I had a very bad dream in Cabo over a week ago. Tall, large fisted drunken people throwing haymakers, dust in my mouth, rocks in my teeth, naughty hotel room shenanigans, shady back room dealings, and cross-eyed people from Australia billowing smoke from their nostrils, playing blues on their didgeridoos loooong after midnight. It was your typical Cabo new moon nightmare and i was very, very glad to see daylight reach it's hands through the curtains come morning.
"Let's get the HELL out of here!" i said to Ben across the hotel room. And then, sneaking a peak around the hotel room - "Jesus whatever you do DON'T OPEN YOUR EYES UNTIL IT'S SAFE!!!"
And with that we splashed some mouthwash in our faces and hastily left the ME before housekeeping showed up. Strange and twisted things we leave in our wake after a week straight offshore. God bless the people who are paid to clean up after us, HAZMATS suits and nuclear waste. Vamanos!!!
We made it to the airport, more than once checking behind us to ensure the PFP weren't hot on our trail. Safely through the check-in and security counters Ben and i breathed a sigh of relief. We met up with the boys from our last trip in the departure terminal, silently wishing we were in as good of shape as they were. Oooooh you'd think we'd learn.
The flight to back over the pond to Puerto Vallarta was an opportunity to sleep and Ben and i took full advantage of it. We arrived to PV via Mexico City in the afternoon and went right into round three. The Pelagic boys were in town and were fired up for another epic PV adventure.
Here we go.
Ron and Mike have made the pilgrimage to PV many times over the last six or seven years and their luck, or PV's bounty, has never failed to come through. Marlin, tuna, roosters, dorados, sails, you name it - over the years the boys, and their crew have been here to see it all.
This trip they had a few new and old friends with them. Dave Trafton, our good friend and fellow hellman from Florida, whom many of you might remember from past Miami Boat Show lore, and Eric Ozolins Pelagic's new web guru who is responsible for much of the magic on http://www.thewatermansjournal.com/ . One of the more recent members to join the family, renowned photographer, Tony Ludovico also joined the trip, and last but not least, Obi Wan himself - Tony Berkowitz quite literally brought up the rear.
As if that wasn't enough, Bogii and Mark Dupp were already on site when we arrived. Mark lugged his tattoo gear with him once again, ready at a moments notice to permanently ink any member of the crew when the moment seemed right. Bogii was firing on all cylinders as usual, and the blast radius was deep.
We all descended upon Paradise Village in Nuevo Vallarta, with the waterfront semi-mansion that Craig owns as our base of operations for the week.
With NBA and NHL playoffs already in full swing it didn't take long for us to find the local sports bar and settle into a rhythm that would define the algorithm for the remainder of the trip. A week that many of us since refer to as a drinking trip with a little fishing mixed in.
The first night we spent watching playoffs, eating rib bits, telling fish stories, and drinking ourselves silly. Something that men do quite well. The next morning we opted to head up to Punta de Mita for an afternoon of inshore fishing with the Mita Master Jedi himself. Capt Lora Vasquez continues to amaze me. After ten years of living and fishing with this guy from British Columbia to Guatemala you'd think i'd have seen all of his tricks by now but no, he's continues to prove that there's a lot more rabbits in that big green hat of his.
With that sly lopsided grin of his he suggested i throw the cast net, and that since the sardines were right on the beach and there was no way he could get his panga in that shallow he also suggested that i swim in with the cast net, toss on the bait, and then swim the works back out to the boat. "Oh, that's a new one amigo!" i was thinking as i went for the dip. Sonofa...
Well i did it, not that it mattered. Not that you need sardines when you're in a school of one thousand roosterfish and they are gobbling up poppers. But smile Lora did as he watched his Canexican friend wade through those breakers and toss that old net. Perhaps it was payback for those days of yesteryear when i'd make him drive the boat without the hardtop in cold Canadian rain. Touche amigo, touche.
Needless to say we hammered the roosters that first afternoon. Dave, Oz, Tony, and Mark all catching their first gallos and most of them on topwater poppers to add to the fun. It was an awesome afternoon shared between good friends, a sunny Mexican sunday with flat seas, a slight breeze, and plenty of cold beer and fish to go around.
Capt Herk and Sue of the Frantic Pace offered their services offshore for the next few days, and with Herk's uncanny ability at finding the tunas i knew it'd only be a matter of time before we had fresh yellowfin sashimi vibrating on deck. While the first day offshore didn't boast any of our usual numbers, day two and three made up for the rest. Ron bested the largest tuna of the trip pushing 150, and the rest of the boys getting to do battle with some above average size schoolies during day two. As usual Herk and Sue made the trips more than worthwhile, and Ben's prowess in the cockpit all but ensured success. Now if we can just teach Herk to catch marlin...one day perhaps ol' chap!
We decided to head back up to Punta de Mita for our last day of fishing and Capt Lora came through once again on the roosters and inshore bonanza. While not the full on frantic mayhem we were privy to earlier in the week Ron managed to nail a nice rooster on the popper, and we caught a myriad of other species to round out the catch.
What trip wouldn't be complete without a trip to Hector's for some Chernobyl margaritas?!?!?!? Happily we also crossed that one off of the list.
It was another spectacular week in Puerto Vallarta, with great friends, great fishing, and some very funny shenanigans which will remain off the record. At least for a while.
I'm now sitting in sunny, beautiful British Columbia after an all day surf safari up the coast yesterday, looking out my window and wondering why i spent all day on the computer when i could have been out fishing instead. So with that amigos, i think it'll be a while until you hear from me. Time to restock the adventure refrigerator, so to speak.
We're headed back to Clarion in a week and a half, so i'm fairly certain there'll be a sale on epic madness very soon. See you at the checkout line my friends!!!
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