This is a continuation of "The Non-Angler Tries a New Angle, Part 2." Click here to read the preceding portion of Part 2, or you can click here to go back and read Part 1 at escapefromamerica.com.
We sped back to the lodge and unloaded our gear. The blonde lady came out to greet us.
“So….how was it?” She asked.
“Not so good.” My brother said.
“Nope. Two tiny fish, eight hours.” I said.
“Oh.” She said. We all walked back towards the lodge, but there was a moment when the skipper looked up at me, I knew he wanted a tip. The blonde lady paused. I looked at the skipper and smiled.
“You have a great day.” I said. I tipped him nothing. I wanted to curse at him and then kick him off the dock and into the water but I held my tongue and my foot.
Checking out of the trip back at the office caused us to miss the ferry back home.
“The next one is two and a half hours.” The desk clerk said.
“No kidding?” I said. We went back to sit where the rude men were this morning and sat down. We were stuck here. The blonde lady came up to us again.
“I found out that your lunch was ruined so I have instructed the kitchen to cook you something now. Here is a menu.” She handed us menus.
“That’s kind of you. Thanks.” I said.
“So, overall…how was it.?” She asked.
“Honestly? I’d rather have a root canal. It’d be cheaper, less painful and much faster.” I said.
“Really.” She did not smile anymore.
“Really.” I said and she nodded and turned to walk back to the office. “Don’t worry…I won’t use the name of the lodge in my article.”
My brother and I sat there and began drinking which got us talking.
“Brother, I am so sorry.” He said.
“For what?” I asked. “You got sold, man. This place sucks and you could have never known that.”
“I got you into this. You paid a lot for this day and it turned out to be a complete waste of time.” He said.
“Come on, we had a few laughs.” I said.
“We could have done that in the pool at your place. My goal on this trip was to get you to understand fishing. I believe that once you get a big fish on the line, once you experience catching a trophy fish that you will get it.” He explained.
“Well, my goal is to learn how to do just that.” I said. I then scrunched up my face and used my best Yoda the Jedi teacher voice, “One bad day fishing does not a whole vacation ruin.” He laughed.
“Sorry about this place. It was a fly-fishing lodge, plain and simple. We told them we were not fly-fishermen. I can’t believe this.” He said.
“Hey, I asked for a “patient” skipper. Let’s face it. Our guy was very angry at something. Maybe it was those wooden blocks he used for feet. I don’t know. He barely spoke English and apparently could not find fish if he had a net at Sea World.” I laughed.
“He blamed the boat, the rods, the bait and the weather. He blamed everything but his inability to find the fish.” My brother smiled. “What a waste.”
“The good news is: we never have to do it again. The bad news is that the bartender is as bad as the guide…this rum punch tastes like antifreeze.” I said and poured my drink on the sand.
“Is there any other news?” He asked.
“Yeah. Our ferry is here. Let’s go.” We grabbed our gear and jumped on the ferry for the ride south.
I kept thinking of the look on my brother’s face. Since we were kids, no one ever made me laugh harder than my brother. He was one funny kid. He was not cheerful now and as the older brother, it was my job to figure out how to get him back to the giddy place he was earlier this morning.
We rattled our way home on the cart and were just about there when I saw a sign that I’d remembered from the past, “Suya Tours.” Why didn’t I think of this before? I quickly turned the cart left and immediately my brother protested.
“Dude, I think I told you I need to use the bathroom.” He said.
“I know, I know. We won’t be long. I have an idea.” I said. He groaned and sighed. We parked the cart on the sand road next to Suya Tours, a small office next to a beautiful three-story Belizean home.
“What are we doing now?” My brother complained. “I can’t go zip-lining now…jeez, I’d strafe everyone below!”
“Trust me.” I said as I headed into the office. As luck would have it, my old friend Carlos was there. Carlos owned Suya Tours and had taken me, my friends, staff and family on dozens of Belizean tours.
“Bro, I’ll be right back.” My brother yelled from the cart outside and I heard him speed off. My condo was only about 150 yards down the beach. I guess he really could not wait.
“Carlos, it’s been a while since we’ve seen each other. Do you remember me?” I asked. He nodded.
“Yeah, you live just down the beach...right?” He smiled.
“Exactly.” I said. “Carlos, I’d like to talk to you about a fishing trip. Actually, let’s talk about a few fishing trips.” While my brother was gone, we talked about the trip we’d just had and Carlos just shook his head. We then planned three fishing trips. We’d first do a half day of reef fishing in a deep channel by the reef off Caye Caulker. Then, if that worked we’d do some more reef fishing and some deep sea fishing.
“Just figure out how much the trips will cost and let me know later.” I said. “You’ve always been fair to my family.” Truthfully, he’d never charged me full price. We had an unspoken agreement that I’d just take tours with his company and pay him just before we left. I never really knew how much I owed, but when I did check he was more than honest. He discounted everything.
“Will do, Jim.” He said. “Good to see you again.”
My brother came back to pick me up at Suya and on the short ride home I explained what I’d done.
“I don’t believe in coincidences, brother.” I said. “Carlos just happened to be in the office when I popped in. He’s usually in the field. Only he could make the decisions that were just made. He’s the owner. Man! Why didn’t I think of this before?” I smiled.
This wass Part 2 of “The Non-Angler Tries a New Angle” by Jim Reno. (You can read Part 1 by clicking here.