Aruba vacation and travel information on Aruba hotels, beaches, restaurants and so much more

Go Back   Aruba Forums at Visit Aruba > Aruba In Words > Aruba Tales > Charles' Stories

Charles' Stories Stories by Charles Croes, true Aruban :)

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old Saturday, September 23rd, 2006, 11:25 AM
charlescroes's Avatar
charlescroes charlescroes is offline
Aruba Expert
 
Join Date: February 21st, 2005
Posts: 960
charlescroes is on a distinguished road
Default Fishing On Aruba - Once

It continues to amaze me how our coast line has changed. Not physically in the sense of the islands’ shape but more that the things that used to be no longer are, and those that now “are” dominate the senses and send history into an oblivion – unless we save it and, saving it is only possible with the use of words.

Who could remember that in the earliest dawn hours – when the waters and the winds were still - when the day was nothing more than a promise. Who could know, that once, two men silently tossed their nets on the beaches where the Holliday Inn guests now loll in the surf? Hard to conceive that once that piece of shoreline was shallow ankle deep water with spindly grass. An underwater lawn at the oceans edge is what it was and it extended about 100 meters out and as much or more wide. Where the edge of this ‘underwater lawn’ ended the sandy bottom was waist deep. It is there at that abutment that the ocean held clouds. Millions of little fish called “Pisketchi” swam in what looked like dark and ever moving clouds in the water. Occasionally one of those little creatures would make a best effort to jump into the air, but the birds had claimed that domain eons ago so the little fish would humbly go back to the water. All you had to do was put on a snorkeling mask and breathing tube (back then they had ‘ping-pong’ balls in the ends) and lie at the edge of the ‘underwater lawn’ to look at and marvel at the underwater clouds. Who could imagine this in front of the Holliday Inn?

Who could imagine that not too long ago, two men stood at the edge of this ‘underwater lawn’ and took the rewards of ‘net-tosses’? Yet – they did and then loaded the Pisketchi into massive wash basins covered with a wet cloth, grasped the handles at the opposite rims of the basin and started their walk. They walked where, today, there are rhythms in the air joined by the smell of hamburgers. They continued their walk beyond to a section that was peaceful – where seeing the sky to the East was still normal. It was clean and the air smelled particularly salty from the inland ponds up wind and not far away. Today that area is full of brave and exciting youth skimming over the waters while tied mysteriously to colorful wings in the air. It would be unfair to ask for that memory – wouldn’t it? They continued their walk to their small ocean side structure were they kept tools and things that make little fishing boats work. And here, they would find families waiting.

The children and wives or any other friends and family so inclined, would wait at the small structures and all the while, start filling separate large bins with the fine silt and sand that is found at the waters edge. This was not a thoughtless process. Shells and little pieces of other debris would have to be taken out. (Imagine that the word debris referred to natural things and not man made. Imagine.) Then the excess water would be taken out by putting this sand in cloth and letting it drain. It was kept just barely moist. This barely moist sand waited for the ‘Pisketchis’ – and when the two men arrived, they dumped their fish into a clean basin and filled it with sand. We (those who waited) would then go to work.

With our hands we drove these recently departed little fish into the sand and created a paste that became “sand balls”. At the end of the process, the sand balls would be put into other smaller pans and covered with cloth then to be loaded into the waiting boats. Retrospectively I see much similarity between those sand/fish balls of those simple fishermen and the well designed business cards of executives today. The only difference being that the executive cards are not as productive (as far as fish go-that is).

While we made “fish balls” the fishermen soaked and hung the nets in the structures - much like men building spiders webs – at least that is how a my eyes saw it. When done with the net hanging and loading from the thin beams inside, these same two fishermen went to the shore and removed their clothing. Pants, shirts and any undergarments were taken off and washed through surf waters and then tossed back in the direction of the small buildings. On one of these occasions, Chen (one of the fishermen) turned to the rising sun. It hit him with a soft - natural power and the beads of ocean that still covered him reflected like round diamonds might have. He wiped his face with a large wet hand then pushed his thick white hair back. Then he turned to the sea. His entirety silently yet so loudly said – “Be patient – I am coming for you”. He turned back and went to the structure and put on a dry shirt that had long sleeves and thick khaki pants that were tied at the top with a long brown leather strap. His fishing friend had already changed and waited by the shoreline for him. Their fishing boat was waiting for them as well. The nose rested on the shore and the small motor, in the rear, jutted up and out of the water and into the air. Much like the little fish, that small “Johnson” engine would soon realize that the air had been claimed by birds eons ago.

