Along the beach here in Las Terrenas there are a series of little bar/restaurants with a few plastic tables and chairs in the sand. We like to sit there and watch the fishing boats come in. They start arriving late in the morning. The horizon is clear and then a dot appears. They get closer zig-zagging among the reefs that are visible in the clear green water. One man stands in the front, the other is running the motor. They come in one or two at a time.
As they approach shore men, who have been hanging out on the beach, start taking six foot lengths of sewer pipe to the water’s edge. The boats come straight up to the beach, lifting their motors as they get near. The fishermen jump out and joined by any other man who’s around, they lift the front of the boat onto the makeshift rollers.
As one roller is left behind, it gets moved to the front. Finally, high and dry, the rollers get abandoned until the next boat approaches.

Starting up the beach

The boats are simple, about 18 feet long, fairly deep, and other than a couple of benches across, bare of fittings. There is no sign of life jackets or for that matter, fishing poles. Burlap bags hold the gear, most likely nets of some kind.

A typical fishing boat

Some of the boats only seem to have one or two fish, others as many as eight or ten large fish. Some have caught what appear to be red snapper, they are much smaller. Once on shore the fish are moved from the boats to some tables in the sand that comprise the fish market. The gear gets moved from the boats to old pickup trucks also parked on the sand and the men then wait around for the other boats to arrive.

Two fish. We don't know what kind they are

Yesterday fourteen boats eventually arrived and were safely stowed on shore. The men hoisted the outboard motors onto the waiting pickups. On man strapped his outboard onto the back of a motorbike. By shortly after noon, the fishermen were gone and the fish market doing a brisk business.