It was pretty nice letting the sunrise before us this morning. Our room lines up perfectly so that the sea breeze keeps your sun fried lips semi comfortable during the night. After a great sleep and putting on my attire for the day I left the room for a nice American breakfast of pancakes, eggs and bacon. On a normal day, we’d be up early rigging our rods on the deck and hitting the flats with a couple friends and one of the four remarkable guides, Daron, Edwin, Pablo and Rankin, but today was a little more relaxed. We played some Ping – Pong, on what is quite possibly the coolest table in the world and just chilled out before loading up the boats for another awesome day.
Charles Boyd, Benjamin Deskins and myself spent the majority of our day in the cloud camo painted boat with Pablo. As a group we decided to have a fun day. To prepare for this we made a ski rope, put it in the boat along with a pair of water skis and our snorkelling gear. We went straight to the North Side, whipped out the skis and found the smoothest water possible. It was hands down the most beautiful place I’ve ever shredded on skis. I loved being able to look down and see the soft sand twenty feet below the surface; that’s how clear the water here is. I also tried to slalom and all I have to say about that is -it defeated me.
To give us some energy after using all of our power trying to stand up on top of one moving ski, Pablo took us to shore to teach us what fruits are good to eat and when they are ripe. Instant gratification came when we picked our own fruit and chowed down on juicy mangos and cocoa plums. Even after that we were still hungry so we went to Mangrove Bite to find shade to eat our lunch of lasagne, fresh fruit, and some of Beckie’s brownies. No pun intended 😉 It was here that I learned that William Deskins (who also has a brother here Ben – who Daron thinks is his twin) was very very close to catching a permit on his first fly-fishing trip ever.
After this it was time to go the mangrove nursery to plant the seeds that we had previously picked the day before. After about ten minutes we figured out the concept of division of work that cavemen discovered thousands of years ago which made the work go by much faster and more efficiently. While we were planting we learned a lot about the general culture of the island from Rankin and Daron. Where we were five days ago to where we are today have roughly zero things in common. Life here is much more laid back and relaxed. I also learned that three of the four guides were brothers by birth and the fourth just a true brother from another mother.
We all agreed that the planting was a fun job and finally figured out the best way to do it. We had three filling plastic cups with dirt, two sticking the spear shaped mangrove seeds into the cups, two moving crates of seeded dirt cups around, and the one providing moral support. The last job was the most sought after. It was nice because all of this took place within an area small enough to hear each other talk. Most of the talking was questions directed at Rankin and Daron and this is when we learned how life here works. This was our last true task of the day, so after this we headed back to home base.
Immediately after unloading the boats, Knox attacked the resident school of bonefish with the ugliest salt-water fly ever tied. He tied a fly and caught two fish with it in one day. As I was taking pictures, Rankin comes storming out of the trees dragging something behind him. I had no clue at the time what he could have at the end of his hand line. I found out when he said, “Brudda, look what I caught wit the hand line I set earlier. This one fat eel man”. This thing was mean. It was squirmy. I was warned a fair few times to keep away from its powerful jaws. I heeded this warning especially after we looked inside its mouth at its razor sharp teeth. He said it needed to be killed because there were too many people swimming around the dock for there to be a five foot long eel. After a few stories about how dangerous these alien like creatures are I was very glad about it dying.
All the real excitement had ended for the day after this random occurrence. Now it was time to go get back into the game of Ping-Pong, hammock chilling, constant chapstick re application, and daily reflection. I think it is important at the end of the day to take a moment of inner silence – take in all the beauty and experiences of this remote adventurer haven. I like to think of all the funny things said, cool things learned and good times had. That is why Guanaja and Fly Fish Guanaja is so special, why we need to appreciate its awesomeness while we’re here and present. We need to keep helping restore the island of Guanaja so that other people can come here and appreciate and enjoy it just as much as we have been.