Just Another Day
March 2010

by Howie Xamach

It has been a short night. Sleep came late. I spent long hours talking under the stars with people who live in cities that prevent them from seeing what the gods here in the Sian Ka'an have to offer the dreamers of another life. So many stars here in the Sian Ka'anóthe Milky Way lives up to its name, appearing as a child's accidental spill of milk across the sky.

We are up early to cruise the laguna for fish, a short drive to access the miles of mangrove harbouring our prey. Frigates are out early today circling a thousand feet above us, watching. The osprey are out with us, a large female cruising for breakfast, her mate following as all loyal males do, just waiting for direction. We are all here in the perfect setting. The sun is just breaking on the eastern horizon.

As the sun finally reaches high enough to cover the water we are working, everything comes alive. The fish retreat to the cover of shade close to shore under the mangroves and we cast to them. Strikes increase until it is a frenzy of action; bones and permit readily come to our offerings. We land a few each and release them to the crystal clear waters. Thirty minutes of mayhem followed by calm, the bite is over for now. Too much activity here and the area empties except for us and the birds. Pink flamingos fly overhead as a finale to a spectacular morning in the Ka'an.

An easy, slow drive back home, avoiding the iguanas and vultures that are out feeding on last night's road casualties, is relaxing. Not too many casualtiesójust enough to feed the life, everything is in balance here. I am balanced here, my life is always smooth. The hiccups that may come are not life threatening, just a bump in the road. They are easily surmounted and life carries on.

Back home on the beach after breakfast, we go for sardines. A short walk to where the pelicans are performing their ballet and we have enough for Meow Meow, our cat, the frigates that will come, and bait for the snapper we will catch for dinner. As we wait for the tide to come in, we share stories and beer, soon to be followed by a brief siesta. Awake at three, refreshed and ready to get dinner, the entire tribe is on the beach casting and waiting.

The action is quick, a good day. First a small snapper, then a very large ray that has snagged his tail; an amazing struggle ensues to bring this big boy to shore and release. The barracuda are ravenous and attacking our caught snapper as we retrieve. Half snappers are common for the fishermen who retrieve slowly. Eventually we have 12, enough for all of us to feast on fresh fish for dinner.


I have had a siesta before dinner, I have struggled for bones in dawn's early light and caught dinner in the afternoon. The Sian Ka'an is God's creation and I am blessed to live here. What will be the agenda for tomorrow? May think about it in the morning, or maybe not. The day will come no matter what my plans.