Thursday, July 23, 2015

Our Fishermen's work is never done

I am truly blessed to live here. I may not want to live this close to the ocean forever, but I will always look back at this house and love the time spent here. At one time I would have said I would not like to live somewhere there is always activity outside my front door and fence, but I found I can be a spectator and not get involved. That being said, I do have to watch what I'm wearing when I open the door, or step outside to water plants. (Mom, the white night gown is rather sheer in the sunlight)

Anyhoo, over the past six months! Yep, over 6 months we've been in this beach cottage, I've noticed how the fishermen do things. They go out anywhere from 3:30-dusk, and come back sometime after 8-9pm. (I assume they are setting nets) Then they go out again somewhere around 4am. (We hear them testing their motors, but believe me, they are VERY considerate) then they come back in again after dawn. Ramon (formerly known as Pegleg) told us once the fish eat and are more active at dusk and dawn. (We used to think they went out according to the tides, not so)

When they come back to shore, they wash down the motors, and cover them, they also take their nets out of the boat. (Our fishermen leave their motors on, but those who park elsewhere take their motors home for safe keeping) Usually a team of two look over every inch of the net as they pull it out over the side of the boat onto a piece of tarp on the sand. I've come to realize, they are inspecting for crabs, eels and things that have gotten stuck in the net, as well as checking for any repairing that needs to be done. Also, they are getting the net out of the bottom of the boat, so they can bail out the water, and clean the inside. They leave the nets to sit in the sun to dry during the day, coming back to repair if needed after a shower and breakfast.

Then later in the afternoon, they come back and put the nets back in the boat to be ready to go out again. We've noticed the fishermen who park their boats here, live close by, so they are truly Vecinos. (Neighbors) The wives will bring lunch, or drinks to them, and also bring the little kids for swim time as the men get ready to go out.

This morning I heard them talking about camaron, so I poked my head out, because...I like shrimp! And I saw Fernando Father fishermen getting his old boat ready to go out shrimping. They attach the bamboo poles, and get another kind of net, and after they get into the water, they attach the net to the poles and troll. Just another way to supplement the income. (Later when I saw him he said he only got a little, not enough to share, oh well...maybe next time.)

The boats have crews of two or three, but need help getting to and from the water, so they enlist "helpers", these guys don't usually go out on the boats (but I have seen them fill in if needed) they hang out on the beach, or in town and come when the boat calls them. (What did they do before cell phones?) They help roll the boat to its parking spot, and then wait or help unload the catch, for this help, they get compensated, from whatever the haul is. We placed a plastic bag holder (soda bottle with holes cut in it) on our fence post, and they all know it is there to use. At first it was a way for us to recycle all our plastic grocery bags, but they quickly dwindled our supply, now I buy bags to fill the dispenser, I spent $1.40 for 100 bags and that lasted the whole month, I can afford that...especially when I get free seafood because of it!

Such a wonderful life we get to live here on the coast of Ecuador, so thankful! We had a beautiful sunrise and rainbow yesterday morning...Stay tuned, the adventure continues!

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