Saturday, September 13, 2014

Gone Fishing.....The Tuna Coast

For the three years we've been living in Panama, my dear husband Clyde's been wanting to go deep sea fishing and finally he had his day.  On day three of our adventures at the end of the world it was decided that we'd hire a boat and go fishing in the Pacific Ocean.  Just down the road from where Emmett and TC live is a beach lined with fishing boats just waiting to take money from would be fishermen.  For just $50 we hired a boat with a Captain, provided the gas and we were ready to go......almost.  First the Captain had to get the boat that was anchored away from shore in the choppy water.  So like any good Captain would do he swam out, hopped in and maneuvered the boat back to shore where we climbed in.

Our Captain Getting The Boat To Shore

Originally I had planned to stay on the shore and relax for the day while Clyde and the others fished.  But TC mentioned that they usually see whales while fishing and suggested that we all go along for the ride, even if we didn't want to fish. I had a bad experience deep sea fishing twenty some years ago back in New Hampshire.  It was one of those large boats with lots of people, I was hanging over the side looking down at the water when suddenly it hit me.....seasickness, which only became worse as the day went on. The crew at that time told me not to look at the water but instead just look out over the horizon and the sickness would go away, but it never did. But since that time I've been on several cruises and other boats with no problems so I thought I'd be ok.  And just in case I brought along some scapalomine pills which we bought for a prior cruise just in case we needed them. I had cut them in half and took half since the full dose would put me to sleep.

  All Aboard!

As the boat plowed its way through the choppy waters we bounced around in our seats as the boat was practically airborne.  The rough movement of the sea seemed to be ok with my tummy and I chatted with Allison which kept my mind busy too. But when Clyde caught the first fish and the boat came to a sudden stop, I turned quickly to capture it with a camera.  It was then that my tummy asked what are you doing to me and began to churn.  During the rest of the trip I tried to stay put in my seat and focused on the horizon all around as not to upset things any further.  But the few moments of tummy upset were just that and thankfully never surfaced to anything more and I survived the day at sea.

Crew Helping Clyde
We Assume That This Guy Didn't Know How To Swim
Since The Lifejacket Never Came Off.....At Least Someone Was Safe

I Caught A Fish!!!!
And Another One

Clyde's dream came true as he caught the first fish which happened to be a bonito.  Although pretty in coloring the Captain told us they were not good to eat and threw it back into the water.  A while later Emmett caught a bonito and the crew followed the same procedure.  Eventually Clyde caught not one but two tuna which made him a happy fisherman and fulfilled his longtime dream of deep sea fishing in Panama.

Clyde And Emmett....Armed & Ready To Clean The Fish

On our way back to shore we spotted a few whales in the distance, although mostly what we saw was the water spout from their blow hole.  But we were thankful that the rain stayed away and didn't wash out our fishing trip.

The funny thing about this fishing trip is that only the Captain and his helper had lifejackets and the helper wore it the whole time.  There were no oars in the boat so we have no idea what would have happened if the motor gave out. Emmett explained that when he registered his boat here he had to have lifejackets for everyone aboard, two oars, a Panamanian flag, a whistle and other safety gear customary to boaters safety.  But Emmett did admit that the water was choppier this day than any other time he'd been out fishing these waters.  Later on Emmett said, "I guess when the Captain puts on his lifejacket you know you're in for a rough ride."

I was just as thrilled to be back on dry land as Clyde was to have caught a few tuna, so the morning was a success for all.  From here we went back to the house to clean up, change clothes and head out for our next adventure.  Our plan was to drive over to Playa Venao in Pedasi and find a place for lunch. Although we had our sights set on Mexican that place was closed so we settled for another.  I'm not sure if you can call it settling when we had our butts planted in a quaint oceanfront restaurant overlooking the gorgeous Pacific Coast.  The occasional bikini clad body would stroll by on the beach for the guys while Allison and I watched the surfer dudes in their board shorts. After lunch we had planned a trip to a waterfall so headed over to meet our guide.

Restaurant In Playa Venao

Restaurant In Playa Venao
The Happy Couple......Allison & Ray

Say Cheese.....or A Cheesie Pose
Always Willing To Help A Friend.....Drink A Margarita 


The day before we stopped by a house....slash, restaurant.....slash tiny resort that offered fresh juices for sale. Although the place was closed TC knew that the owners lived there so she yelled inside until someone heard her.  A dark skinned Panamanian women came to open the door and allowed us to come in to buy drinks. We all ordered some fresh squeezed juice drinks that were blended with ice and served to perfection. Some outdoor furniture was placed on a deck overlooking the jungle and that's where we parked our butts to relax and enjoy our drinks.  Howler monkeys sang their songs in the distance as we delighted in the sights, smells and sounds of the jungle around us.

