St. Lucia: The Epitome of Fresh
Our boat pulled up against the shore. A few feet to our right, a St. Lucian local with long dreadlocks and bright eyes threw a simple line into the water. “He’s fishing.” Our guide said. Had he not pointed it out, I’m sure I would have missed it as his set up was an uncomplicated line with a bit of scraggly bait, acquired from an earlier catch, tied to the end. We watched for a few moments as he managed to catch a fish no more than four inches long with thin blue stripe running along its back.
We left the fisherman on the beach as we headed into the clear water, donned with snorkeling masks and the hope of seeing for ourselves some of the fish the fisherman was hoping to catch.
Our bodies floated with ease in the salty Caribbean sea as the sun warmed and as we later found out, burned our backs. The silence allowed all my attention to be focused on the dozens of types of tropical fish that swam inches away. The more intensely I looked, the more I saw, as some fish nearly blended right into the sand of the ocean floor, while others ducked into the little caverns found in the coral.
I felt as if I was floating in a pristine aquarium overflowing with fish in bright yellow, blue, and orange coats.
Returning to the beach, we once again met up with our fisherman friend, who at this point had cooked some of his catch from before.
In the shade of palm trees, over a hot fire and a grill that looked like it had been very well used, he simply placed the fish on the fire then let the flames aggressively char the skin until the fish was nearly blackened.
With our legs immersed in the cool, blue sea, we peeled back the charred skin and ate throwing the innards and bones back to the water. The fish itself was deeply smokey, perfectly salty and fresher than any fish I had ever eaten.