April 20, 2008

A day near the ocean in Tenacatita and La Manzanilla

LA MANZANILLA, Jalisco, Mexico - The day after your company leaves is always kind of sad. Who do you go play with? Where do you go? What do you do? What excuse do you have to drink beer with lunch and tequila at sundown?

And so somewhat adrift this morning, the Admiral and I decided that we would go out to our Tenacatita lot and I would cast my lot, quite literally, to try to catch some fish.

Surf fishing at Tenacatita
Hoping for a dorado - or anything

After the great Arroyo Seco fishing expedition of a few days ago with Scott Noble, Chon and Francisco, I had some hopes that I might at least get a few bites out around the rocks right in front of our property. I had learned (by watching my three amigos) how to get a good cast out far enough to entice a fish.

But the ocean at Tenacatita can be intense. And this morning it behaved like a teenager short on sleep: totally unpredictable.

One minute, total calm, the next, a 6-foot breaking wave would send me scrambling up the sand so I wouldn't get swept out by the undertow.

The whole enterprise only lasted about 40 minutes of casting and scrambling before my line parted, taking my next-to-the-last good ocean lure and ensuring a trip to the Zaragosa Marine store in Puerto Vallarta in a couple of weeks.

Casting into the surf
Almost the final cast

After fishing, we zipped back to La Manzanilla for brunch at Valentina's Restaurant on the beach where we shared a table with local bon vivants Jane Gorby, Debbie Wulze, and Willy (owner of Palapa Joe's). The beach was full of people enjoying one of the nicer Sundays we've had all season, though the water didn't look very appetizing, even from a distance.

Some 'red tide' was washing in at noon and by 5 p.m. when the Admiral and I took our constitutional along the beach, we saw one patch that was truly ugly and had the distinct aroma of decay. And whether it was the red tide or not, the beach for about a mile was littered with dead jellyfish for the first time since we arrived in December.

Red tide in La Manzanilla
Red Tide in La Manzanilla
Jellyfish don't like red tide
Jellyfish on the beach

The jellyfish and red tide didn't deter anyone from enjoying the afternoon, though. As the red tide moved from one 50-foot stretch of beach to another, the swimmers just moved accordingly.

With a little luck, the red tide will be cleared up by tomorrow morning when I think I might take a few casts off the La Manzanilla beach with my last heavy fishing lure, (a legacy left behind by Scott Noble). The Admiral and I are pondering whether to head out to Arroyo Seco for a full day of planning and drawing diagrams in the dirt to show where we want to place things around the property: A barbecue for fish, for example.

No rush on that, I suppose.

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