Fishing with Andy and Yamil
The early bird gets the worm!
Paulina and I started our day early, meeting at Andy’s house at
5:30 am. Both Andy and Yamil were fast-paced and eager to get their equipment situated aboard the boat so we could get to the boat ramp.
There was a few heavy items like the yellow scuba tanks that
required two people to safely load and unload from the boat. The wooden speargun rests on a custom rack on the port side gunwale (left side of the boat). The a long line, attached to the diver, is also attached to the orange buoy which is thrown in the water and acts as a visual surface marker while the diver is beneath the surface. Rubber mats on the deck help secure these items while we were underway.
This ankle bracelet repels sharks from the area by use of magnets. The strong force emitted from the band overloads the shark’s senses and repels them away, keeping the diver safe. Among sharks, Andy mentioned the constant interactions with other large marine life such as whales and dolphins, which put the diver at risk of getting his lines entangled.
Andy was first in the water, staying submerged for about 45 minutes. Once he returned to the surface with a heavy catch bag, Yamil assisted him in pulling aboard both the fish and the heavy scuba tank. It was amazing how they performed all day without much talking, simply working off of each others body language and simple gestures. They were truly operating as if it was second nature.
Paulina and I were impressed with the amount of fish and lobster Andy and Yamil caught. Amidst the hot Puerto Rican climate, Yamil stayed cool and protected from the sun by wearing a hat and special breathable face mask. Also, though a long shirt may seem counterproductive at first thought, we learned that the water soaked nylon shirts keep the diver cool onced surfaced. It is amazing that they are out in sun so intense for up to 6 days a week, vulnerable without cover. Some boats had a canvas top to provide shade; however, Andy’s did not.
The fish are gutted and cleaned while out at sea, however; the remnants cannot be tossed into the water because the blood will attract sharks. Instead of keeping the waste, Frigate birds come to the rescue, scooping up every fragment tossed at them. It was amazing to see humans working in such a symbiotic way with other forms of life. The birds got a free meal, and we got free trash removal!
With such a great day of fishing, Andy needed to remember the coordinates of the spot we were on. To plot and keep track of his best spots, Andy uses a Garmin GPSmap 527 unit to mark his tracks. The unit is permanently fixed to the boat and monitors water depth, boat position, and allows for storage of information to refer to in the future. This unit proved invaluable for both safety and productivity.
|With a great day’s catch, it was time for us to head back to the dock, hall the boat and bring the fish home so that a buyer could come to pick it up.|