New Spearfisherman


Posted by Britton

Being new to a hobby or sport can be frustrating, expensive and possibly very time consuming.  With that said I have picked up spearfishing.  I describe it as “snorkeling with a purpose.”

Spearfishing
My First Fish

Snorkeling was already fairly new to me, I had only gone a few times while on vacations.  I always enjoyed looking at the creatures that are beneath the surface and wondered if you can eat them and if so, which ones were the tastiest?  Traditional fishing with a rod and reel hasn’t ever really appealed to me; it is a slow pace and you don’t really have any idea as to what is going on beneath the surface.  Spearfishing in contrast is an action sport where you are very involved with and immersed with and in the environment.

Being a noob (newbie/new/beginner) I am still trying to identify what types of fish are what and what equipment is needed.  I got a Hawaiian sling from a local store and have a mask, snorkel and fins.  The Hawaiian sling is a spear with an elastic band that you wrap around your hand and use to propel the spear thru the water.  It gives you about a 3 foot reach or so which means you still need to get pretty close to the fish to spear them.

BK at Beach
Dinner for some lucky birds

I went out today and snagged two small fish (I figure I can feed what I can’t eat to the chickens and turkeys).  I wasn’t sure what they were, but they didn’t look too exotic.  After asking my friend I think one is a blue runner and the other is a mojarra (See below pic)

2 fish

The best part of being new to a hobby is having fun with being new.  Catching any fish for me is a thrill and I am already getting better and better!  My expectations are pretty low and easy to meet.  However I am already finding that I don’t want these small target fish anymore.  I want to spear a larger fish and pan fry it for lunch afterward!  Just like anything, step by step.

A Meal from the Yard


Posted by Cassie

While the cost of food in the grocery stores here can be pretty expensive, it balances out because of all the food you can grow or find growing around the island.

We are still learning about all the different local fruits and edibles around, but one day we were pretty low on food in the fridge, but the pantry of our yard made for a full meal.

The starch component of our meal came from our large breadfruit tree out front.

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We had noticed quite a few breadfruits growing, but there are a lot less recently and so we have been eating them when they are not quite mature. We think quite a few people around this area know about our huge mango tree, the breadfruit tree and the quenepa tree. We have found people on two different occasions hacking through the vines on our property to collect quenepas!

Fruits small

Breadfruit (or pana in Spanish) is a direct substitute for potatoes. We simply cut off the green skin as well as the inner core. The spongy white part is what you use to eat and prepare just like you would potatoes. For this meal from the yard we made them into little squares and lightly fried them in coconut oil until they were crispy and golden.

For the protein part of the meal, we cooked up some of our eggs. We are now eating eggs at nearly every meal since we are currently bringing in about 6-10 eggs a day (and that will be still be increasing)! It is not hard to do because these eggs are so rich, delicious and creamy.

And finally the fruit/veggie portion of the meal: passionfruit, coconut, mango and quenepas. A full square meal straight from the yard. No grocery store required! Yum!

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Scrambled eggs with hash brown breadfruit with a side of raw coconut, quenepa and passionfruit as well as a cup of mango slices with parcha juice and shredded coconut -and of course a cup of Puerto Rican coffee!

Day Trip to Isabela Puerto Rico


Posted by Cassie

Yesterday was our wedding anniversary (9 years!) and so we decided to take a day trip to Isabela, Puerto Rico. Isabela is just around the northwestern corner of the island and not too far of a drive for us from Rincón.

We planned our trip to hit on a few sights around town. We didn’t know exactly where we were going, so we made our way first to the town plaza. If you ever go to a city in Puerto Rico, go to the plaza first as this will orient you to the rest of the area. We had a light snack and then headed out to Jobos (pronounced Hobos) Beach.

Splash
Jobos makes a splash!

We had never been to Jobos before, but it was pretty cool. There is a long stretch of beach that had waves - even in the flat summer- and many surfers hanging out. We found ourselves in an area of Jobos that looked to have been at one point in the earth’s history the bottom of the ocean with petrified coral stone.

It was here that we found the Pozo de Jacinto. According to local lore, Jacinto’s cow fell into this hole (pozo means well) and dragged poor Jacinto with him. Now there is a legend that you can call to Jacinto and the well will burst up with a splash through the hole.

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Britton calling for Jacinto and his cow

On our way to dinner, we found this cool Taino Indian face that is sculpted into the mountain right before Highway 2.

Taino Indian Head Cassie
Taino Head

The finale to our Isabela trip was dinner and a walk around the acreage of Royal Isabela.  We had heard great things about this place from a few people and so we thought that would make for a romantic anniversary dinner. It is a little hard to spot as you drive on the 113 in Isabela, but once you do, you will enter into a beautifully landscaped private golf course/restaurant/hotel. When they opened the private gates to our beat up old Dodge truck we sort of felt like the Beverly Hillbillies, but they still let us in.

Royal Isabela
La Casa at Royal Isabela

It was pretty quiet there with only a few other guests. We walked around and admired the architecture, view and plants while enjoying a nice mojito prior to dinner. At dinner we were both quite impressed with the taste, presentation and quality of the food.

Food and evening
A fancy meal at sunset

We had a great day out in Isabela and it was a fantastic way to spend an anniversary.

Cute couple small

Gutting the Wood House


Posted by Cassie

We have made some major progress on the deconstruction/cleaning/gutting of the wooden house. We hired our friend Dave again, who had helped us remove the deck bathroom and he is a champ! I know we wouldn’t be nearly as far as we are now without his help and knowledgeable advice.

BK and Dave 1
Lots of stuff to remove

Britton worked with him about half the time, and they managed to tear down all the walls and floors of the upstairs bedroom as well as the whole kitchen area. Then they cleaned out the wall cavities which was a dirty job.

stairway
Stairwell

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Kitchen/Living area during deconstruction

The upstairs bedroom had at one point in time been inhabited by bats (though there were no living ones that we could find) and so the wall cavities were filled with about 4 trash bags worth of bat guano! There had also been five huge bee hives in the walls too, and while we had earlier had those removed, there was still some old dirty honeycomb left as well. I guess when no one lives in a house for 10+ years, nature starts to reclaim it!

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Upstairs bedroom with the bathroom removed and all the wall paneling

There is now a huge pile of wood that we have to sort and stack and we still have some major decisions to make about the wooden house. We haven’t put any money into its renovation yet, and so many choices still float out there.

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But it is moving along finally, and we love to see progress. The house is clearing out and feeling much better.

(And in case you were wondering, this- in and of itself, is not the teaser creative project though it is a part of it…)