The Unauthorized Biography of Rosco P. Coltrane

When it's my moment in the sun, I won't forget that I am blessed, but every hero walks alone, thinking of more things to confess

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Location: Owensboro, Kentucky, United States


Friday, June 17, 2005

Oaxaca Part 7: Blew Out My Flip-Flops, Stepped On A Pop-Top

Sleeping on the floor in the guesthouse was a good move on my part. It was nice and cool that night.

We all (All of the men) woke up a little before 6 and headed towards Puerto Escondido to go fishing. We ate a little bit of breakfast of fruit and applied sunscreen as per needed. After loading up in the pickup with Aaron, we headed out on the road and saw the sun rise on the way. We stopped at a gas station so we could go to the restroom before we got out on the water.

We got to the beach and met all the boat captain's that were going to take us out. We split up into three groups. Dr. Matt, Aaron, and Jason were going to be in one boat. Matt S., Ryan, and Rick were going to be in another boat. So Kent, Adam, Mark, and myself were in the last boat. We all made a bet that whoever caught the biggest fish would get a seafood platter bought for them at the restaurant.

Our boat captain was Lorenzo and his young assistant Willie. Lorenzo knew quite a bit of English. So we cruised off and started heading out.

We asked Lorenzo if we were going to be near the others and he said yes. But after a few minutes we couldn't see them anymore. We discussed what the order was going to be on reeling in the fish. Adam said that he would go last, then I volunteered to go third. Kent said he would go second, and Mark said he would go first.

About five seconds after Lorenzo threw a couple of lines in the water, we had a bite. Mark jumped up over to the rod and reel and started to pull it in. He pulled in a nice size fish, maybe a foot long and maybe a couple of pounds. We were all giving high fives. Lorenzo said that it was called a Bonita, beautiful fish. I remember we all kept talking about how many fish we were going to catch now. If we kept up at that pace, we would have to go back early.

Well, we didn't have to worry about going back early because we didn't catch anything else for a long time. We just sat back and talked. We suddenly realized that when we were dividing up into boats, one boat had no fluent Spanish speakers. The boat kept on going farther out. The mountains near the shore kept getting smaller and smaller. Adam asked how far do you think we are going to go out. I told him that I figured a few more miles because they would need to go out much farther so they could kill us and sink the bodies so they wouldn't float back to shore very soon.

We saw a turtle or two on the way out, and I spotted a shark. Lorenzo pointed out a school of dolphins to us and started to head that way. After cruising by the school, Lorenzo did a u-turn and was about to go back toward the school. I remembered my message in a bottle and threw it out the port side of the boat. After a few minutes we were right back near this school of dolphins.

Lorenzo it the gas hard. We sped off. We all looked at each other a bit confused, we had no idea what was going on. Willy came up and said that we had one on the line. Adam and Mark looked back and caught a sailfish jumping out of the water. Kent made his way to the back of the boat. Lorenzo stopped the boat and Willy was trying to help Kent put on a strap to hole the rod. I was struggling to go get Kent's video camera to film all the action.

So here we are, right in the middle of a school of dolphins that are jumping around the boat and Kent pulling on this fishing rod. Lorenzo started to dance, which really got everyone excited. If Lorenzo was dancing, it had to be a pretty good size fish. Kent kept on saying, I don't think I am going to be able to bring this fish in. He struggled with it for a few minutes, at least not more than 10 minutes.

Willy pulls this sailfish to the side of the boat and banged this fish's head against the side of the boat a few times. He pulls it in and lays it down on the floor of the boat. This fish was huge. We are all smiles. We are high fiving each other.

This face was amazingly beautiful. It was almost 6 1/2 feet long and Lorenzo guessed that it was about 30 kilos (75lbs) in weight. It had a long nose like a swordfish and had a huge sail on it's back. It was light brown color and had these amazing gills.

We all congratulated Kent. He couldn't stop talking about how he couldn't wait to tell his boys about catching this fish. We started back out with a couple of lines in the water. Now we were sure we were going to catch more fish.

But there were no more fish for us that day. At one point, we had a hit. I jumped up and everyone was getting excited about catching another sailfish, but the fish got the bail and took off.

So close...

So the rest of the day we tooled around the ocean, looking for more fish, but never finding any. After a while, Lorenzo pointed us back towards the harbor.

We were the second team to land. We flopped the big sailfish down and everyone came out to look. On the other boat, Matt S. had caught a Mahee Mahee (probably misspelled that one). Adam, Mark, and I ran over to the ATM so we could Lorenzo.

We paid Lorenzo and I told him that someday I would come back down there and take my dad fishing. And that when I came back, I would make sure to find him and let him take us fishing. He smiled and thanked me.

