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Thoughts of a Fisherman

Have you ever wondered what thoughts go through the mind of a baby? What are the thoughts of a housewife as she lays her head on the pillow? And what does a thief think about when he finally goes to bed at four or five in the morning? What are the thoughts of a business entrepreneur as he ends his day on a bed? And now, what were the thoughts of a fisherman when he went to sleep right on the deck of the boat he was working in?

With close to 200 fishermen in the 1960’s there were more than half of them who took ten to twelve-day trip to Glover’s Reef and Turneffe Cayes for a fishing expedition. The rest did lobster fishing with traps, pats, and skin diving around the island. But what were the thoughts of the skin divers living in boats away from home?

Roberto must have thought about his beautiful wife and children whom he must be away from for ten long days. He closes his eyes and sees his children in school and swimming the rest of the afternoon. His wife Rosita is at home doing the daily chores and at night he imagines, or hopes, that she picks up his photograph and gives him a good night kiss. Roberto is a family man and can’t take his wife out of his mind. As tiredness and sleep get to him, he closes his eyes and pouts his slips slightly to give his wife a small and silent kiss. By 7:30 that night he is sound asleep.

Now Claudio lays his head on a pillow but his body is wrapped with part of the sail. He is thinking on Conchita, his girlfriend, with whom he parted in not so good terms. She was vex because he spent all his three days in San Pedro drinking at Marino’s Club and at Skindiver’s Club. Claudio thinks of the excuses he will give and the way he can make her happy again. This time he promises himself he will be with her most of the time. He hopes to make her happy and her parents proud of him. He also thinks that with the long absence of twelve days, she will be so happy to see him that she will forget the past and the disappointing moments.

Fisherman Felipe is Mr. Clean. He has not poured some fresh water on his back for nine days now. He is in the salty sea all day long and at the end of the day, the salt water dries on his back and after super at six o’clock, he goes to bed on the wooden lower deck with salt on his back. Felipe starts thinking of the nice well water shower that he will have in just three days’ time. He will take a half an hour shower and remove all that salt and smell of lobster blood that had accumulated for the past ten days on his body. And he will put on some nice cologne and go see the girls at the park or meet them at the cinema, which was Teatro Arenas.

And finally there were the thoughts of Vincent. Vincent really missed his mom’s dishes at home. He thought of the relleno and escabeche dishes that she prepared. He had been eating pigtails with beans for several days, and after that the entire crew turned to fried or boiled fish. Fish three meals a day had Vincent now thinking of a fine meal he would enjoy upon his return to San Pedro. He had some turtle meat in the “nevera” or ice box and his mom would make hell of a superb gravy with that. Oh, his mouth watered as he closed his eyes around 7:30 and fell asleep. After half an hour all you could hear was the lapping of waves against the sides of the boat and the snoring of five other tired men. The snores were like music that kept a rhythm and kept them asleep, no longer thinking but resting for the next day ahead. Oh, how romantic the life of a fisherman 25 years ago.

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