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Hardships Of A Skin Diver Fisherman

By Angel Nuñez

Not being able to take a shower for 12 days is really tough and some friends mentioned to me that they felt goose bumps when they read this one.  But that is not the only hardship for a fisherman.   Let me begin by saying that leaving wife and children or even the girlfriend is indeed tough to cope with.  How about leaving your boyfriend?  Well, that too, but I have not known of any fisherwoman recorded in San Pedro’s history.  At one point in time in the 1970’s there were 190 lobster fishermen in San Pedro with a crew of about 30 boats that went on fishing expeditions.

Talk about hardships!  What about sleeping on the deck of a boat, perhaps rolled up in the sail or jib of the boat?  Most men preferred to sleep on the deck rather than inside because of the strong ugly scent of fish and lobster blood.  Of course, sleeping out in the open meant coping with cold weather like the northerly winds of December and January as well as the rain.

Another hardship in the life of a skin diver fisherman was having to hit the sea at seven in the morning and swimming for at least four hours before returning to the main boat for a quick lunch. The afternoon dive was from 1 to five, so you can imagine the hardships of anyone diving for eight hours a day and dragging a small dory behind you.  

At every dive, especially when spear fishing, the fisherman was nervously in expectation of a possible encounter with a treacherous shark. At every dive he looked into the distance hoping not to see a huge dark object swimming towards him, and at every swim to the surface, it was the same.  You can be sure that many fishermen were held breathless (no pun intended) for long seconds waiting for an intruder to swim away without casting an eye on them.

But that is not the end of the list of their hardships.  There was no electricity, only flashlights and hurricane lanterns if they wanted to do some reading.  There was no entertainment except to listen to the radio.  There was no varied menu except for fish in the morning, fish at midday and fish in the evening. But fishing was fun because it was the backbone of the San Pedro economy.  Kudos to our fishermen of twenty five years ago.

25 Years Ago Books Can Be Purchased At:
-Ambergris Today -Lala’s Store -Chico’s Meat Shop -Pampered Paws -Ambergris Jade -San Pedro BTB Office -Aquarious Salon (Kim) -S.P. Town Library -Di Bush -Richies Stationery -San Pedrano’s Stationery

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