A Cart In Front Of The Juice Place.....Ride Anyone?
Since the owner lives here and the restaurant was closed she had been doing laundry that was hanging on the fence posts all around us.  Clyde, being the typical silly man that he is giggled about her purple panties hanging next to him. He and Ray chuckled like fifth graders that were seeing ladies panties for the first time.  The female owner who seemed to speak NO English laughed at their comments, apparently understanding more English than she admitted to. I'm always telling Clyde not to say something about a Panamanian assuming that they speak no English because sometimes they surprise you. But Clyde does tend to open his mouth and get into trouble occasionally, ok so maybe a lot.....but it's usually all in good fun.

 This Is What Excited The Guys

In the meantime the owner told us about a four hour tour to a waterfall and natural swimming hole that they offered and before long we had booked it. We scheduled the tour for the next day after our fishing trip at a price of $100 for the six of us. But when the next day arrived it started raining as we were on our way over so we called to cancel.

The sky opened up and the rains turned into a downpour as we headed back to Emmett and TC's house.  We decided to take it easy for the rest of the day and relaxed on their back porch enjoying either rum drinks, seco or beer.  There we sat chatting the day away long after the sun set over the Pacific. 

Old Retired Couple.....Ha....Ha...

When dinner time rolled around we thought about something different and decided to stop at an Italian restaurant and pizza joint near their house. Although the restaurant was closed once again TC and Emmett knew that the owners lived there so they knocked on the door.  The owner opened the door but said, "not tonight," because he was painting. As a last resort we ended up at the Hotel Cambutal once again but knew they had excellent food so it was no problem.  We all enjoyed a wonderful meal and drinks while sitting surfside in the humid, tropical air.  Later on back at the house we enjoyed some "arroz con leche," or rice pudding that we'd bought the day before.  The previous day on our way back to Emmett's house we spotted an indigenous indian selling something on the side of the road.  TC said she's usually selling tamales that are excellent but today she was selling rice pudding in plastic cups for fifty cents each.  We bought one for everyone but neglected to eat them until the next night.  Usually flavored with cinnamon this batch of pudding seemed to be prepared with natural cane sugar or molasses along with some coconut to give it a different texture. It was a sweet end to our vacation from vacation and we were sad to think we'd be heading back home the following morning.

Two Happy Gringos......Living The Dream!

In the morning we packed up the car and headed home along the coastal route through Pedasi.  We stopped along the way to check out Playa Venao again but this time it was too early for lunch so the Mexican restaurant was closed.  A side trek through the town of Pedasi was a must and we detoured down some side roads to stop at a few beaches just for a picture.  The sky was full of clouds so we didn't take any snorkeling trips along the way back like we had hoped to. A typical Panamanian style restaurant in Chitre was where we stopped for lunch.  Clyde and I each had a bowl of wonton soup for just $2.50 each.  Allison had some chicken with gravy along with fries that she didn't plan to eat, while Ray had fried rice with chicken and some of Allison's fries.

Had Lunch Here.....Mostly Chinese Food On The Menu

Also A Bus Stop.....Notice The Ice Machine On The Side....Chitre, Panama

A friend had told me a while ago that town of Chitre is known for selling pottery, hammocks, ceramics and other artsy stuff cheap so we stopped to checkout a roadside stand. Clyde and I picked up a large mushroom lawn ornament for $12 and a three piece ceramic pot decoration that hangs on the wall for $12.  The total should have come to $24 but without even asking for a discount the vendor asked for only $20 which made us rather happy. The artesian shops around here sell the stuff for much higher prices so now we know to stop whenever going through Chitre.

Ceramics For Cheap!
Made To Be Hung On Wall
Ceramic Lawn Ornament

TC and Emmet
From Texas To Cambutal, Panama......
Also Living The Dream Of Early Retirement!

The four of us had a wonderful time at the tip of the Azuero Peninsula with friends TC and Emmett.  They graciously welcomed us into their home and hearts and eagerly took us around the delightful neighborhood they happily call home. And eventhough TC and Emmett moved here from Texas they found us through this blog and we've since become friends. And the same is true for Allison and Ray who moved here from Virginia.  They were blog followers from way back who kept in touch with us through email and on each consecutive trip to Panama. A big thank you to Emmett and TC for hosting us at their home and another thank you to Allison and Ray for the great friends you've become.  Here's to meeting more wonderful blog followers and having many more adventures with these good friends.....along the gringo trail.

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