First, inhomogeneities in the ocean are in fact quite common. There are density gradients in both horizontal and vertical directions and those gradients result in the baroclinic circulation of the ocean. The density gradients in the ocean are caused by salinity and temperature differences.
Rossby waves are common in the ocean. They propagate along lines of latitude with the waves traveling along the Equator being the most obvious example and the most thoroughly studied. As in the case of atmospheric Rossby waves, their formation and propagation is related to the conservation of (potential) vorticity (rotational movement, angular momentum). A parcel of water has two sources of vorticity: its own spin and the planetary spin. When a parcel of water moves across a latitudinal line, its planetary spin (planetary vorticity) changes (as the Coriolis effect is latitudinally dependent) and, in order to conserve vorticity, it changes its own spin (relative vorticity). The water parcel tends to swing back and forth around the original latitude resulting in a wave-like motion. A Rossby wave is characterized by a westward phase velocity (that of the wave crests).