Mayan Calendar Reveal
Mayan Calendar Reveal
Here on the island's southwestern corner, four rows of reefs buffet the incoming Caribbean Sea. The coral structures parallel the shoreline and block the water's inward rush. La Parguera's water is tranquil but incoming tides pushed by winds can fight launches' forward motion. Often wooden yolas nudge toward the bay's westward edge to the thick mangrove forests.
With a sharp eye, one can see the entry to the government cut that opens into the snarl of trees. The entry leads to a narrow pencil straight pass, wide enough for one launch. Its purpose, I don't know, but the area is fringed by a secured government base.
I had a job interview with the research labs there when I first graduated from marine research. But my life would have been controlled and claustrophobic because the work is high-priority and secretive. I told them that rules and regulations don't sit well with me. I suppose that's one reason why I wasn't hired. And, my doctoral paper in marine biology is considered offbeat. I probably looked like some type of rebel.
My thesis focused on manipulation of genetics for the creation of marine hybrids. At the university, my theories caused some faculty to frown. They'd expected Darwinian-based projects in selective reproduction. But that's academia - people dressed in educational garb that holds in any creative theorems like the function of Mormon underwear. They just look for a continuum of the establishment's DNA strand - safe, old-hat topics with little wiggle room for free-thinkers. Enough said.
I've never travelled the entire length of the government cut. I've heard the passage goes on for many miles around the island's corner, weaving inland for a while with an exit along the western shoreline. It's too narrow to spin the boat around and head back out. I don't want to get stranded. I'm satisfied knowing the few entrances into coves where I turn my yola to leave before dark. Not knowing what is further down the enigmatic passageway does taunt my curiosity to investigate, but my gut stops me each time I consider venturing deeper into the entanglement.
Swampy areas, like Laguna Cartagena, parallel the mangrove but on the landside of the hills that divide the two areas. Traipsing through the swamps, I've watched water levels rise and fall with tidal changes. But how can the ocean's water penetrate those haystack-shaped mounds of solid rock?
I had hesitated to write this, but I suppose it's my scientific background that forces me to record observations. In any case, I've suspected for some time that while working in the mangrove's twisted maze of trees I wasn't alone. Gray snakelike roots interweave creating illusive islands that shift. The moving forest seemingly floats but gives the illusion of firmness. One can stand on the forest's exposed roots that loop up and then curve down to the sandy bottom. Growing trees pull everything they need from the nutrient rich water. Like a bio green machine, they process various land-runoffs dissolved in salt water for their proliferation. Land contaminants drift along the barrio's shoreline and travel to uninhabited areas.
Open spaces under the vast mat of roots serve as a marine nursery. Small fish dart through them and hide from predators that lurk in dark spaces. I've seen eyes reflect back the low light like tiny mirrors. Often as I work, they suggest faces peering out from the shadows. When fish grow too big for the mangrove, they migrate into the sea, but many return to spawn in the protected environment.
The mangrove's canopy of leafy treetops mask the surreal interior that has no mid-tones, just high contrasts that assault the