A day at Pile Bay
By Wendell Calender | Tue, September 25, 2012 - 10:00 AM
The sky above the horizon was silver grey and casting a mirror-like reflection on the shore.
The heavy raindrops had just threatened to send the folks indoors but quickly abated to allow them to revert to their Sunday beach activities on Pile Bay, Brandons, St Michael.
A man fishing from the shoreline had attracted our attention but quickly wandered along the beach to the most northerly end casting his rod into the sea in search of any greedy fish. He was soon a far distance off “ and out of immediate reach.
One man roasting fish on his makeshift grill made his presence felt as the wafting smoke rolled its way across a section of the beach. It was a solitary fish on the grill but still he was taking great care to ensure the process of roasting was effectively executed.
Gorvyn Lucas, who described himself as the cook, noted that his culinary skills extended to the cooking of conch, lobster and octopus (“sea cat”).
Later on, as more fish were brought to shore, the space on the grill was fully taken over.
Soon a man would leave the sea with the most beautiful fishes imaginable on his spike. We discovered that he had been in the water from as early as eight o’clock in the morning and had spent over four hours diving for his catch using a speargun.
Corey Knight had ventured about half of a mile out and was diving in water with a depth of 40 feet. The collection included parrotfish, dog chubs, parrot tail fish, fantail cockle, and grey chub. For Corey, it was like a walk in the park, as he had been spearfishing for over 11 years.
Immediately, a few people appeared in search of some of this collection of fish. One woman came with her limes ready to work on the fish to make them ready for consumption. For her, this was a time to cast the rigours of her weekly chores away and enjoy the quietude of the ambience at Pile Bay.
Soon, the man who had been using his fishing rod, would return to the location in the vicinity of the fish market where most of the folks were assembled. Hartley McCaskie, who is an occasional (weekend) pleasure fisherman, not only pursues his hobby from the shoreline but has also acquired a dinghy named Simon Peter which he takes out to the reef where he has access to a bigger catch.
There were others who had made the trek to the beachside to engage in a domino game, have a drink, taste the culinary Bajan treats which sometimes include roast breadfruit, with the fish, of course.
Milton Ifill, one of the domino players, declared: “Down here is like therapy for we. We eat barbers and relax. We just throw our cares away down here!”
One of the fellows who gave his name as “Grantley” explained that they were hardworking men who had chosen this beach as a place of relaxation.
“On Sunday, this is the place for relaxation, to socialize and to have a drink. We have a good time here,” he said.
They invited us to join them another Sunday from as early as nine in the morning to taste their slice of Bajan life.
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