Aboard the Catamaran

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Marlin del Rey’s

Catamarán Tour

Marlin del Rey’s exciting catamaran tour starts at El Pescador Restaurant where all the passengers meet before boarding. I arrived at 1:00pm and the tour guide from Marlin del Rey greeted me cheerfully. He checked my name off the list and casually conversed with me in Spanish; which turned out to be a perfect opportunity for me to practice my speaking skills. I stood underneath a shady tree, fiddling with my camera as the other guests arrived. I watched as the last group of about 30 people from a retirement home joined us. The guide told me that our group size of 41 was about average; they sometime had groups of 80-90 people.

Around 1:30pm we hopped in a small boat and headed out to sea. We excitedly snapped photos of the disappearing shore, and finally waved good-bye as the coast grew more distant. During our brief trip across the ocean, the crewmen pointed out a small water snake making its way past our boat. When we finally reached the catamaran, the crewmen carefully helped us climb aboard. Waiting for the other passengers to arrive, the crewmen took our drink orders and asked us questions about our traveling experiences. Standing up, I marveled at the size of the catamaran, with it’s indoor bar, lounge area, lower deck bathrooms, and outside deck.

When everyone was present, the crewmen introduced themselves and made the passengers laugh as they went over safety rules. Pretty soon, we set sail and everyone found a comfortable place on the boat to relax. I took out my Nikon D-3100 and began snapping photos at the passing scenery filled with heaps of lush green rocky mountains. To my left I could see the Catalina Islands and to my right I spotted privately owned beaches.

A crewman told me, “Catalina Islands have the best scuba diving waters” as he pointed off into the distance at the rocky structures covered in greenery. “Around that bend are Playa Flamingo and Brasilito”. I smiled, recognizing the names of the beaches I frequented with friends.

After asking the captain for permission, I jumped up on the roof of the catamaran for a better view. The group below me were casually sipping on drinks and gazing off into the distance. I peered back at the captain. “Puedo manejar?” I joked, asking him if I could navigate the boat. “Si! Venga!” He called to me, waving me over excitedly. My eyebrows raised: was he seriously going to let me navigate? Of course he was. I took hold of the wheel and followed his commands, a la izquierda…un poco derecha. (To the left…to the right). He let me drive for 10 minutes, until we neared a bay. It was a thrilling experience. I gave him back command of the ship as we closed in on the other docked boats. “Are you going to snorkel?” The captain asked. I smiled shyly told him I was afraid of fish. He burst into laughter, “no preocupes” which means, don’t worry. We docked our boat and the crewmen passed around goggles, fins, and life vests to the passengers. “Dora, venga!” The crewman called me, beckoning me into the water. I shook my head no because I refused to get in. That’s when the rain came. Rain poured heavily down from the sky, making everyone shriek loudly and run for cover. I ran to put my camera in a dry place before heading back out to the deck. I watched the snorkelers fasten the last few belts on their vests before jumping into the ocean, with rain pounding on the surface. I tilted my head towards the sky and blinked into the rain. Opening my palms to catch a few drops, I thought to myself, ‘ah, what the heck, I’m already wet.’ Wait for me! I called racing to my bathroom to change into my swimsuit.

The crewmen cheered me on as I jumped off the boat and splashed into the water. I shrieked gleefully, as the water warmed my skin and the rain pelted my bobbing head. Then suddenly, the rain stopped. I placed my goggles over my eyes and took a dive under water. It was a magical experience. There was a large school of small fish swimming deep below the surface, and a few colorful large ones. A crewmember caught a blowfish and held him up for everyone to see.

We snorkeled for about 30 minutes, before everyone grew tired and headed back onboard.

Back aboard the catamaran, they had prepared a feast of cold pasta, chips, guacamole, and chocolate chip cookies. We sat cheerfully gulping down the sweets until our bellies were full. Then a loud shrieking sound from the back of the boat, left us all running in anticipation. Skillfully, the crewman pulled at a fishing pole as his comrades yelled directions to him. He caught a fish, and from the looks of it, a pretty big one. The passengers hooted with excitement and whipped out their cameras as the fisherman tugged at the pole and wound it up, letting the huge Mahi Mahi bounce above the water and splash back under the surface. His pole and the fish came bouncing on board with the hook attached to its mouth. We watched the talented crewman scale, gut and fillet the fish. He asked if any of us wanted to try. “No thanks” I laughed. Again, the whirring sound split through the air, and alerted us that another fish had been caught. They caught three that day. They told me that they were very lucky.

As we headed back to shore, the crewman asked how I was getting home. “El autobus” I told them, jumping down into the small boat. “We’ll take you home” They offered. We sped off on the boat, only to return to the Catamaran after dropping the passengers ashore. Onboard the Catamaran once again, the crewman handed me a large plastic bag. “Do you know how to cook?” The captain asked. “Sure” I hesitated. “Well, take some fish home!” My eyes grew incredulously as the crewmen offered me some of their delicious catch of the day. “Really?” I chimed. They placed the fish in my bag. After they organized the boat, we loaded the smaller boat once more, and sped off into the dark night. I couldn’t have asked for a better trip aboard a catamaran. Marlin del Ray provided a wonderfully enjoyable experience.

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