On this, our third trip to Cayos Cochinos, we spent time at the Garifuna village. When you are at anchor in Cayos the local Garifuna are seen all around the area fishing. They will paddle up to your boat and offer to sell you fish or some of their local handiwork of jewelry made from coconut shells or Trunkfish and Cowfish exoskeletons. All very nice and a fair price.
Fausto, a Garifuna we met, will also take your order for lunch; fish, shrimp or lobster, and have it ready for you to inspect when you arrive at the village. So on this trip, we and our fellow cruisers ordered our lunch of fish and when the time came we embarked on our dinghy across the bay to their small cay, one of thirteen of the smaller cays in the Cayos Cochinos chain.
A table was prepared on the beach under a small palapa. Fausto brought a young man to the table with a large bowl of fish and he went around to each one of us and you were to pick out the one you wanted. Then our selections were whisked off to the kitchen to be prepared. One cannot be in hurry when one eats lunch here, as it all takes time. Sit back, relax with a cerveza and enjoy the village life and the view.
While we were waiting for our meal we were talking with our friends about the fish we had seen earlier in the day on our snorkeling trip. We had brought along our Coral Reef Fish Guide to view with our friends and try to determine all that we had seen on the reef. A young boy drew closer and closer to the table and worked up the courage to stand by Charlie and look at the book, pointing out all the fish he knew, which was a lengthy list! He loved the colors in the book and repeatedly exclaimed how pretty the colors were and was delighted when we let him sit with the book while we ate lunch. We wished we'd had an extra book as we would have let him have the one we brought.
The fish arrived and our platters were overflowing with fried plantains, beans and rice and our delicately fried and seasoned fish. It was delicious and more than enough food for a price of $7.50 small fish & $10 big fish. You may wonder why we didn't order lobster. It wasn't a price issue so much as a conservation issue for us. The lobster here need protecting and we hope that the lobster population will have a comeback since Cayos Cochinos archipelago is a protected Marine Park Preserve managed by the Honduran Coral Reef Fund. Only the local Garifuna can take lobster, conch or fish here, which they do, without regard to size or season.
A local Garifuna in his sailing cayuga heading out to fish.
Sail is up and yes, it seems it is a black plastic tarp carefully rigged.
The young man spent all day sailing around the bay fishing.
Our view at lunch
Village scenes up and down the beach.
|Cayuga without sail rig|
|We watched this pelican fish from this cayuga|
|He turned to me as I approached for a closer picture looking rather disdainful that I may interrupt the fishing.|
Our delightful young fellow engrossed in the book.
Round and round they went, coming in letting some off and picking up more.
The top of Charlie's head is all that is visible in this shot. The highest count was 12 children and the dinghy, motor and Charlie survived.
Not a bad way to end the day.