Tuesday, February 4, 1997
Headquartered at the Posada Senor Manana, the same hospice made infamous through the collected correspondences between Hemmingway and N. Stephen Plaunt during the late 40's, dedicated sports fisherman Peter Kohlsaat will furnish detailed information regarding the daily fishing environment from this fishing Mecca.
From Costa Azul around Punto Palmilla the sierra mackerel are thick. During the short, hour and a half maiden voyage of Jay Crawford's 12-foot inflatable Zodiac, we caught and released all but one of eight shimmering sierras. It didn't matter what we dragged behind: spoons, plugs, surface, deep-diving, they were indiscriminate diners. The seas were soft and gentle, interrupted only by the occasional school of manta rays fly and their above-water acrobatics.
During the latter days of January, a mild low-pressure cell in the sub-tropical Pacific was responsible for sending uncharacteristically large swells to crash the beach. Standing atop the 200 foot descent to my sacred, (well, as near in my life as anything sacred gets) dive site, I watch the waves roll over the reef below, the white foam spilling up into the deep cracks in the rocks, turning the shallower water green with oxygen. The soft soothing sound from so far away, like a siren, is inviting me to take a swim. This time I resist. I do not always. Below its surface, in the coral, under the rocks, deep in the shadows, all of it as familiar as the inside of my van, I picture my grouper hole, with dozens of green and black spotted groupers mulling around pretending they are invisible. The morays are there, with their mouths open, showing their teeth. I can count the places I have seen lobsters. And I can see out into the deep water where the tuna swoop in and zip around in mad frenzies. But today, I just take it all in, content to stand in the wind and wait for tomorrow, or the next day, or the next.