Fishing with Gala in Costa Rica
Near Playa Flamingo, Guanacaste Peninsula, Costa Rica, April 2010 — The boat was small, maybe 14-feet long. Two-by-six inch pieces of lumber lay across the width of the boat for seating. Twisted pieces of rebar made for an interesting looking anchor, which sat at the bow of the boat. There was no deck, no canvas top, no windshield, just a completely open little skiff to take us out into the Pacific.
Our guide, Gala, was powerfully built, had on mirror sunglasses and wore a gold chain around his neck. Barefooted, he pushed the boat into the surf from Playa Conchal, hopped in and cranked the small outboard motor until it fired up. Soon he had to take a cell phone call. He talked rapidly in Spanish to the caller and laughed. We kept going into deeper water, on the way to catching red snapper.
We stopped after probably three or four kilometers. He began to cut up bait, using a sharp knife he had with him and using a two-by-six piece of lumber, similar to our seats, as a cutting board. He asked us questions about some English words, wanting to know more about how to speak English. He laughed a lot, baited our hooks and threw our lines overboard. Soon we were catching red snapper. It was an unforgettable day on the ocean. Nothing fancy. Just real.
Afterwards, we took the best of our catch in to a local restaurant, where our new friend, “Kevin,” grilled them up for us. A delicious way to celebrate!