|Blogs > ByteChaser2 > The Clan of the Cave Dude|
What a night...
What a night...
So I'm in Cuba. Stationed at Guantanamo Bay with the Headquarters element, a Communicator. Now forget much of what you've read or seen on TV about some of the shenanigans that's purported to go on at GITMO...
There is no "Code Red", Marines are NOT routinely hazed for the simplest infractions... The place is NOT under constant threat of attack by the good people of Cuba. and while it once held the single largest minefield in the free world, none of us were in any danger of being blown to bits from stepping off the sidewalk...
Truth be told, it's a great place to be stationed. Just about anything a young man or woman would want to do is available on this little plot of coral soil.
The Marine guards would even host Tarpon fishing at the mouth of the upper bay on weekends. So we were required to go armed with our M-16. Big deal... I never once fired it at anything but paper targets on the rifle range through the 18 months I enjoyed this posting.
I was out one Saturday evening, fishing with my roommate and a couple Marines from the Rifle Security Company. Having a fair amount of luck catching 20-30 pound tarpon and the occasional rock grouper.
One of the other Marines had a fishing bow rig. A compound bow that fired bolts attached to a spool of 50# test line. From time to time he'd take a shot at a finning silverback and miss more often than not. He's getting a little uptight at having bagged only one dinky little 22 pounder all evening.
So we're all lined up along the sea wall around midnight. The spot light had been turned off with nothing but the area flood lights exposing the water for about 15 feet into the mouth of the bay. We can hear the tarpon splashing and finning just past our field of vision, casting our lures in any direction where the sound was particularly loud and hoping to hook the famed and much touted monster tarpon...
You know... The "one that got away". A behemoth of epic size and proportion, capable of floundering a light cruiser with a simple flip of it's tail... With a mouth so razor sharp it could cut through a 200 pound rated cable leader and leave the hapless fisherman stomping his feet and yelling explicatives and shaking fists at the darkened heavens.
Way off in the distance we could hear some particularly loud splashing and thrashing. This one HAD to be the phantom tarpon! It sounded like a whale breaching the ocean for Christ sake!
Three of us are feverishly rigging up the heavy tackle and casting our best baits and lures in the direction of the noise. And it was getting closer!
Before long, we could see the faint green glow of sea invertebrates disturbed by the roiling water. We could *just* see the beast!
The bow fisher got his gear ready, knocked an arrow and kept a close watch on this beasts range. Closer... closer...
The minutes ticked by like weeks and months. The wait nearly unbearable! Finally the tower guard flipped on his spot light, just at the bow fisher pulled his bow string to it's fullest, aiming on the green glow.
And the Cuban started screaming!
It wasn't the 140 pound tarpon of legend after all. It was a defector! And judging from his screams and flailing arms, he really didn't want to end his swim to freedom by being skewered.
We were all sweating gallons and not from the muggy heat either. The bay was known to have sharks in it. Big ones with tiger stripes and maws bristling with razors. The kid that would take a grown mans leg in a couple of bites and come back for more. And worse than that, the upper bay was guarded and patrolled by the Cuban forces who would routinely fire on anyone in the bay - especially defectors.
We weren't afraid for us... but this guy was in some serious trouble, spotlighted as he was and in plain view and range of a number of AK-47's.
Our guard cut off the spot and we waited for this swimmer to get close enough to throw a line to. In only a few minutes we had him out of the water and in a little sand bag bunker under the tower drying him off.
He told us of his 2 companions, asking if we'd pulled them out yet. They never arrived, having drowned or fallen victim to the sharks.
As we loaded this young man into a hummer for transport to the rear, he turned toward the Cuban side of the fence and with fists in the air and a lunatic smile on his face, spewed his disdain for his former homeland.
He turned, got in the hummer and never looked back. I've no clue what ever happened to him after he was driven away. One would hope he loves his new homeland as much as he hated his old one...
12/24/2005 7:41 pm
*sj imagining lil adorable cuban babies named after their daddy's savior....how do you say bytechaser in spanish? cazador de byte?*
12/24/2005 8:07 pm
As long as they aren't mine!|
Cazador de Byte... Hmmm... I kinda like the sound of that
12/24/2005 9:32 pm
hey byte just think if you werent there what would 've happened to this poor soul, and merry christmas to you|
12/24/2005 11:34 pm
Oh thanks you Katey! Merry Christmas to you too!|
12/24/2005 11:37 pm
I was kinda wondering on just that earlier. I'm just happy I coulda helped even a little ya know?|
Merry Christmas to you to brother!