So, as I said before, RSH had been in Cabo for four days with his buddies deep sea fishing before I got down there. I’m thinking, man, I cannot wait to get to the villa we were staying at, and relax in the hot tub, with of course, more Coronas, watch the sunset, have a quiet dinner, relax, sleep…did I mention relax? But we are sitting at The Office, enjoying our late lunch, and the beautiful day, and the guys start talking about their fishing and how much fun they had and how great the fishing was. How RSH caught a 98lb Wahoo and how they brought it to a local sushi restaurant and had the chef serve it up for them. Tales about his buddy catching a shark…they were in shock that the shark took the bait, and they reeled it onto the boat. How they almost got their fingers bitten off by this shark, and how they threw it back into the ocean, not knowing it was actually OK to keep it, and how the locals told them the meat was supposedly delicious. And, how perfect the weather had been, and how they would love to stay one more night to get in just one more day of fishing. I kind of felt like I was in a TV show, and they were waiting for my cue. I kept glancing around the table where I would catch glimpses of “puppy eyes” coming from the guys, directed at me. The two guys got up to use the restroom and RSH and I were finally alone for a minute. He mentioned again what a great time he had with the guys, and how he would love to get in another day of fishing. It dawned on me that he was waiting for my permission. We had a villa with three bedrooms in it and could sleep 10 people very comfortably. Obviously, it was not a problem to have the guys stay for one more night. Normally, if it was our vacation, I would have said, “No, not this time,” but since we were there to celebrate RSH’s 40th, and I know how much he loves to fish, something inside me just said, “Go with it,” so I did.
“Of course they can stay,” I answered, telling him exactly what he wanted to hear. I could tell he was excited, and couldn’t wait to share the news. When they sat back down at the table, RSH let them know they were in. Smiles so big, it was like telling my kids we were taking them to Disneyland. I thought, OK, whatever, I’m going to sit on the beach and read, and have a cocktail, and relax while they spend the whole day fishing. Fine with me. I really wasn’t feeling the whole having to get up at the crack of dawn, riding on the ocean all day and having sea legs all night. Frankly, it wasn’t appealing at all. But then, the guys began to insist that I go with them. At first I said I would think about it, then RSH kept dropping little hints like, “This is a great opportunity, the boat is really nice, the water is warm, the fishing is great, you should really come.” Again, going through my mind is that it was his birthday, that’s why we were here. Not to mention that we have very few moments to spend together alone, or doing one of his favorite things. OK, FINE! I’ll go! But the weather had to be perfect and the water had to be flat. The last time he took me deep sea fishing was in Anguilla on a rinky dink boat. He was so angry about his luck down there he made the guides (our cabana boy and his friend) take the boat clear out to where the Caribbean meets the Atlantic. We rode 20 foot waves out and back, catching air a dozen times. I was so sick the whole time. I had never been sea sick before, but I couldn’t get my bearings. Come to find out that I was pregnant. Needlesstosay, it wasn’t the best deep sea fishing memory of all times. I figured he was right though. I had heard so many great stories about the fishing in Mexico, and his buddy did have a nice boat, so I thought, what the hell.
After permission from the wives back home, and a few dropped calls to the airlines to change their flights, we were on our way to the Montecristo Villas at the Pueblo Bonita Resort. The check-in was like a small hotel room and it was filled with Americans from the Mid West. I swear we were the only West coasters in the room, as well as some of the youngest. It seemed like forever, but we finally got our key and headed off to find our villa. It was so deceiving from the outside looking more like a clay adobe, but once past the front doors and off to the right was a staircase leading to the two bedroom suites downstairs and the infinity pool. To the left would be our room, which had a gigantic closet, a lush, feathery King size bed, and a balcony leading to the hot tub I had been fantasizing about. The concierge had emailed us before about groceries, and inside the refrigerator waiting for us were a dozen Coronas and sliced limes. Life was good.
|Hot Tubbin’ it at the Villa|
The hot tub and beers got to me, and I couldn’t keep my eyes open, so headed off to the bed that was calling my name, for a siesta. When I awoke, the guys were waiting for me on the balcony, cocktails in hand, to take me to dinner in town. Though it was late for me, I was in Mexico, so thought, “Just go with it,” and so I did. We opted to go home after dinner so we were well rested for our fishing trip the next day. I personally couldn’t wait to go back to bed, dreading the 6am wake-up call, so I was happy to oblige.
