Monday, February 20, 2012

Fishing Tournament

While captains hauled their catches from the boats, islanders gathered on the wooden wharf to glimpse the biggest fish to win the annual tournament.

Relatives and neighbors of the fishermen greeted each other in English – occasionally joking in Creole or calling out in Spanish as fish were carefully hauled to the weighing station.

Everyone ogled the Kingfish and Wahoo displayed at the end of the pier.

Tourists stood on tiptoes - their voices penetrating: "I wonder how it works? What kind of fish is that? Do you think this is the last day?" They squinted in the dusk and asked each other those questions in English as if they were the only ones watching. They appeared unaware of all others – staring past the islanders at the fish and the fishermen in the same way they eyed Angelfish while snorkeling. "Do you think they do this annually?"

A small boy made white by sun block separated from his tourist parents; knelt beside a pile of thick slimy fish. "Those are Barracudas." An equally small boy with naturally brown skin said. "I caught this one. Today's the last day; but, next year I'm going to do better."