#30, Go Fishing
San Carlos is famous for its fishing. During summer months, as the water temperatures rise, the exotic big game species are present, including marlin, sailfish, dorado (mahi-mahi) and tuna. With deep water only a few miles off shore, even small boats can attempt to land the Big Ones. Several sportfishing tournaments are held in San Carlos each year. From late fall into spring, there is excellent bottom fishing in and around the many islands and points in the area. Target species include red snapper, sea trout, yellowtail and sea bass.
Knowing that I love to fish, my mom arranged a fishing party for us. She hired the Chokmah and invited a few people to join us. We arrived at the dock on Saturday morning, outfitted with the token breakfast of champions for fishermen- chorizo and papas burritos wrapped in foil.
Our captain was busy prepping the boat when we boarded and my cousins Jeff and Trish were already there. A few minutes later Marie and her friend Betto arrived. Then our ‘marinero’ arrived with bags from the grocery store. Marinero translates as sailor, but he was both first mate and chef.
Trish, Marie, and Rich are prepared to launch.
My cute mom is color coordinated with the sea.
I have never been on a fishing trip like this, but it was definitely something I could get used to.
The crew got our poles ready and baited our hooks for us. If the lines got tangled, we handed the poles over and they gave us fresh ones. When the captain was getting this pole ready for me, he felt a nibble and he pulled up a few little fish.
My cousin Jeff, and the marinero, were happy with this little salmon they caught.
The bright red scorpion fish was larger than it appears here.
We bottom fished for awhile and trolled for awhile. This is big marlin territory so we were on the lookout for them. I didn’t catch anything, but it was great just being out there.
This pelican hung out with us hoping for a handout.
We happened on a large pod of dolphins. There were so many it looked like the sea was boiling. I have fifty photos of splashes and no dolphins… but thankfully I got one.
I usually don’t get seasick, but it must have been my turn because I was definitely green around the gills. I started to breathe deeply through my mouth, watched the horizon, and tried to think about anything else.
I kept my eyes out for the pod of orcas we’d heard had been hanging out around the area, but I didn’t see any.
I took a few pictures, though the boat was rocking and rolling.
Here’s Rich taking a break out of the sun to catch up on some reading.
I noticed that brown pelicans look a little different in San Carlos,
and I liked the way the sun sparkled on the water.
Our marinero, Paulo, began to clean the fish and made the pelican’s day. When Paulo threw the heads and tails overboard, the pelican descended and made quick work of them.
I followed the marinero into the kitchen to watch him make ceviche. He cut the fillets into small pieces and then added chopped tomatoes, onions, lime juice, cilantro, a few chiles, and salt.
It was the best ceviche I’ve ever had. Simple, pure, perfectly balanced. We ate it on prepared tostada shells. But the marinero wasn’t satisfied. He yelled to the Captain that we needed more fish.
So the captain pulled into a new spot and very determinedly put a line in the water.
The pole bobbed as he drug the weights across the bottom of the sea. In about five minutes, he pulled up this large grouper.
The captain then steered us to a beautiful cove where there were sea caves and the water was clear and the color of emeralds.
Our marinero attached a grill to the boat and put the quickly cleaned grouper into foil with pico de gallo and lime. When it was cooked, he arranged sliced avocado across the top.
Betto was super happy with his meal.
Marie also brought roast pork sandwiches with New Mexico green chile for us to share.
Whatever seasickness I had abandoned ship when I spotted the green chile.
The sandwiches were spicy, homey, and fantastic. Between the ceviche, the grouper, and the sandwiches- not to mention the cold Mexican beer, chips, and fruit… we were golden.
Our captain jumped in the water with a snorkel to investigate the cove and I remembered that he had said that he doesn’t drink, but he loves to lambada.
We had Mexican music on stereo and we munched, and drank, and watched other boats.
As I was eating, I wondered what the name of our boat meant. The Chokmah.
I remembered that my mom would say that when I was a child and bored on road trips, my hands would stretch up from the backseat and start circling her neck. So that’s what I thought of… choke ma.
But when I looked up the meaning of the word Chokmah, I found that it is a Hebrew word. This explanation that I found on the Beit Ha Shem synagogue’s website is a bit long, but I like it:
“Wisdom and knowledge: are they the same? At first glance you might think both words have identical meanings, but there is an important difference between the two. Knowledge means that one is acquainted with facts, truths or principles, that were learned from study or investigation. To know something is to see or understand it clearly. It can also mean to be aware of something or even to memorize something (like a poem or a script). Knowledge is information that is stored in the mind. To know something does not require that you do any external action. Once a person acquires knowledge they must then decide what they will do with that new information… People know lots of important facts about health, safety, and other matters. However, many times these people who know better do not act on the knowledge they have. They still have their knowledge, but this information does not affect how they live their life. Wisdom, on the other hand, balances specific knowledge of what is true and right with good judgment. Wisdom is more than just knowing facts or truth—it also requires making proper decisions based on that knowledge. This knowledge affects a person’s thoughts, speech, and how they choose to live. The Hebrew word for knowledge is da’at. This comes from the Hebrew root word yada, which means to know. (This is where the expression yada, yada, yada, comes from )
The Hebrew word for wisdom is chokmah.
Chokmah means the knowledge AND the ability to make the right choices at the appropriate time. This wisdom is shown by what you think, what you say, and what you do.
An individual who makes the right choices shows his or her chokmah.
A person’s lifestyle or walk is an indication of the individual’s maturity and development.”
Chokmah. Good word.
It reminds me of the story of the fisherman and the Harvard MBA. Have you heard it? Here it is:
An American businessman was at the pier of a small coastal Mexican
village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked. Inside the small
boat were several large yellowfin tuna. The American complimented the
Mexican on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them.
The Mexican replied, “Only a little while, Señor.”
The American then asked, “Why didn’t you stay out longer and catch more fish?”
The Mexican said he had enough to support his family’s immediate needs.
The American then asked, “But what do you do with the rest
of your day?”
The Mexican fisherman said, “I walk a little, fish a little, play with
my children, take siesta with my wife, stroll into the village
and sip wine and play guitar with my amigos.”
The American said, “Look here, I am a Harvard MBA and with the abundance of those fish and your skills, I can help you grow an empire. You will need to spend more time fishing and with the proceeds you’ll be able to buy a bigger boat. With the returns from the bigger boat you can buy several boats. With this profit model, eventually you will have a whole fleet of fishing boats.
Instead of selling your catch to a middleman, you’ll sell directly to the processor. Soon
you’ll be able to open your own cannery. To be really effective, you’ll need to control the product, processing and distribution yourself. You’ll need to leave the village and move to Mexico City, then probably LA or NYC to run your enterprise.”
The Mexican fisherman thought for a moment and asked, “Señor, how long will this take?”
The American replied, “About fifteen or twenty years.”
“But then what, Señor?”
The American laughed and said, “That’s the best part. When the time
is right you will announce an IPO and sell your company stock to the public
and become very rich, you’ll make millions.”
“Millions, Señor? Then what?”
The American said, “Then you can retire and …” here he paused and his words slowed and quieted until they were nearly a whisper , “Where you can move to a small coastal fishing village where you would sleep a little, fish a little, play with your kids, take siesta with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings, where you can sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos.”
He looked at the fisherman and then shook his head and said, “Never mind.”
“You want a cerveza?” the fisherman asked.
“Thanks,” the American said.
And then the two men went back to what they were doing- one full of knowledge, and the other full of wisdom.
239 days to go!