There was a time when fishing had a strong pull on my psyche. Especially salt water fishing in semi tropical water. When Ann and I first arrived, her sister Jan, and her husband Rick, along with Rick’s son, Jared and his wife Jessica, were already there, enjoying themselves. Their trip was winding down. But Jan and Rick still had one last excursion to go: coastal fishing for black tuna, whatever those were. There was no way I wanted to miss out on that. It just sounded exciting. And divide the expense six ways, who could complain? I couldn’t think of a better perspective from which to view Ixtapa and Zihua than from the sea coast on a bright and sunny day.
But, as is the patterns of the energetic and motivated, the start was early. It seemed to me, we were up before the sun, ready to embark onto the misty sea at some ungodly hour. I thought to myself, I could endure one early start. Jan and Rick would soon be gone, and I could quickly return to my own schedule. Little did I realize, then there would be surfing, diving, another tour of the coast, only this time south, another couple of runs into Zihuatanejo, and on and on. You go with more than one lazy travel partner, (I am thinking of my oldest son, Sierran, or my PI travel companion, Gordon) and it is all about rising with the sun and compressing the day in with action packed activities. Nobody wants to miss anything. Myself, I can pick up the activities in the middle of the day.
So at sunrise, we were all in a tienda down on the pier, buying every kind of food and drink we could imagine ever wanting. Then we went outside and got in line for tortas. We had enough food for Thanksgiving. I chuckled to myself as Ann ordered something from the ungloved, unmasked girl packing in the guts of her sandwich. If Covid was alive and well, it would have been here. I cautiously ordered from a girl that wore plastic gloves and a mask, something that could be spooned on and not hand patted onto the bread. I watched Ann out of the corner of my eyes, knowing this was killing her, yet she said nothing. Needless to say, 3 hours later, while cruising the sea at a speed the black tuna found to be perfect for attacking our lures, Ann refused to eat her torta. Who was chosen to clean that loose end up? Leo, oh, here is a left over torta. Why don’t you eat it, nobody else has any room for it. Really?! So sorry, I am stuffed (and I saw how that torta was made).
The forty something young man who owned the boat—a nice big shiny fishing cruiser—was from Madera, a suburb of Fresno. He graduated from Madera High School, one of the traditional rival football powers in the area. He lived there for nine years so it was pleasant chatting with him. We cruised up and down the coast, and Rick and Jarod caught most of the fish, though occasionally I found myself getting pressed to reel in a fish. We all pretty much agreed to let the fish go that we caught, though sometimes the hook did too much damage and we had to keep them. There is never a shortage of people who will take the fish as a donation. I don’t know why it felt better to give them their freedom back after the fight, kind of like bull fighters showing mercy to a bull who put up an unusually spirited fight—we were all meat eaters. I love meat, but don’t like taking life. It’s one of those many contradictions found in human nature.