Gone Fishin’ With A Rasta
There was a reason we were both craving ice-cream at the same time…
Cruising around on our beach bikes after having a yummy dinner at The Rainbow Fish Grill & Bar. For some reason I couldn’t stop thinking about ice-cream… The best part… Brian had ice-cream on the brain too!
We did what anybody would do… We caved and got some Belizean Ice-Cream, took it to the dock, and enjoyed the sun slowly setting over the palm trees.
It was funny… While we were eating our dinner at The Rainbow… We were admiring a homemade sailboat. Ironic because we ended up parking on the doc where that sailboat lived. There it was in its glory, and there was her Captain… A Rastafarian man with dreads down his back, and a hand-painted t-shirt.
As he walked past us, Brian asked him if that beauty was his boat!
Turns out, he made the boat himself! He asked us if we wanted to go fishing with him tomorrow morning, then eat what we caught for dinner! We looked at each other, and both responded, “YES”!
The morning soon came. Even in the earliest hours of the day, it was already hot! Our captain arrived in island time… They call him The Roots, which we soon found, is because he lives his life in a grounded kind of way! He is a Herbalist, Artist, and formerly a Fisherman. These days he only catches enough fish to feed him & his beauty Debbie and to share with local friends.
His sailboat “Natural Mystic” has been in the making for the past 3 years. You see Caye Caulker (pronounced KEY Caulker) was torn in half by the last hurricane! So The Roots and Debbie live on the chill side of the island, but they work on the side where all the action is. He sells his artwork there, and she sells her handcrafted jewelry. As they traveled back, and forth from the main island to where they live, they started to accumulate a lot of things they had to bring back and forth on daily basis, in just a canoe. Debbie was starting to get a bit scared of how low the boat was riding in the water…
So The Roots did what any man in love would do…
He started building his lady a better boat! This wasn’t something that happened overnight. He trialed many parts, and pieces of material to make it bigger, and better. Some things that he tried only got him a hundred meters from the shore, and he had to go back.
Debbie explained to me how a real man makes love to his women all the time. She said that anytime he does something sweet for her he is making love to her, just merely by thinking of her. He walks past her, and his shoulder brushes against hers… He is making love to her… He catches her fish for dinner… He is making love to her. He builds a sailboat to cruise her from one island to the next… He is making sweet love to her! This works both ways! When she cooks him something delicious… She is making sweet sweet love to him too!
I really appreciated her outlook as we cooked dinner together, but I will get back to that here in a moment.
Over the past 3 years Natural Mystic has turned into the sailboat it is today. All of her pieces are recycled and collected from things that have washed up onshore. We really admired this, as The Roots believes nothing should ever go to waste.
There was very little wind when we boarded, so The Roots had a lot of work ahead of him. Instead of paddling, he used a huge 16-foot pole to push us along. Digging into the shallow ocean floor, he gently pushed the boat through the waves until the breeze picked up enough to put up the sails. We offered to help him out, but he said this is what he does every day! We quickly understood how the man stays so trim, and youthful-looking! Honestly… We still can’t believe he is nearly 50!
He took us to the perfect little spot tucked into the mangroves. Because the water is so shallow around the coast of Caye Caulker for miles… There isn’t a lot of shady spots for fish to hang out. In the shade of the mangroves, the fish are plentiful!
The Roots taught us how to line fish… Which is pretty much what it sounds like… A fishing line with a hook tied to the end, and chunks of small fish for bait. You stand on the spoon of line, give a few feet of line a swing, and toss it into the water. With good aim, you can place that bait in the shade of the mangroves.
It is much different than pole fishing because you have to really have a good feel for your line. The littlest tug just might be a fish stealing your bait, or just a little wave tricking you.
I was lucky to get us going with the first catch of the day, and 3 more to boot! Brian reeled in the prize fish… I am not obliged to say what it was, but the majority of fish we caught were Pretty Lips, along with Black Snapper. The Roots took the gold medal with the biggest fish and the most fish!
