By Jimmy Buffett
'A Salty Piece of Land' is the story of cowboy Tully Mars's astonishing adventures as he visits the lighthouse on Cayo Loco, a tropical island that isn't on any map - the fitting position to run clear of your entire difficulties.
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Add to that the natural-disaster wing of nature that resided in these latitudes—hurricanes, earthquakes, and the occasional meteor collision—and this little slice of heaven could quickly turn into hell. The Mayans had used their magic and cunning to carve out a civilization in the midst of all this beauty and danger, but the Spanish had tried to burn and blast their way through it. They had only temporary success, and the pirates and shipwrecked sailors who eventually founded and named the village of Punta Margarita took a more practical approach—they forged a coexistence with the perils of the jungle.
It wasn’t long before he had moved to Galveston and was back to the profitable and familiar job of pillaging and plundering ships in the Gulf of Mexico. S. S. Navy to pursuit, but he fled south just in time to get to the Yucatán. Though his headquarters were on the Gulf Coast near Dzilam de Bravo, he had plenty of hideouts stretching all the way down to Ascension Bay. But Crocodile Rock was Lafitte’s favorite hideout. The small bay lay between two promontory points and was guarded by a treacherous series of offshore reefs that he had learned to navigate with the help of the local Mayan fishermen.
I think darkness is the thing humans fear the most, for it takes away our advantage. In the dark, we have to rely on our instincts to survive, and as a species, those feelings haven’t been around the track in a while. You put all that fear onto the deck of a rolling ship in mountainous seas on a pitch-black night, and you can begin to understand why it was a sailor who probably painted the image of the patron saint of lightning. The first time I had put my hands around the worn wooden spokes of the wheel, Captain Kirk had given me a simple piece of advice: “The helmsman may steer, but the boat usually knows where she needs to go.
A Salty Piece of Land by Jimmy Buffett