My friend, Lynda and I came across a handcrafted, bamboo raft marooned onshore. Aside from a few broken bamboo pieces it seemed sturdy and in pretty good shape. It even had a bright green fishing net and sail still attached. Upon further inspection, it almost appeared as if someone had tried to hide it, sea grass covered the entire surface. Of course our imaginations ran wild. By the end of the day, we had ourselves convinced that it was made by a Cuban who deftly sailed the raft with his family to freedom, drank a bottle of rum (we found an empty bottle right next to the raft) then abandoned the raft for a new life on Cozumel.
Now, fast forward two days later. I was sitting on the dock of the pier, when I had the silly notion of trying to sail the raft myself. So, I borrowed kayak paddles from Lynda and enlisted the help of my husband, daughter and her friend to launch it.
The moment we set it in the water a rather contentious pelican hopped on board and jealously guarded it with her life. She was cool and calculating and looked through those big black eyes as if the only thing she saw was food, including the flip flop that my daughter’s friend was holding in her hand. The pelican lurched forward and dove for it. Luckily, Maya threw her shoe just in the nick of time before the pelican skillfully splashed down and retrieved the shoe. Evidently, the raft had been used by a spear diver to store his catch of fish, and the pelican wasn’t about to share it with anyone.