Eventually the two fishermen would jump into the boat and the women – with skirts knotted to one side – would help push this little boat onto its’ destiny. That afternoon, they would return to tell tales. Tales of how the fish would not bite and how they worried about not bringing food home for the families. And then - far out at sea - they remembered our work and the “fish balls”. They tossed a few over the sides and the fish came. They came because as these balls went into the depths, they dissolved and became sand again and threw into the currents the pungent odor of Pisketchi. And large fish came and mistakenly bit the bait on their hooks. In that way, the two fishermen were able to come home and once again feed the family.

And now – as I lie here in the shadows of buildings and look at this much changed sea, I realize that these men understood their island and the people in their lives. These men lived “with” Aruba and her seas before they lived “from” it. I understand that they might have been without cloth on their bodies for a moment yet were not naked because they wore a natural energy that came fro their surroundings and gave them the strength needed to go into the oceans. And perhaps most important to me, I realize that they included me in their journeys into the deep blue to catch big fish. They took me along and made me a part of it by letting me know that my hands mulching fish paste – fed a family.

I shall have something to drink in a moment and sit on a plastic and comfortable chair and look to the ocean. I will know that something is gained and something is lost. And it will continue to amaze me how our coast line has not changed, in the sense of the islands’ shape, and that the things that used to be no longer are. And I know that those things that “are” today can dominate our senses and send history into oblivion – unless we save it and saving it is only possible with the use of words.

be well
charles
arubafastphones.com
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #2  
Old Saturday, September 23rd, 2006, 11:46 AM
dwippies's Avatar
dwippies dwippies is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: April 15th, 2004
Age: 49
Posts: 8,821
dwippies is on a distinguished road
Default Re: Fishing On Aruba - Once

well charles, you answered a question for me. in front of the phoenix men come with giant netting and slowly work that netting into a narrowing circle. it takes more than an hour to accomplish their task but when done they have a large quantity of fish. we tried to decide if it was bait fish or for chowder flavoring. you again have eased my curiosity.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #3  
Old Saturday, September 23rd, 2006, 04:59 PM
Corrine's Avatar
Corrine Corrine is offline
Almost Aruban
 
Join Date: April 27th, 2004
Location: Long Island, NY
Posts: 5,430
Corrine is on a distinguished road
Default Re: Fishing On Aruba - Once

Quote:
Originally Posted by sherry View Post
well charles, you answered a question for me. in front of the phoenix men come with giant netting and slowly work that netting into a narrowing circle. it takes more than an hour to accomplish their task but when done they have a large quantity of fish. we tried to decide if it was bait fish or for chowder flavoring. you again have eased my curiosity.
Why are you online, momma?? Why arent you in that kitchen cooking!
__________________


Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #4  
Old Saturday, September 23rd, 2006, 05:27 PM
dwippies's Avatar
dwippies dwippies is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: April 15th, 2004
Age: 49
Posts: 8,821
dwippies is on a distinguished road
Default Re: Fishing On Aruba - Once

momma ain't a cookin' tonight, yeehaw!! but i have plenty of leftovers!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Corrine View Post
Why are you online, momma?? Why arent you in that kitchen cooking!
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #5  
Old Saturday, September 23rd, 2006, 06:35 PM
AuntieMame's Avatar
AuntieMame AuntieMame is offline
Aruba Expert
 
Join Date: March 20th, 2006
Posts: 595
AuntieMame is on a distinguished road
Default Re: Fishing On Aruba - Once

Charles -

Beautiful ... and sad.

Change is inevitable. We know that.

But it does not mean that we can not mourn for days gone bye.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #6  
Old Saturday, September 23rd, 2006, 07:28 PM
AuntieMame's Avatar
AuntieMame AuntieMame is offline
Aruba Expert
 
Join Date: March 20th, 2006
Posts: 595
AuntieMame is on a distinguished road
I Love Aruba Re: Fishing On Aruba - Once

And what you say, Charles, brings to mind all of the changes in Aruba over the years. Not all of them are good.

For example - the bloated Marriott is way out of control. Normally, as a consumer and as a meeting planner, I'm a big fan of the Marriott properties. Not this time. I know the pools are lovely etc, but at what cost?

What do you think?
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #7  
Old Saturday, September 23rd, 2006, 08:07 PM
Corrine's Avatar
Corrine Corrine is offline
Almost Aruban
 
Join Date: April 27th, 2004
Location: Long Island, NY
Posts: 5,430
Corrine is on a distinguished road
Default Re: Fishing On Aruba - Once

Quote:
Originally Posted by AuntieMame View Post
And what you say, Charles, brings to mind all of the changes in Aruba over the years. Not all of them are good.

