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Fearless Men of the Sea in Ambergris Caye #489502
04/15/14 01:02 PM
04/15/14 01:02 PM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 82,928
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Marty Online happy OP

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Great article in the Ambergris Today….

When commercial fishing came into being in 1963 with the founding of Caribeña Fishing Cooperative, Don Fash turned into lobster fishing. He purchased a large sailing boat and equipped it with ice box for the very difficult task of 12 day fishing expeditions to Turneffe Islands, Glover’s Reef, Half Moon Caye, and other destinations in southern Belize. There the catches were larger and more profitable and included, lobster, crab claws, fish fillet, whole fish groupers for corning, and conch. These expeditions were the ultimate test of a seasoned skin diver fisherman. It included swimming and diving eight hours a day, no showers for the duration of the trip, sleeping on wood amidst the smell of fish, sleeping in the rain, and a repeated menu of fish and rice morning, noon and night.

CLICK HERE for the rest of the story and good pictures in the Ambergris Today

Re: Fearless Men of the Sea in Ambergris Caye [Re: Marty] #491166
05/21/14 05:45 AM
05/21/14 05:45 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 82,928
oregon, spr
Marty Online happy OP

Marty  Online Happy OP

Alan Forman, Rafael Nuñez, John Phillips and little Angel Nuñez

Fearless Men of the Sea in Ambergris Caye Part 2

My next guest is a man who challenged the sea for as long as he lived and truly left a mark in the annals of San Pedro. He was born and raised near the sea and by choice he made the sea his living. As a young man, Alan Forman was a fisherman like most of the young men in San Pedro. Alan learned the art of hand line fishing, trolling, and casting the nets and even the seine. Being a neighbor to my dad, Alan was an avid companion on our short trips outside the reef to do sport fishing. This was particularly so during the month of May and June during the summer vacations. It was on these trips that I learned to bait a hook and troll for barracuda.

There are two ways to catch a loggerhead turtle or green turtle and even the hawksbill turtle. The first way is to strike it with a harpoon as I saw Alan do many times. The next and more thrilling was is to dive for it. Alan waited on the bow of our boat as my dad followed the turtle. He waited for the turtle to surface for air and as it was going down, he dove head on and captured it and maneuvered it to the surface. Once close to the boat my father fastened a rope to the front fin and then tied the second one. Both men then pulled the turtle inside the boat.

This was only a small part of what a skillful fisherman and diver could do. Alan was skillful in catching tarpon, sailfish and marlin and could dive very deep and remained underwater for what seemed an eternity. He would often be trolling very late outside the reef so that the sun would set. If you wonder how he found the channel on the reef to get back home, don’t worry; he did so at night very easily.

Click here to read the rest of the article and see more photos in the Ambergris Today

Fearless Men of the Sea in Ambergris Caye Part 3

Remember the first article in this series of brave seamen? Well, when Don Francisco “Fashico” Arceo challenged the law officials on their motor boat with his sailing boat and beat them with experience, Ramon “Moncho” Nuñez was on board with Fashico.

Ramon started working in the sea with his brothers Polo and Wally (R.I.P.). He became a seine expert and all of this took him to Corozal Town where they sold their produce. Even here these men defied the forces of nature travelling in pitch black nights with a sail and avoiding the shoals and rocky spots .

Ramon became a skin diver at the invitation of Fashico and Luis “Chato” Nuñez, his brother, who took him to explore the foreign waters of Glover’s Reef, Half moon Caye, Glover’s Reef and other cayes in southern Belize. Many were the challenges they met on these twelve-day expeditions- no showers, no toilets, no beds. The hardships grew when they had to sleep in the rain on deck or on top of corned fish below the deck. Furthermore at every dive there was a possible encounter with a gigantic moray eel or a twelve-foot shark that was only too eager to snatch the grouper that he was bringing up to the surface with his spear. Ramon and all the other skin divers were either needy of money, or the pay was very good, or they were all crazy. Better yet, they were all keyed up by the adrenaline of confronting the unpredictable in the awesome marine environment. They were fearless men of the sea.

Click here to read the rest of the article and see more photos in the Ambergris Today

Re: Fearless Men of the Sea in Ambergris Caye [Re: Marty] #491472
05/27/14 03:38 PM
05/27/14 03:38 PM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 82,928
oregon, spr
Marty Online happy OP

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Fearless Men of the Sea in Ambergris Caye Part 4

Wilber Marin Sr. had not long ago left primary school and did what every Sanpedrano young man did at the time. He became a fisherman- to be more specific, a skin diver. Therefore he had to endure what every skin diver lobster fisherman had to tolerate. He left his home and family and lived on board a sailing boat for ten to twelve days. In this case Wilber left his girlfriend as he had not yet been married and his mom had passed away when he was still a child. He had to sleep on a cold deck or in a stinky compartment under the deck. He could not take a fresh water shower for the same twelve days. And he dived for eight hours a day, rain or shine, warm or cold.

As if all of this were not enough to challenge the life of a young skin diver, Wilber also lived with the hope that he would never have a shark encounter. I say hope and not fear, because if he were afraid, he would just not be doing it. He could be a regular fisherman. On this particular fishing expedition Wilber and his crew were not diving for lobster but were spear fishing for grouper. He knew very well that with the blood of the injured fish, they were also chumming, and that it would attract sharks. But what else could he do? With every dive that could last up to 60 seconds or more, every shadow above him was reason to hold his breath even a little longer. On one occasion Wilber had seen a large shark circling above him and he waited for some 20 seconds which to him seemed like 20 hours for the enemy to gently swim away.

Click here to read the rest of the article and see more photos in the Ambergris Today

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