Panama: Of Tournaments and TunaAugust 20, 2011
Our quiet paradise was invaded by herds of anglers suffering from Tournament Fever yesterday…Pretty surreal to look at the horizon, and see a minimum of 12 sport boats heading straight at us! The Yamaha Tournament is focussed on local species (amberjack, tuna, dorado, cubera snapper, Sierra mackerel) – and all of this fished in our ‘hood!!
We were a popular stop for the crowds checking us out. Apparently there is a rumour going around the big yacht centers and marinas in Panama City that there is a fabulous ship with a restaurant and a hotel just floating in the ocean somewhere in the Perlas Islands…ha ha!!
I wonder what the total value of the bay here is right now?? Check out the industrious “stand up paddleboarder”! This is actually a local standing in his dugout canoe hawking pearls.
Lots of previous guests of WCFC stop in to say hi…here is the Btesh family…
Later on at night…Party boats rafted together…the music was pounding!!
Below, the BEST ship in the bay. Obviously.
Isn’t she beautiful?
What a welcome sight to a hungry fisherman!!
The boats head out even before ours in the morning – getting first crack at prime fishing grounds has everyone battling to be the first out of the bay…
Today found us up early to take a tour of the property with guests Russ and Jim. We do a few turns around the PacPro for some beach and ship shots…
Here is our treasure map to find the other side…thanks Jacko
Below Russ gazes at the incredible view and wonders how he can find a way to extend his trip…can’t you feel that sand on your bare feet?
Meanwhile, Luis climbs a tree faster than you can blink to grab us some refreshing coconuts for a drink of “Pipa”, or fresh coconut water. A little window into the future when this spot will be right beside the bar and infinity pool!!
José chops open this mature coconut to show us the “coconut apple”. People have been telling Chef Michael about this delicacy since we arrived, but this is the first time we have seen it. After the coconut matures this embryo develops, and eventually would sprout a root to burrow its way in to the ground. At this stage, the locals eat this cooked with syrup and vanilla. The texture is incredible – crunchy and firm, but spongy too.
Fast forward to dinner where Chef Michael prepares an OUTSTANDING dessert with it:
“Roast Coconut Apple with Passionfruit Soup, Mango, and Shaved Coconut” (he cooked the “apple” with honey and spices…insanely delicious)
Back to the beach…Russ decides he wants to see if he can wield a machete with as much precision as the workers. I take a picture for insurance reasons!
He does a good job, but decides to leave the rest of the chopping to the locals.
The workers head off to clear some more land…what a walk to work!!
We walk back across the island to get Russ and Jim back on the water to do some more of what they came for – fishing!
I never imagined I would be one of those people that just HAS to take a picture of the sunset, but COME ON!! Every night is a postcard.
Russ and Jim gather to tell their fishing tales of the day. They spent the latter half of the day “island fishing” close to home. They had a final, fabulous day on the water, with what Russ called “the BEST saltwater guide I have ever fished with”, Captain Junior and “not just outstanding fishermen and mates, but also good men and good companions” Mates Alirio and Donar.
Below, the team poses together with the 60lb yellowfin – caught on the fly.
This 65-lb Cubera Snapper might have taken the top prize at the Tournament had we been entered!
This amberjack too…
As a parting gift, Russ leaves us with an incredible array of saltwater flies tied by the revered Cam Sigler. Sigler billfish flies are considered the best of the best – from our Chef to our Captains – huge smiles of surprise and delight all around to receive this gift. Each one of these has a dorado or a sailfish or a marlin in its destiny…
An all round successful trip – it was a wonderful experience for all.
Thanks to Russ and Jim for your encouragement and advice on developing our fly-fishing programme – look forward to seeing you here again soon! Stay tuned to the blog – we’ll do our best to catch a marlin on these flies!
Goodnight from Paradise,