Thursday, March 29, 2018

Call of Fish or Tourist Sunset Horn

When you were someplace tropical on holiday, did you ever do a touristy thing where they blow the conch horn (shell)?  Perhaps a few places in the Bahama's or The Full Moon Party at Trellis Bay BVI?  Somehow this has become a sunset tradition with tourist.  Many a tourist has tried to learn to blow the conch horn over a rum drink or two.  A few cruisers have carried on with the tradition.  There is a cruiser that does it in Grenada each night.

More importantly, did you know that the blowing of the conch horn is an island tradition that goes back many, many years.  It has important meaning.  You can hear it anytime of day and hopefully multiple times during the day.  On the islands of the Caribbean, the blowing of the conch horn is a signal that the local fishermen are back and they have fish.  The horn lets the entire village know to come down to the water to buy fish now.

It actually took us well into the second season of cruising to figure this out.  Despite the fancy Japanese built and gifted (roll eyes) fish sorting houses up and down the island chain, most local fish are sold sea side in simple covered stands, shacks or even a tent.  Nothing fancy.  They pull in, blow the conch horn and set up business.  Each place having its own processes and methods of operation to clean, weigh, and sell the fish.

So next time you are in the islands, keep an ear open throughout the day for the "real" conch horn.  We have purchased some delicious fresh fish because the conch horn was blowing.  Oh.....there it is now - Fish In.