Mexico fishermen use coolers and tubs as dinghies
PUERTO ANGEL, Mexico- I walked by an old busted up cooler filled with some junk laying next to some fishing boats on Pateon beach near Puerto Angel. The cooler had the logo of the Sol beer company on it, and I cannot say that I thought too much of it: it is normal to find such junk on just about any working beach of the world. But almost every fishing boat parked upon the beaches in this stretch of the Oaxaca Riviera were accompanied by similar objects: old coolers or tubs. At that point I could only conjecture about their use, as I had not yet observed their main function.
The next time I saw this Sol beer cooler its true usage was made clear: it was a boat.
That is right, a young fisherman was sitting inside of the cooler, paddling kayak style with a long stick out into the bay. Using this old beer cooler as a dinghy, he got out to his fishing boat, which was anchored around thirty meters from shore. When he got to his boat, he hoped in and drew up the cooler with him: he would carry it in the boat until needed once again to ferry himself back to shore.
Apparently, once finished as devices to keep their beer cold, the fishermen of Mexico use coolers as dinghies.
They also use tubs.
Wobbling like a man on a tight rope, I watched as a fisherman maneuvered himself in wash basin from his fishing boat to shore using a long stick as an oar.
“I like your dinghy,” I called out to him when he was firmly beached.
He smiled in recognition of his rather ungraceful exit from sea.
I am sure that these dinghies also function as places to store fish and other gear as the fishermen of the Oaxaca coast go about their work.