The first night

Our 2022 season is all about L’encesa, an ancient fishing art from the area of our Marina Alta. We pay tribute to all those encesers who risked their lives every winter night with the Enceser story. Today chapter 3: The first night.

“The last ray of sun hiding towards the valley of Xaló tells me that the time has come. Yesterday I decided that this cold, wet January night would be my first night as enceser. I have been talking with encesers for several days, learning from their experiences, getting to know the work. I’ll be fishing with a couple of acquaintances tonight, but I still can’t help but be nervous. I take the last sips of the hot coffee my wife has prepared for me and go to collect my things.

On the work table of the small workshop that I have in the garden, I count and put in my esparto grass basket all the utensils that I will need that night. Many of the things are going to be lend to me at the fishery, however, I had to make some by myself.

El Rall: with some leftover pieces of my mesh to protect the fruit trees from birds, I shaped a circular fishing net two meters in diameter.

Gloves: I have two pairs of leather for my work in the garden. I take the oldest.

Scissors and knives: for cutting and baits I keep pruning shears and a couple of very sharp knives in my carrycot.

Rigs: I bought a reel of fishing line and with several fence irons I made several hooks to place on the rods.

I leave in a hurry; the fishery is several kilometres from my house and the boys told me that they have dinner there before starting work. After almost an hour of walking, I descend the cliff guided by my hosts. It’s distressing. More than twenty minutes of continuous slipping, with the only light of the crescent moon and caught an old rope, unstable throughout the route.

After eight hours of fishing I climb that same cliff extremely tired, but with the great feeling of having found something that I am good at, a hard and dangerous job, but that can solve all our financial problems.”