Dear Capt. Jose
It is hard to put into words the joy and fulfillment I experienced with my husband Charles on our recent trip to Costa Rica. Charles and I have been avid anglers since we met some forty years ago in Castine, a small coastal town in Maine. I would say it was love at first sight but that would be a lie. I met Charles during a fishing tournament at a country fair; he won second place with a 1.2 pound Bass. I won First place with a 1.4 pound Bass (we were kids after all). After the trophy ceremony Charles introduced himself and immediately challenged me to Striper fishing of the coast. I caught a 16 pound striper my first cast and he caught a 17 pounder. The competition began.
To this day Charles swears it was his intention all along to get me on a fishing date with him. I think he was just a sore loser, after the third fishing date we were hooked. We dated for two years before Charles and I went off to college. He went to Brown I went to Columbia. While in college we never saw much of each other except for the occasional holiday break. After college we both returned home to our small little town and took jobs. I worked for the school district as an administrator and Charles took over as the town’s doctor.
We began to date again and married one month later. Charles and I had many fishing dates over the years and competed with each other the whole time. We both shared a love for fishing, competition and each other. Every year on our first fishing date anniversary we took a special trip somewhere new and fished. You could say our marriage was held together with love and fishing competition. Our first anniversary trip was to New York and the Coney Island Pier. As the years passed and our income grew we went on trips further and further from home.
Charles and I have fished on both of Americas Coasts, The Gulf of Mexico, Europe, Hawaii, and South Africa. Some places we visited more than once and others once was enough. Charles and I had a son and took the next 18 years off from extended trips to exotic fishing spots. We never stopped angling though and passed the memories and passion for the sport to our son Mark. It was about the time Mark left for college when I was diagnosed with progressive MS. Charles was there for me the entire time and as my condition worsened our trips faded from traditions to memories.
I felt horrible for keeping Charles from the sport that brought us together and kept us together for so many years. It was like losing a part of ourselves. I could still get around on my own but I became depressed and lost my hope. I knew the MS would claim my freedom and I wouldn’t be able to cast a line eventually. The thought of losing a part of our lives that has defined us all these years was unbearable. Charles was as stubborn as ever and refused to join me in my depression. Instead of depression he chose to embrace the good memories and schemed to create more behind my back.
When I first heard Charles tell me he booked a trip to Costa Rica I thought; great I have MS and he’s losing his marbles. While I thought my husband wanted to go for one last trip without me, he thought about one last trip with me. Sometimes I can’t help but wonder if I deserve the love my Charles shows me every second of every day. I decided I couldn’t turn my back on him and stay depressed and in bed. So I agreed to go on another trip and packed our poles. Now we have sport fished before and every time we came back with a nice trophy and memories. Each time we competed with each other and each time we caught plenty of fish.
Out of all the trips we have ever taken believe me when I say Costa Rica was the best. I expected to get quarantined to the bow of the boat while the men hung out and have fun at the stern. That didn’t happen though did it Capt Jose? Young man I hope you know how big a part you played in our best trip ever. You treated me like an able adult and didn’t feel sorry for me. You helped me only when necessary and kept your focus on finding us fish to land. Charles would have no doubt lost that 180 pound Marlin if you weren’t there to coach us. We may have sport fished before but never have we hooked anything larger than 30 pounds. I know because I hold the record even if Charles tries to argue it is too close to call.
Even though my MS has now confined me to a wheelchair and I can no longer cast a line I have no regrets or feelings of lost opportunity. The last trip may have come and gone but the memories of you Capt Jose and the Costa Rican waters will last forever. Thank you for granting Charles and I the wish of a perfect anniversary fishing date. Charles and I may not be able to return for another trip but don’t worry. Our son Mark and his wife will be booking a trip soon with our recommendation and blessing.
Keep doing what you are doing Capt Jose, they say if you love what you do you’ll never have to work a day in your life. I hope you never have to consider what you do work, I am glad to have met you and wish you the best.