The next morning, I pulled on my black bikini, hidden well by my lululemon Stride jacket and board shorts. No plans to take them off, no matter how hot it got…body was not bikini ready. Thank God for Juicy Couture and their adorable swimdresses! Perfect for lounging at the pool or beach, but not well suited for deep sea fishing. Fortunately, I had brought these clothes with me after having received a text from RSH before I got down there indicating there may be a possibility we would be going fishing while I was here. It read something like this:
RSH: My buddy is so awesome! He is letting us use the car while you are down here so we don’t need to take cabs. He also said we could use the boat, and he bought you a fishing license. Isn’t that awesome?!
Yeah! Awesome. Though I linger on the realm of sarcasm, it really was awesome. It is not cheap to operate and maintain a fishing boat, nor buy the gas it takes to get in and out to sea, and the license, which is probably the least expensive necessity, but even that is around $100 and each person has to have one. So, yes, it was a very generous offer by his buddy.
The dock was already busltling with fishermen getting ready for their trips. We stopped at the little coffee/ tackle shop and grabbed a breakfast burrito. As I waited for RSH to pay, I noticed a little boy about my son’s age, all geared up and ready to go out to sea with his dad. He was looking at a rack that had a few boxes of candy and chicklet, there was also some random baby products, then I noticed some Advil, and a little further down, right next to the big lollipops the boy was checking out, were packages of condoms. Sweet. Only in Mexico would you find no separation of sex and candy. I guessed the condoms must be a big seller out on the dock, remembering the famed Booze Cruises back from the Spring Break days.
We jumped onto the boat and headed out to sea. For about the first hour, we just drove towards the horizon. I was feeling pretty good, trying not to focus too much on the movement of the boat on the water. To keep my mind off it, I thumbed through a Marlin fishing magazine. I came across an article featuring the boat we were on. A few months back, around the time the twins were born, RSH told me the story about how his buddy’s boat was being used for this huge fishing tournament in Cabo. The goal was to find the biggest Marlin in the sea, catch it, and bring back to shore within the time limit of the tournament to win a $1million purse. They had flown in a top fisherman from Texas, who was a pretty rough and tough kind of a guy. A few hours to the deadline, and they snagged something like an 800lb Marlin, the biggest fish ever caught in that tournament. At dinner the night before, our buddy told us the story about how the Texan fisherman reeled that sucker in for hours, and how at the end of the night, he was awoken by his hands cramping up and the rest of his body stiffening up so bad they thought he was going to die. They had to fly him out of Mexico and back to Texas immediately. Something about lactic acid build up. Anyway, they raced to the dock trying to beat the clock, knowing they had the prize winner, but they didn’t make it. Missed the time by 7 minutes. Missed $1million by 7 minutes. Their story was in the magazine, featuring a photo of the crew and the Texan fisherman with bittersweet smiles.
The steady motion of the sea was rocking me to sleep. There were three bedrooms on this boat…two with a Queen sized bed and one with bunk beds. RSH’s buddy suggested I lie down in one of the rooms so I could sleep, so I did, for like two hours. After I regained conscience, I started to feel bad, like I should be out on the deck enjoying the boat and water and the sun. So I forced myself to get up and take a look around. RSH showed me to the Tuna Tower, where there was a sun deck right below. We sat there together quietly watching the ocean. As we passed the point where the Sea of Cortez and the Pacific Ocean meet, he said, “There’s Lover’s Beach.” Immediately I experienced Deja vu…thoughts of my two girlfriends and I popped into my head as I remembered us taking a water taxi out there. We were hot bodied and 21 (at least so we thought)…we had boyfriends at home, and I remembered us getting lost on the beach behind these huge rock formations and taking topless pictures of each other to give to our boyfriends when we got back. I don’t know about them, but I have no idea where those photos are to this today. I’m not even sure I gave my pics to my boyfriend. I laughed outloud, and RSH asked what was so funny. We chuckled together at the fearless story of my youth.
