By Angel Nuñez
While last week I documented the delight of fishermen trying to fill up their giant iceboxes with lobster tail, this week I will document something that might raise your eyebrows or cause you to shrivel your nose. It also has to do with the life of fishermen at sea.
Twenty five years ago when the fishing cooperative was at its peak of glory and productivity, a boat captain would gather four or five fishermen and set out on a twelve day fishing expedition. During this trip they took enough food provisions to cook healthy meals. They also took enough water but only to drink and cook. What they could not take in their small fishing boats was water to take a shower. UNBELIEVABLE. Fishermen did not shower for ten to twelve days in a row on these expeditions because they had to conserve all their water for drinking purposes. For this very same reason they did not even take any soap on the trip.
So how did they stay clean? Well simple, by swimming in the sea all day long. A fisherman’s typical day was swimming and diving for eight hours a day. At the end of the day the salt water would simply dry on his back and that is how he went to sleep. Imagine the discomforts of salt on your back and you sleeping on the deck of a boat. And don’t ask about the hair. No fresh water, no shampoo, no soap would touch your hair for 12 days! That must be the toughest hair you could find. That is cruel! But such was the life of a fisherman. If he was handling fish, at the end of the day he would wash his hands in the sea and go to sleep comfortably.
Next day, he did get some fresh water to refresh his face and brush his teeth. Then it was back to the sea again. Don’t get me wrong. There was plenty of water. There was water to drink. There was water to make cool aid. There was water to cook. However, there was no affordable water to take a shower or to shampoo your hair. Pretty interesting, eh? No, I was never a fisherman. But my brother was, my uncles Ramon Nuñez, Chato, Mito all were, my friends including Hon. Manuel Heredia was, and they all can verify that such was the life of a fisherman on board their fishing boats or place of work. So you can bet that after twelve days at sea diving for lobster and upon return to San Pedro, the first thing that fisherman wanted was not a drink, not food, not even a kiss. It was a nice shower to wash off twelve days of salt from their backs and hair. This was San Pedro twenty five years ago and I say kudos to all fishermen who helped build San Pedro with the fishing industry.
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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