Here are a few more details from our journey with the fisherman at Porto Covo:
At the dock, as we waited for the fisherman to bring his boat up, I couldn’t help but noticed how weathered all the men looked. Don’t they know about sunscreen? Is there something magical in the DNA of a fisherman, something that keeps them from getting skin cancer after all those years in the sun?
When we arrived on the island, we saw the corpses of crows everywhere. The fisherman told us (at least, what we think he told us…) that the seagulls attack them because the crows try to eat their eggs/young (uncertain here. Something about the crows posing some kind of threat to the gulls).
Speaking of baby seagulls – they are surprisingly adorable! So fluffy and awkward, they were various ages but all still not able to fly yet. They waddled away furiously as we approached then tried to bury themselves in the low bushes that grew all over. We even saw some nests with eggs still in them!
As our fisherman led us around the island, he did a bit of brush clearing, occasionally pausing to pull up various plants that had grown over what little path there was. As I mentioned before, there were bird corpses everywhere, mostly crows but occasionally a seagull chick as well (#nature). When a bird corpse lay in the “path,” the fisherman simply kicked it aside, as casually as if it were a soccer ball. Once or twice he even picked one up by the beak or leg and just flung it away. I felt a very strong urge to take a shower.
When we returned to the dock at Porto Covo, I saw a group of five or six – presumably a family – leaning over buckets of fish. As we got closer, we saw that they were cleaning and gutting their catch – right there on the dock. It was fascinating to watch them do it, almost like an assembly line. It amazes me that this family still participates in this process of their ancient occupation almost the same way all those previous generations have – with a sharp knife and endless patience.