By this time, everyone had landed. Aaron caught a sailfish but it was just slightly smaller than Kent's. So Kent won the seafood platter. We walked over to the restaurant that we were going to eat at. We talked to a waiter about getting a table for 20. He said that he would setup some tables on the beach for us. We asked him about cooking some of the fish that we had caught. He said he would go check with the chef. When he came back he said that they could cook the Mahee Mahee, but the sailfish they couldn't. Evidently, the restaurant would get into trouble with the Harbor Chief if they cooked it. I guess there is a big sailfish tournament and the Harbor Chief wants to discourage people from catching a lot of them before the tournament. The waiter, who was a bit smarmy anyway, said that sailfish don't taste very good anyway.

Matt S. and I walked around the tourist shops on the street by the beach. We ran into Jill, Kristen, and Bethany. They were really into their shopping. We hung out with them for a few minutes, but decided to leave them to their shopping. Matt S. and I decided to go sit down somewhere and get something to drink.

We found this one little place around the corner from where we were going to eat. I looked at the menu. I noticed something called a Micheladad. I thought, wow, this is so great, they have Michelob beer down here. So I ordered a Micheladad for me and what I thought was a water for Matt S. It was a bit of a surprise when after sitting down for a few minutes on the beach this kid brings us out some sort of Bloody Mary with a Corona for me and a hot chocolate for Matt S. So I asked the kid for "una mas cervasa" for me and a "agua" for Matt S. Well, this time he returned with another Corona for me and a glass of ice water for Matt S. Matt S. was afraid to drink it so, we asked for a bottled water. The kid finally understood what he wanted and walked across the street to get a bottled water for Matt S.

I tried a bit of this Micheladad, but it was maybe the most toxic drink I have ever encountered in my life.

After a few minutes, we decided to walk over to where we were going to eat. I finished off my Corona, which I have never drank before because my father always used to refer to it as "Donkey Piss." And with good reason.

The group finally trickled in. Polly and Cindy had been horseback riding. Polly was pink/red from being out in the sun. The waiter came back and took all of our orders. Most everyone ordered seafood and some fruity drink. I ordered some Quesadillas, some fries, and a margarita. The waiter laughed and asked me if I wanted a frozen drink or on the rocks. I told him to surprise me. He said that he would surprise me and put double the tequila in it for me since I am such a big guy.

Now when he was bringing everyone else's drinks out, they were these big fruity drinks. When he brought out my margarita, it was in this really small glad. He told me to enjoy.

Now it is probably a good thing that the drink was that small. Normally in the States, margaritas you buy at Mexican places are huge. Well, if my margarita would have come out in one of those big glasses, I would have been passed out on the beach. People would have been walking over by me and thought that some manatee had beached.

This margarita was strong! Cindy asked me for a few sips of it. After each drink she would squint her eyes and say, wow.

Everyone had a really good time during lunch. We laughed a lot and told lots of stories from fishing that morning. The fish that Matt S. caught was grilled for us in little bite size pieces. It was very good stuff.

After lunch, a bunch of people went to go on a hike. I didn't really feel like going for a hike. So Matt S. and I sat around the beach for a while. We decided to walk around the street again. We ran into the girls again. We shopped with them for a little bit and then went looking for a couple of T-shirts. We stopped by the surf shops and T-shirt places. Everything seemed so cheap down there. There was lots of things to buy, but we didn't really find anything until later that day. I went into some little shop and bought a yellow T-shirt that had a Mayan figure on it. We bought a couple of cokes at a little store and started to walk back to where we were going to meet everyone to go back to Roca Blanca.

We saw Polly and Esther and hung out with them for a while. We got some little ice cream treats at this one store. After that, we sat down on the curb and waited for Aaron to show up with the pick up.

About half the group left at 6 and the other half was going to leave at 7. I went with the group at 6. We rode back to Roca Blanca in the back of the pickup. I left my T-shirt in someone's bag, and haven't seen it since. Cindy told me a week or so ago that she had it in her bag.

We got back to the base and I headed for the beach. I didn't swim this time. I just stood there on the beach and watched the sun go down. It was pretty amazing. After a while, I walked back over to the guesthouse.

Next we had the last team time. Everyone talked about what their experience had been like during the past week and what they liked the most. Amy wasn't feeling very well and missed a few minutes of the meeting, but she hung around better than most people would. When it was my turn to talk, I talked about my apprehension and reservations about coming on a mission trip to Mexico. I don't know why it took me so long to go down south of the border. I loved every minute of it and told everyone that if I needed to pay a deposit for next year's trip that night that I would be happy to pay in pesos.

After the meeting, everyone was pretty tired and decided to go to bed. I asked Adam if he wanted to go jogging out on the beach the next morning. He kept on thinking that I was joking with him. I assured him that I wasn't and that I would see him the next morning at 6:30.


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