For example - the bloated Marriott is way out of control. Normally, as a consumer and as a meeting planner, I'm a big fan of the Marriott properties. Not this time. I know the pools are lovely etc, but at what cost?

What do you think?

I know you didnt ask me, auntie, but I too am conflicted regarding the Marriott. I love the grounds, the restaurants and the rooms are great. But they are turning the high-rise area into a mini-city. I guess it is good for employment but not sure if it is good over-all..................
__________________


Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #8  
Old Saturday, September 23rd, 2006, 08:19 PM
AuntieMame's Avatar
AuntieMame AuntieMame is offline
Aruba Expert
 
Join Date: March 20th, 2006
Posts: 595
AuntieMame is on a distinguished road
Default Re: Fishing On Aruba - Once

I'm not sure either, Corrine.

What is best for Aruba??

What say you, Charles?
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #9  
Old Monday, September 25th, 2006, 12:27 PM
kevin d's Avatar
kevin d kevin d is offline
Almost Aruban
 
Join Date: April 15th, 2004
Location: key west
Age: 54
Posts: 3,944
kevin d is on a distinguished road
Default Re: Fishing On Aruba - Once

On the charter I just went on, the mate was doing something very similar to what you described - taking handfuls of very small fish, mashing them together with sand to form a sort of ball, then throwing it into the water to attract fish. I'd never seen it done before, in all my years of fishing, but it did seem to help...

My 2 cents on the Marriott area - I'm not a big hi rise guy to begin with, but I do understand that there are plenty of people that are. I think growth can be a good thing, as long as there is a place for everyone. The Northern VA area has seen ridiculous growth over the last 5 years or so, and the biggest problem has been that there aren't enough roads for all those cars. In Aruba, I think the worse problem might be the beach - I don't think the beach is going to be nearly big enough to comfortably accommodate the throngs of people (having to get up at 3 AM) trying to get a palapa or even just a chair.
__________________
Everyone should believe in something - I believe I'll go fishing
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #10  
Old Tuesday, September 26th, 2006, 06:36 AM
Fisherlady48's Avatar
Fisherlady48 Fisherlady48 is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 23rd, 2004
Location: Herndon, VA
Posts: 242
Fisherlady48 is on a distinguished road
Default Re: Fishing On Aruba - Once

Kevin, what charter did you go on?

I have booked with this outfit

http://www.teasercharters.com

So far I have one other person interested. I also have to chime in about the traffic in Northern Virginia. Last week was the worst I have seen in years.

Charles, keep posting..

ps I love what you posted on the "other" board about the Marriott..
__________________
Need some ideas


Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #11  
Old Tuesday, September 26th, 2006, 01:05 PM
kevin d's Avatar
kevin d kevin d is offline
Almost Aruban
 
Join Date: April 15th, 2004
Location: key west
Age: 54
Posts: 3,944
kevin d is on a distinguished road
Default Re: Fishing On Aruba - Once

The charter I went on this time was the 'Sweet Mary', out of the seaport marina - I normally fish with the J String crew, but felt indebted to Capt Lorenzo because he gave me some fishing gear I needed, so I signed up for a trip on his Sweet Mary. Not bad, but of the two I prefer the J String.

Happy fishing!
__________________
Everyone should believe in something - I believe I'll go fishing
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #12  
Old Tuesday, February 8th, 2011, 10:03 AM
charlescroes's Avatar
charlescroes charlescroes is offline
Aruba Expert
 
Join Date: February 21st, 2005
Posts: 960
charlescroes is on a distinguished road
Default Re: Fishing On Aruba - Once

I say it is sad.
Because you love us so much it has made it all that more inevitable
Because we have learned to use the gas pedal but not the brake, it frightens me


the rest I say in my stories

be well

charles
__________________
RENTING A CELL PHONE MAKES $EN$E
FAST PHONE ARUBA - A cell phone rental company
http://www.fastphonearuba.com/
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Spear fishing in Aruba ARUBA57 Aruba in General 11 Monday, January 29th, 2007 11:25 AM
shore fishing in aruba? NHBB Aruba in General 19 Friday, September 23rd, 2005 06:52 AM
My Aruba Review @ Holiday Inn Neil Aruba in General 57 Wednesday, July 27th, 2005 04:18 PM
natalee--facts and rumors dwippies Aruba in General 986 Tuesday, July 19th, 2005 09:42 AM
Question - How Do Drugs Get In Aruba Liz from N.J. Aruba in General 74 Wednesday, June 22nd, 2005 04:48 PM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 06:20 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions Inc.
Copyright ©2006 -2011 - CaribMedia.com