Day two of the Elliott Boy’s Great Marlin Hunt 2009 didn’t go as well. I’m just going to say it, we didn’t catch a thing. Not a thing.
Let me try to explain a day of deep sea fishing where you catch only the common nothing fish. First, recall the worst stomach virus you’ve ever had, then imaging watching paint dry for upwards of eight hours while having said virus. That’s deep sea fishing when you don’t catch anything.
I spent my time playing a medley game I made up. The goal it link as many songs as possible though key words. I killed at least four-and-half hours doing this, which means I created a medley at least three-and-a-half hours long. I was both impressed and dismayed at how good I am at that game, and at how many 80’s song’s I know the lyrics to. I’ll put in on iTunes and you can download the Elliott Boy’s Great Marlin Hunt 2009 Soundtrack, you won’t like it, you’ll be bored, but you’ll have an idea of what the day was like. I have no idea what Sander did to pass the time, but all I know is that he kept to his post the entire day. He just would not leave that chair. Sitting there was probably a more impressive feat that reeling in the big tuna yesterday. He just sat there, never complained, never said he was bored, never did anything to show that he wasn’t having fun. We had some nice conversations here and there, but mostly it was silence. Just bobbing along, listening to the boats motor, and watching birds fly around.
But that’s fishing. You take what you get, and some days you don’t get a thing. It’s still fun to be out there trying, to be in the wild, to be adventuring. It wasn’t the most exciting day on record, but it was a day where we tried. I’ll take that anytime, and we did have fun, and now we have something to continue to go after. The Galapagos kept that one bit of mystery for itself. With all that we saw and did, that’s more than fair.
What wasn't fair was leaving a man behind. Somewhere along the way, we lost "Wolfie" Sander's stuffed animal (bonus points if you can guess what kind of animal it is). We figured we left him at the first hotel we stayed, which is on San Cristobal, so we kept going back to find him now that we’re back on the island. Quick aside, we've left stuffed animals across the globe, more than any other item, we lose stuffed animals. They get entangled in the sheets, so when you do the "final sweep" they're hidden in the cotton jungle, and that's that until the cleaning lady search party rescues them. Unfortunately, this search party came up empty this time, and Wolfie now resides in the Galapagos Island.
A moment of silence please...
Now, the best part of this story is that every time we went to the hotel, it was closed, except for "Hotel Filipe." Hotel Filipe speaks less English than I do Spanish, so it made asking for a stuffed wolf especially interesting. The conversation consisted of me talking very slow, repeating "lobo" and holding my hands about 6" apart and making a squeezing motion (I’d pay $20 to know what he thought I was asking for). To which Hotel Filipe responded by talking regular, full speed Spanish, using no hand gestures besides pointing into the horizon, and looking at me, not with wonder if I'm understanding what he's saying, but more bewilderment that I don't. Mind you, all I've said in Spanish is "wolf," slowly. At one point he walks off and gets another gentleman and I think, "OK, good. He found someone who can translate." The new guy smiles big at me then proceeds to talk at me at Angry Desi Arnaz speed, then stops, shakes my hand vigorously, and walks off. I look at Hotel Filipe, thinking that clearly that was not what he expected, only Hotel Filipe is completely non-pulsed and talking at me again. By this point, I feel like maybe I should know what he’s saying and I try real, real hard to make it out. I mean, if these two guys are so sure I should be able to understand them, well, maybe I am the problem. Kind of like one of those dreams you have where you can breathe underwater, and it’s so real you wake up thinking "Hmmmm, maybe I can breathe underwater. It wasn't that hard in the dream, maybe I've just never tried right." So now Hotel Filipe is speaking at me, and I’m standing there with the puzzled, effort filled look on my face because I desperately want to know what he’s saying (I'm going with, "Why does this crazy gringo want to squeeze a small wolf?). Then it hits me, now I know exactly what my dog, Scout, feels like. It’s the same look and mannerism from both of us. Hotel Filipe is playing me in the scene, talking normal and pointing a lot, and I’m Scout, being told something and desperately trying to figure it out, but having no earthly idea what he’s saying. So I took my cue from Scout and smiled, nodded and walked off.
And yes, it’s a banner day when you realize that you’re as smart as your dog.