It’s an oddity. A large protrusion of compressed sand and coral pieces jutting out into the ocean. It was nick-named Ship Rock by family members who moved to the neighbourhood a few years before we did.
Located just a little south of our casa the bow of the rock ship points north east towards Cuba, resembling a small cruise ship waiting to depart on an adventure.
When the island of Isla Mujeres was created by the forces of nature, this piece of land was part of the island, but over the ten or so thousands of years it has become semi-detached floating free in a turquoise sea.
Ship Rock has become a focal point in the neighbourhood, a place to fish, or swim. A place to plink stones into the water, while staring in contemplation at the ocean. It’s peaceful. And it’s hectic.
On hot summer weekends the rock is festooned with kids who, under their parents’ loose supervision, enjoy a refreshing dip in the ocean. We relax on our second floor ocean-side deck, listening to the shrieks of laughter, and the excited barking of pets – free from leashes and happily terrorizing other dogs.
Around October, a run of thin, silver, very bony and tasty fish swim past. The many avid fans of the Lady Fish cast hopefully with rod and reel or hand-lines, hauling in dozens of fish.
Even the family pets get in on the act, hauling the fish to shore as they are hooked on the line. Dinner!
Other times the rock is inhabited with a gang of noisy pelicans. They are also fishing for dinner; scattered in the waves, perched on the edge of the outcropping, feasting on a run of sardines passing through.
Then with their bellies stuffed with fish the birds rest and contemplate life, wings tucked in while they snooze for an hour or two.
During the windy winter months a few intrepid tourists and locals try out body-surfing at Ship Rock.
The waves curl and crash, tossing young bodies into the air, or stuffing them under the water.
It looks like fun, although the water is not very deep where the waves break, and the coral rocks make a tough landing.
The comings and goings at Ship Rock provide us with a bit of amusement, a source of entertainment on lazy afternoons, or a focal point for a winter sunrise photo.
Just another small, but interesting slice of island life.
Lawrie & Lynda
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