have to go and watch. The head guy cuts up the sharks quickly, surgically. Fins and tails are removed, cleaned and bucketed. Small boys help keep it all organized. The shark is gutted – entrails go into a crate – then the body is washed in water and loaded back into the boat. This group has 4 or 5 sharks but the beach is left super clean.

Another boat comes in with more sharks but this boat divies up the catch and each guy cleans his own shark so it’s a bigger, bloodier mess. Entrails strewn on the beach attract frigate birds – there must be a hundred out there – who swoop down for chunks of liver with their hooked beaks.

DSC05769DSC05767Later, there is another boat with something massive. Big Dog and I go check it out. The big things are hammerhead sharks 10 feet long. There are also smaller, 1-2 meter sharks and smaller hammerheads. Now I’m really feeling sorry for the fish. How long can this go on before there are no more hammerheads, no sharks? And this is miniscule, microscopic compared to the bigger commercial shark fishing operations.

DSC05764A boat with two gringos has a catch of yummy looking snappers, pargo, grouper. The Mexicans (who probably own the boat) clean and filet the fish for the gringos. It’s probably part of the deal.

DSC05763An inflatable from Big Cruiser comes around a couple of times, the last time with an elderly gringo who is probably the owner. “Have a good flight!” the boat operator says. Guess Old Gringo is flying out somewhere. After he departs, so does Big Cruiser.

DSC05770DSC05771We take a walk to the other end of the bay – there’s a really nice resort out there which looks completely deserted. It’s well built, with nice details but how they can survive without any guests. Isn’t this peak season? And a Saturday, to boot!

The ocean is pretty and there are oyster remnants on the rocks, as well as coral chunks. There might be nice snorkeling out here. If it weren’t so windy.

DSC05772DSC05773After the walk, Sprockets gets unplugged and we go for lunch at the restaurant. Everything is pricey (for us) but the shrimp cocktail has lots of big shrimp. Plus, their toilet is clean and spacious and there’s an outdoor shower which Big Dog wants to use.

By now, it is getting seriously windy. It was already pretty windy, even in the morning, but it gets worse as we move into the afternoon. I am being sandblasted as I read. If I get up, the camp chair blows away. Most of the afternoon is spent chasing the palm tree shadow, reading and putting up with the howling wind. I’ve already nixed the idea of getting into the water.

The guys in the first shark boat have been here all day but as the sun sets, they walk out to the point with fishing rods. More fishing! All fishing, all the time! They come back after dark and lights on the beach indicate that they are cleaning their catch.

For all the fishing, though, there are no vendors, no co-ops. I haven’t been to a single place that sells the fish. The only stuff I’ve seen is sad, imported, farm-raised crap at the supermarkets. So where is all of the fish? I am seriously disappointed since I was looking forward to tons of great, fresh fish everyday, from one of the least polluted oceans. OK, so we had incredible clams and scallops, but…

Our dinner is a simple meal of rice, smoked ham and what’s left of the purple cabbage.



Author: ontheroadwithsprockets

I've been traveling since I was born -- the first big trip was before I was two, across the Pacific, from my native Japan to Los Angeles on a cargo ship. There have been many journeys since then, through many continents and cultures.

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