After a day and a half in the pool we decided to mix things up and go deep sea fishing. We picked it for two solid reasons:
- Chris likes to fish
- A trip to the Mayan ruins sounded terribly boring
We were going to share a boat with 4 other people and we were supposed to be in the lobby at 630 am for the tour company to pick us up. We were in the lobby at 620, but that didn't do us any good since they never showed up. At 715 am the concierge called them to see what had happened.
It was pretty clear that we'd been forgotten about and that the boat probably left without us. They end up sending a taxi and then, much to our delight, giving us our own boat with nobody else on it. This is pretty cool since a private charter normally runs several hundred dollars an hour and we still only had to pay the shared rate. (Which was considerably less than several hundred dollars.) SCORE!
At 745 we hit the water. It's already hot and muggy and the camera fogs up when we turn it on.
This is Martin. He drives the boat and hollers at the other boats on the radio. As far as I can tell, that's all he does.
Anyway, for a while it's pretty boring. We're just tooling around, it's godawful hot, the sun is beating down and the the fumes from the exhaust are starting to make me ill. Luis is busy putting out lines and we've got 3 or 4 sticking out the back of the boat.
Here is Luis working hard while I sit and take pictures of myself.
Finally, Luis starts messing with one of the lines and then declares that we've got something. He hands the rod to Chris and he starts reeling it in. To my complete surprise, I'm getting kind of excited. It's sort of like a grab bag - what will be on the other end? I don't know! IT'S A SURPRISE!!! SQUEE!!!
He did it as easily as you stick a toothpick in a cube of cheese. POKE. Then he threw the fish in a cooler where it flopped around NOISILY until it perished all the way. He also dumped a bucket of seawater on the deck to wash away the blood. It was beyond unsettling. (But really, how do you humanely kill a fish? Do you pop him in the head? What's the correct protocol here? Clearly, I've never been fishing where you KEEP the fish.)
Before getting on the boat, nobody really told us what happens to the fish we catch. The brochure said they'd filet them for us if we wanted to take them to our hotel and grill 'em up. But since we didn't want to do that they never said what might happen instead. I sort of assumed this would be a catch and release type of deal since that would obviously be the responsible thing to do.
Um, not so much.
After the tuna stops flopping around in the cooler and making it jump and shift in a really gruesome way, things start to happen that make me forget about the poor stabbed fish in the cooler. Luis is messing with the first line and he says there's something "really big" on it. I thought the first fish we caught was pretty freaking big so I'm curious what he means by this.
It doesn't take long to find out. Luis and Martin practically explode with glee when they see a sailfish dance out of the water. It's pretty exciting and we're all hollering when it jumps up because really, it's pretty impressive. They start asking immediately if we are going to mount it.
All Chris and I can think is,
But on the other hand, this is pretty cool. I mean, it's a really rare thing! Some guys fish their whole lives and never catch one of these! Maybe we should? We could put it....um....somewhere that we have 6 empty feet of wall? Like in our bedroom? And it would look...totally and incredibly tacky this is stupid no no no we are not going to take this stupid fish home. Luis and Martin, that is our final answer. No.
I just sort of assumed that since we didn't want to take him home, and that since we would not be putting him in the cooler to die alongside the tuna (since he was SEVEN FEET LONG AND ALL), there was no reason to stab him or kill him. By saying "we don't want to mount him" we would be letting this magnificent animal live another day.
RIGHT? That's what you'd think too if you said, "We are going to let him go." THAT HE WOULD BE LET GO.
45 minutes later Chris finally has the sailfish reeled in and he's all sweaty and tired. To my shock, 5-foot-tall Luis somehow lugs this sailfish on board and he's holding its pointy jaws with a rag. All I can think is,
What I'm imagining is this fish is going to start flopping about violently when it gets short of air. I am imagining him stabbing everyone in a crazed frenzy while we're a few miles from shore and then we all bleed out in the ocean in Mexico and Brian Williams will lead Monday night's news about "those poor tourists."
He stays on board for about 30 seconds and I keep my distance.
We take some pictures and tell the guys we're done, toss him back in the water. We wanted him to live a long and happy life in the ocean. And we don't want to get stabbed.
Martin gets on the radio and calls the other boats nearby to see if anyone wants our sailfish. I am so stupid that I thought he meant that they'd cut the line and then be like, "Ok guys, there's a sailfish RIGHT HERE IN THIS WATER so drop another line and see if you can get him too! He's RIGHT HERE."
Oh, I'm so stupid.
Another boat comes trolling up and Luis hands him the rod. There was some dude on that boat who wanted to put our sailfish on his wall.
You *try* and be a good person and look what happens. Someone just steals your sailfish.
After that things went downhill. I mean, what else was going to be more exciting? We caught several more tuna and then we think a barracuda chomped some of our bait in half. (See that knife? it just rolled around down there while Luis continued to not wear shoes.)
We saw some dolphins (at first, I thought they were sharks and had a major Jaws flashback) and sea turtles and then headed back. We took naps at the pool that afternoon and then spent the entire next day in the pool again. I will not bore you with more of the same pictures of the pool.
When we came home I was really glad it was only a 2-hour flight and not those 8-hour flights home from Maui. Claire was at home waiting for us and from the sound of it she really didn't miss us at all. While that is moderately insulting, she was perfectly happy with her grandparents and I can't really ask for much more than that.
We had fun and the trip served its purpose well: three days of sleeping in and laying at the pool without having to pack diapers and toys into my purse. Thus concludes the Cancun Adventure and our first trip without Claire. Success all the way around - I highly recommend a few days sans baby in the first year.
(For everyone who has asked, we stayed at Le Blanc. It is about ten minutes from the airport and it was amazing. I highly recommend it. Pool, food, service - all incredible.)