Friday, January 28, 2005

Javier the fisherman of San Carlos!
In the next few days, we hope to tell you the story of Javier, the fisherman, who lives in the small town of San Carlos on the shores of Bahia Magdalena. Javier worked for over 30 years as the manager of the Goodyear Tire facility in the town of Monclova, in the state of Coahuila, Mexico.

About twelve years ago, Javier moved to San Carlos and was able to buy two fishing boats. These are not the little boats that most fishermen use. These are very large vessels, with a crew of several men. We will show you Javier's boats, perhaps later today. Over the next several years, Javier bought more boats, and now owns a fleet of five large fishing vessels.

George wanted to know how Javier learned about fishing, since before he was a manager of a tire plant. Javier claims that he has a photographic memory, and learns very fast!

Javier is married to Carolina, and the two had three children, two sons and one daughter. The daughter died from a heart problem, and now grandparents Javier and Carolina are raising their grandchildren, Inri and Hugo. You met Inri and Hugo yesterday, when Mr. Mavica took their pic inside MsTioga.

This morning, George and Mr. Mavica went for a walk in the neighborhood. In the pic below, is our Camp behind Javier's home.


A view of Javier's home from the rear.




At the front of Javier's land, is his small home, small, but very lovely.


George looks at Javier's home.




Behind Javier's home are located a few buildings which are used as a warehouse for provisions needed by the fishermen. Repairs for outboard motors used on small fishing boats are done here.


Some of the outboard motors in for repairs.




Oh, we almost forgot! We saw this lovely flower which grows wild in the fields here, and wanted to show a pic of one of these flowers to you!


Violet flower. Do you see the dew on this tiny flower?




8AM - Javier and George go to see the boats.
Javier asked George if he would like to go to the harbor to see the fishing boats. Of course George said YES!


This is one of Javier's boats, that is filled with fish.




Here is Javier sitting at the wheel of one of his boats.


Javier at the wheel.




Fish on scale. Each box of fish that comes onto the dock must be accurately weighed. The fishermen are paid according to the weight of the fish caught. Very important to weigh accurately.

In the pic below, Captain Alvaro who runs this fishing boat, weighs a box of fish, while Javier watches closely.


Captain Alvaro weighing the fish.




Here is the fisherman unloading the hold of the ship with the frozen fish. The fish are stacked in the hold of the ship, in layered ice in order to preserve them until the boat reaches port.


Frozen fish removed from hold of ship.




In the pic below, the fish are being transported in containers from the hold of the ship to the dock.


Fish coming to the dock.




Weighing of the fish. Great attention is paid to insure that the scale is accurate, and that each load is weighed correctly. Javier checks several times how Captain Alvaro manages the scale which tells him the weight of each box of fish. Javier checks the calculations as these weights are logged into a notebook.


Weighed fish about to be loaded into iced truck.




Containers of fish are loaded into the truck. Ice is added to each layer of fish, in order for the fish to remain preserved for the trip to La Paz. The entire truck is then loaded onto a ferry at La Paz, and transported to Topolobampo on the Mexican mainland. After the ferry reaches Topolobampo, the truck is driven to the fish market at Guadalajara where the fish are sold.

Remember when we camped at Picheligue north of La Paz for the nite? That is the place where this truck boards the ferry to Topolobampo.


Loading the fish into the truck.




Jorge the fishermen shows Mr. Mavica the very last fish to be loaded into the truck.


3,000 kilos of fish have been loaded into the truck.




Captain Alvaro told George that he goes out into the Ocean to catch a kind of fish called pierna. These fish are baited with sardines, placed in traps. When the fish enter the trap, they cannot escape and are caught.

After completing three trips into the ocean to catch fish, Captain Alvaro and his crew take one week off to rest and relax. Each of these trips takes about one week to complete, so the Captain and crew have one week to rest each month.

Spanish is creaping into George's mind!
George is so immersed into Mexico now, that when he goes to write the blog, the words start to come out in Spanish, instead of English. George's Spanish is still not that good, but it is interesting how the mind transfers over from one language to another.



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