Our tour boat docks, by a grouping of mangroves,and we disembark into a thatched eating area where a local family will serve us lunch in a few hours.
While they prepare our tour’s meal, we are taken for a look at this island’s coconut farm, watch Polo skin a coconut using a metal spike stuck in the ground.
There are chickens roaming free around the homestead, pecking each other in territorial disputes. In one cage is a crocodile, and, in another, snapping turtles fight over fish in a small bowl.
When done watching the coconut skinning, a gray haired man in a ball cap loads our group into the back of a long wagon, with wood seats and a canvas top, starts his tractor, and we are pulled up a winding sandy path to the uninhabited beach on Stone Island.
“Be back in an hour,” Polo says to us, as we hit the beach, then he looks for a chair and a shady spot to talk with the tractor driver, a couple of young men renting ATVs, the skipper of our boat, and a few tourists who don’t care about seeing more sand.
The beach here stretches unimpeded for miles, in both directions, and coconut trees tower over all. It must have been what islands in the Pacific looked like to our father who fought in World War 2 , as a LST Captain. He didn’t talk about the war but I’ve seen old black and white filmstrips of action in the Pacific and it was never a tourist vacation.
Members of our group spread out along the beach according to their interests.
The island has been protected by an order of a past President of Mexico – Felipe Calderone. He decided that the island, once owned by a rich family, would serve the public interest by being left protected. This simple decision has probably had a more lasting influence on his country than some of his more lofty calculations. Presidents can do many things but not all of them are right, or necessary.
After our beach jaunt, we are taken back and have lunch on a big covered patio.
On our way back home, Juanito, Polo’s tame pelican, revisits us again on the Acutus.
It is a memorable expedition. No one gets lost. There are plenty of refreshments and diversions. The price is cheap, thirty U.S. dollars, our guide is informative.
It would be fun to spend a night on the beach and have a bonfire made of driftwood and listen to pirate stories.
I would pay to go on that one too.