The wind picked up as we set sail back to dry land. What a relaxing day! When we got back we had the pleasure of meeting Debbie! Her jewelry stand was amazing! I bought a beautiful tigers eye bracelet from her… It was calling me!
We were surprised when The Roots asked us to hang around for dinner. Honestly, we didn’t know what to expect when he mentioned eating our catch for dinner. We thought he was going to send us off to cook our own fish after our adventure. NOPE! We were so fortunate to go shop with him for local veggies, and then help prepare the meal with them!
Brian learned how to scale a fish in the dark, at the dock with Roots, while I hung out with Debbie at a table along the main road. We washed the veggies in a basin and chopped them at a little table there. The grill and little outdoor kitchen are shared by a few local fishermen, and friends. One of my favourite things is nothing went to waste! We ate the veggies in their entirety! We didn’t peel the carrots, we ate the entire stem of the broccoli and the cilantro!
We have GOT to get away from our snobby meal prep in North America! People are starving on this planet!
Debbie and I shared a great conversation. Her and The Roots met in Philadelphia about 8 years ago. They got sick of the fast pace in the city and decided to come back to his home Belize. Debbie is from Trinidad, so she was really happy to come back this way, and loves the island living with her Rasta. We had a few key things in common… We all wanted more from life than just things. We wanted to experience the culture, nature, and real authentic people. She gave away all of her stuff to, so she could experience more. (Check out our article How To Prepare For Absolute Location Independence)
It was pretty kool to connect with her in that respect. Her, and I both agreed that life is going to be challenging no matter what path you take… BUT it is all about your happiness on a daily basis. If you are where you want to be, with the one you love, living life on your terms… You’re pretty set!
She admitted they may not make the money they did in Philadelphia… But they hated the rat race. Working your tail off just to afford the fancy place to live, and all the “things” you stuff in that place. ICK!
I commended her for their choice to BE entrepreneurs! At least they were happy! How romantic is it to go sailing every day with the one you love. Sleep under the stars, on the ocean whenever you choose! Sounds pretty sexy to me! Talk about keeping the flame alive!
Dinner turned out amazing! Coconut Curry Veggies, with Curry Friend Fish! WOW! Brian and I had never eaten a whole fish like that before. Going in… We were both skeptical. Eating it… Whole other story! Incredible!
It was wonderful to see the community vibe! Debbie and The Roots share their food with all their local friends that come around. We got to meet some pretty interesting characters.
There were a few morals we learned during our adventure!
One… Never give up! When you have a vision in mind, keep on going! Through trial and error you can create something that will set you free! This was the beauty we learned from The Roots! That sailboat has given him, and Debbie a new sort of freedom in their lives! It has allowed them to travel more comfortably, and much faster than paddling a canoe back and forth! They also set up a tent on it when they decide to stay on the mainland! How sweet! Love is shown in so many beautiful subtle ways, so be open to receive!
Two… The sailboat has created a new stream of income for them! The Roots is giving travelers a new way to experience Caye Caulker! An experience no tourist would bother taking… BUT one a true traveler wouldn’t pass up!
Three… Never pass up an experience! Go with your intuition! When opportunity knocks on your door… Indulge in it! Relish in it! Experience MORE!
Hey, we're Brian + Erin. Currently, we're workin' on our bug out bus. Lucky the proverbial $hit hadn't hit the fan yet when we picked up this 40-foot beauty in Phoenix AZ and drove it up to Canada to convert it. Hopefully, we all still have time...
Honestly, this bus conversion has been the only sane thing in this insane world lately. We can't tell you how good it feels to BE working on something that lights our souls up and has such potential for a life that is entwined with nature, love, and happiness.
Our main goal is to inspire people to get off-grid and become self-reliant. We are well on our way and are super excited to talk about solutions with others who are shooting for a similar way of living.
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