As I journey through my new life here in Merida I meet new people and some are ok, some are nice, a few are not so nice, but then some are exceptional. This blog is about an exceptional person by the name of Eduardo Perez and going on a fishing trip with him.
Eduardo was recommended to Debi and me as a very good mechanic and that is how we met. It seemed from the beginning there was more to our meeting than just the initial mechanic/client thing.
The first time I walked into his shop I was greeted by a lovely young woman whom shortly later was introduced as his youngest daughter. On my second visit I met his most wonderful and also lovely wife Berta. We all seemed to hit it off on all cylinders right from the beginning.
Since that first encounter we have developed a good friendship and have visited each other at our homes and shared in the delight of good food, good wine and good people.
The subject of fishing came up as it seems to do when two guys start talking about things they like to do, etc. Fishing and doing it together crosses over all language and race barriers and can bond guys together.
Eduardo asked me many questions and as the conversation continued he got more interested in finding out that I was not leary of the water and I liked to fish. This subject came up several times and then he asked if I would like to go out on his boat. He explained that the boat was not large, it wasn't fancy, and that it was a simple Mexican way of fishing without poles, with hand lines and it was mostly about just getting out on the magnificent ocean and communing with good old "Ma Nature". He asked several times if I'd be ok with everything as he wanted me to have a good time and not be disappointed. I did and I wasn't!
Eduardo had hoped for us to go out in April but due to various delays and what have you we didn't get out until June 15th. Eduardo wanted the day to be special for me....sort of like a gift to me, at least that's the way it felt. He didn't allow me to help pay for gas, or bait or anything. Just come along as his guest and enjoy the day.
The day came and he was supposed to pick me up at 4:45 AM. Now you may remember reading in one of my previous blogs and/or in one of Debi's where we have mentioned how it is very usual to be late getting to an event, etc. Fishing is one of the exceptions to that. Eduardo pulled up out front at 4:39 and I was ready.
Our first stop was at Eduardo's shop to change vehicles and pick up a few items. We needed to take the Bronco because it had the hitch that was needed to put the boat in the water.
Eduardo said that he was taking the back way to Chuburna Puerto. It was an interesting drive. The roads were narrow and we came across an accident where a person on a bicycle was hit by a vehicle. As in most cases on small roads the vehicle didn't stop and unfortunately the person riding the bike was dead. (No pictures of that)
The first thing we did after arriving at the Puerto was to back the truck up to the boat.
Hook up the boat to the hitch and transfer supplies
Then Eduardo and Emilio unloaded the two outboard motors and attached them to the boat. Eduardo had converted a 7 hp gas motor to an electric motor and he brought it along to see how it worked. Eduardo is real handy with making things that come in handy. Once at his house he showed us a generator he made that will supply enough power to his house to sustain the necessities if a hurricane hits the city.
Last minute checks are made and then we sit in anticipation of starting the motor so we can power out into the Gulf. The motor starts as expected and we power thru the Puerto. We pass by many boats moored and anchored just waiting to do what we are doing.
As we head out Edurado and Emilio each put a line in the water just in case a few robalo might be biting.
Now there is nothing to do but get to a spot, throw out the anchor and wet some lines. I was in the middle of the boat with Eduardo at the stern and Emilio at the bow. They started catching fish right away and I wasn't even getting a nibble. They had each caught over 20 fish each by the time I started pulling a few in. Regardless it was fun!
The fish weren't big but there were plenty of them. Edurado and Emilio each had two lines and I had one. Eduardo asked me if I wanted another line but I declined.
The bait we used was squid and it worked well. It was just cut up and available to bait your hook with. Each line had two hooks and the hooks would get cleaned off regularly. Those fish were smart little devils!
Every now and then Eduardo would start the motor and we'd go to a different spot to try our luck and overall our luck was very good!
Eduardo is a very happy man when he is out on the water. He and I shared some of our philosophies about fishing and the ocean and they were very similar.
As we moved from spot to spot Emilio would fillet the fish and we were accumulating many fillets. Eduardo had promised that I'd get to try some of the freshest ceviche I had ever had. I knew that these fillets were destined to be the main ingredient.
Eduardo and Emilio are a fishing team. They seem to be able to almost know what the other is thinking or wanting to do. It was fun to watch them and how well they got things done.
Of course with all the fish pieces and parts being thrown in to the water it brought around a few hungry winged friends. Not camera shy at all and willing to get close in order to get a tasty morsal.
We finished the day by anchoring in the shallows right outside the channel. Emilio finished making the ceviche and Eduardo and I went swimming. Emilio joined us after he completed the preparation of the upcoming feast!
Upon getting back in the boat we partook of the rewards of our toil for the day and boy oh boy was it good! Many thanks to Emilio for preparing the ceviche.
It was a fantastic day and one that will be listed as one of the very best days I've had since coming to Mexico. Eduardo thanked me for trusting him enough to go out on his boat with him. His thanks were warmly received by me as well as his wonderful hospitality and willingness to share this very personal outing with me.
I can only hope that I have other experiences that will allow me to touch on the basic essence of Mexico as much as this one did. I know that no matter what I do I'll never be able to truly know what it is like to be Mexican but I really feel that I got close this time....real close!
Life is good....now pass the ceviche!