All of a sudden, we heard the quick spinning of the reel. We both raced down the ladder as our buddy was yelling for me to get into the chair. The Chair being the fighting chair where I was to reel in the first fish of the day. Apparently, this is quite an honor when you are on someone else’s boat, so I was anxious to experience my first catch out at sea. I was demanded to pull and reel, or was it the other way around? It was all happening so fast…and I didn’t want to disappoint anyone, or lose the fish, so I focused hard, almost too hard, on what he was telling me to do. Reeling in that fish was like dragging one of my twins out of the water…an 18 pound yellow tail tuna had taken the bait and was going to be our dinner for the night. It was physically, one of the hardest things I had ever done. My hands were cramping, and all I could think about was the Texan fisherman whose entire body went into an almost rigamortis state from all the work he did to pull in that 800lb fish. No wonder! I was trying to reel in an 18 pounder and for a minute didn’t think I was going to be able to do it. But there was no way I was going to let these guys down, or myself, so I just went with it…and up and out of the water it came.
|Reel and Pull!|
The captain of the boat was fast and furious. He grabbed the fish, pulled out the jig, and threw him into the box where he was left to die. Sad. The first time my husband took me fishing was in Northern Nevada. I totally loved the experience. We hiked and followed a river and he taught me how to fly fish. I caught two trout. The first one, I made him let go even though it was eating size, I couldn’t do it. I was in tears. The next day, he gave me a few beers, and we drank them as we fished. I caught another one, this time, bigger than the last. He looked at me and said, “Are we throwing this one back, too?” Since I was relaxed from the beers, smart man, I said, “Hell no! That’s dinner!” To this day, when he takes me to those fancy restaurants where they bring you the live lobster before they cook them, I always tell him, “Do not let them bring that lobster to my table,” because forget it, then I can’t eat it.
I was sad about the tuna though. I think there is something that happens to mothers when you are faced with situations of death, no matter if it’s a fish, there’s something that makes you feel sad, like that fish was just taken away from its babies or that baby was just taken away from its mother. Regardless, I couldn’t think about the fish anymore because I knew I wanted sushi that night, so I quietly went back into the cabin while the guys drummed up more excitement and stories about the experience, and I read an article about Lil’ Wayne in the latest Rolling Stone magazine sitting on the table.
|My 18lb. YellowFin Tuna|
We didn’t catch any more fish, and it was starting to get late. We were out of the prime time day light for tuna, or anything else at that point, so we headed back to shore. As we were on our way back, the biggest school of dolphins I had ever seen, were riding and playing on the waves of the boat. It was like being at a Sea World show. They were jumping and diving and playing. Literally, jumping like 15 feet in the air. It was so amazing. I wished my kids could have been there to see that. It was also whale season, and again, I’ve never seen so many whales, and so close to the boat. Before RSH and I were married, we took annual trips to Hawaii, and it was always during whale season. We would maybe see two or three whales the whole 10 days we were there, but this was incredible. They were feet away from us, breaching and diving. We could see their tales come out of the water as they dove down deep. They truly are a magnificent creature. Our final glimpse of nature was a lonely sea turtle, just surfing the rhythm of the waves, he bopped his little head out of the water to take a look at us as we cruised by. I hurried to get it on video knowing sea turtles are my sons favorite. I wanted to bring our kids back here to see all of this! They would love it!
RSH had taken the guys to the airport, and we enjoyed a sunset cocktail before heading to town for our sushi dinner at a local joint called Arts and Sushi. Alone at last, I was happy that he was happy. He got to take his wife out fishing, and we caught a tuna and were having it for dinner. We had Saki and beer, and great conversation about our life and our goals, and what we wanted for ourselves and for each other. It was a fantastic day. What a way to start a 40th birthday celebration! What more could he ask for?
Well, that’s for the next story….