Yesterday we went to the beach for what I expected to be a lazy, uneventful Sunday afternoon. We went down to the water and were just chilling when Leigh suddenly pointed out to me the fishermen on the shore, pulling ropes on either side of us. She informed me that they were pulling in their nets.
Let me just take a moment to say, that I can't imagine the energy it takes to pull in one of these nets. I'm terrible at judging distances, so suffice it to say that the net is rather far out at sea and at least as long as several of me stacked on top of each other. Not to mention that the bottom half is weighted with rocks. And it's hopefully full of fish (though it's mostly full of seaweed). The drag it must have is astounding. And these guys haul it in several times in a day. There're also about 15 of them, but still.
We watched them pull it in twice and both times joined the crush of locals trying to see what they caught. (I can only imagine how old it would get to have so many people crowded around every time you tried to do your job, but my sympathy was overruled by my curiosity to see what they brought in.) It was really cool. I'm bummed because of course I've reached the point where I think I've seen everything, so I decided not to bring my camera, and I would love to show y'all what we saw. There were, of course, a fair number of man-hand-sized fish and loads of smaller fish, most of which disappeared pretty quickly. But there was also an odd lobster and crab, many many blowfish and several of the most beautiful sea urchins I have ever seen. They were big, dark black-purple, with gorgeous red and blue designs on the shells. So pretty. This is what I really want a picture of.
The fisherman gathered up all the good-sized fish and anything else worth eating pretty quickly. Once they were finished, the locals were left to dig through the mounds of seaweed looking for the tiny fish, which I'm assuming will either become dinner or bait. We got to hold several of them before they were taken off and I just have to say that fish are so beautiful before they are dead. They are colorful and iridescent and just brilliant and then when they die they go a lifeless dull grey. It's a shame, really.
All in all, I would say it was a rather successful trip to the beach. I've never noticed them hauling in the nets before, but I'm really hoping we catch them again sometime. You just never know what you might find in there.