Interview with an enceser – Part 3

When we say that at BonAmb we respect and enhance our environment, we are not only talking about working with local products, preparing a cuisine with minimal waste, and being a sustainable restaurant. When we say that we want to honor the culture of the Marina Alta, we do so by learning from its tradition, meeting its people, and listening to the great protagonists who have written its history. For our 2023 season, we have immersed ourselves in the world of Les Pesqueres, unique and dangerous fishing spots on the cliffs of our area. We talked to Ximo Pastor, one of those brave encesers who fished in these fisheries spots for a better life.

How dangerous was the Encesa and the night hanging from the cliff in the Pesquera?

The art of the Encesa was dangerous if you were not aware at all times that the danger was real. You could never be careless for a second, and depending on how careful you were it was more or less dangerous.

We often helped each other fix and maintain each other’s Pesquera in good condition. We would also get together to go to and from the sea. We also used to get together when we went to or came back from the sea. We had a meeting point at a rock with several holes, in which each of us would put a piece of wood, different in shape when we went to the Pesquera. This piece of firewood was removed when we returned from the Pesquera. If, when we gathered at the rock, we saw that a piece of wood had not been taken, we would stay there and wait or go and look for the owner.

And some of them never returned home, did they?

Yes, unfortunately. Keep in mind that many of my companions did not know how to swim, too many. Here, in my street, a fellow fell in who couldn’t swim and didn’t survive. I knew two of them who disappeared. Accidents happen, it’s part of fishing. We were country people with a passion to go fishing at sea every night. Each successful catch made us want to go the next day. People fished more and more and made more and more money at the market, but those who could not swim did not learn to do.