December 5, 2012 by Last Star blog

Several of you have asked why I don’t write more often.  Well, first Hank is funnier…so everyone has told me for almost 30 years.  One of the reasons I married him was because he made me laugh, everyday.  Second, my thoughts are much more introspective and sometimes serious, so I keep them to myself.  Honestly, sometimes they are downright scary.  Hank thinks about drinks with umbrellas and I think about things like, does Alek know where the life insurance papers are and how would he get our shit out of storage?  You know the adult issues.  So…I respect the requests and I will try to write more often and I will try to stay out of the adult lane too much.

Here is my topic:  the beauty around us.  So, what goes bump in the night?  Fish!  I don’t sleep well, could be those adult worries that wake you up at 3 am and won’t let you go back to sleep or it could be the world around me.  Let’s see, at dawn there was a sweet bird calling a song I am unfamiliar with.  It was lyrical and beautiful and I lay there trying very hard to ignore Hank’s snoring and Cooper’s compulsive foot sucking to listen to her song.  Oh, I can see her!  Through the window (hatch) that is above my bed, she is perched on the boom—I open it slightly to hear her song.  Well, she is lovely until she drops a nice present on my hatch—about the same time Mini has discovered I have opened the hatch more than usual.  Now she is doing her best meerkat imitation:  standing on her hind legs on my chest and sniffing the air (because the air from that window is so different from the other three open windows, idiot!)  Ok, lovely moment ruined.  Not 5 minutes later I hear what sounds like Niagara Falls rolling very quickly towards the boat.  Both cats have run across me to the starboard side window in our room—me too.  Rolling boiling water waves of fish jumping are running towards us with birds dive-bombing the migrating fish school!  A huge cacophony of sound that even wakes Rumplestiltskin and then: BAMB, BAMB they are running into the boat!  It was wild.  I cannot do it justice.  Mini, Cooper and I are all peering out the side port window at yards and yards of boiling water and you can hear them hitting the hull.  Crazy man, but groovy!

Every day but the last two we have seen dolphins.  They swim along the edges of the channel with their tiny babies feeding along the mangroves, sometimes venturing close enough to the boats hull to run with us and fill me with such joy at their grace and beauty.  When they do it is a good day; a great day, a glorious day and I thank God for such beauty and grace in my life. A reminder of how much joy can be found in something so simple.   (Or perhaps it is a case of simple things for simple minds)

The water changed colors around Jupiter, Florida a few days ago. Hank posted a few pictures of the water color.  It changed from a deep vermillion green with tinges of burnt umber to dark aquamarine and today it was that turquoise color that is so elusive in a paint palette.  How can the color of the water be a reflection of the sky when the water is so mercurial in her moods?  I saw a skate jump in the water, it jumped to the surface then it flew out of the water, wings curled and its barbed tail flying behind it.  He took my breath away. Of course, Hank was backing into a slip for gas and I was like that 6 year old kid on the football field:  oooh, pretty butterfly! “Focus, Patricia!”

The most bizarre thing I have seen so far is the sleeping cormorant birds.  One night late, Hank goes up to check the anchor and have a look around, a nightly ritual. That night he quietly calls my name through that hatch above the bed:  “come look, a huge school of fish is making crazy noises.”   Rather than actually go upstairs, I can stand on the bed and the top half of my body is sticking out of the hatch…much quicker.  “I think those are birds, Henri.”  “No…they are making weird little sucking noises, those are fish.” There is a dark stain on the water about 100 yards away, changing shape as we watch it.  It is making a weird little sucking noise or tiny barking; we are having some serious discussions at this point.  “is it a sucking noise?  Is it moving? Is it changing?”  Very cerebral.  I get the binoculars (my favorite tool for peeping on the other boaters!) and I can see they ARE birds!  Those crazy swimming diving birds we see all the time: the cormorant bird.  There must have been hundreds of them, sleeping and drifting–a dark shadow on the water, elusive and amazing through the binoculars.  Well, of course, we can’t leave it at that.  Hank get’s out his laser pointer and hits the field of birds.  SWOOOSH.  Wherever the laser hits the flock, they dive.  Oh, now that is WILD! He lights them up in small intervals and they dive again.  You have to remember it is very dark, very late and very quiet.  This behavior is simply amazing!(not Hank’s but the birds)  They never take flight and they never really break away from the stain of the group. The squawking gets a bit loud so we stop!  LOL, it was so entertaining.

We are surrounded by beauty.  We are always amazed how we look at the land from the quiet of our boat with water life entertaining us, while we watch cars rush by on the bridges and roads.  This was the dream, to see our lives from another vantage point, to change our perspective.  We are beginning to detect the aroma of roses…or rum punches. 

Stop and remember: you only live once. YOLO!


2 thoughts on “YOLO

  1. Mark says:

    That is fab Patricia!

    I love your description of the events and how you really didn’t know what you were seeing!

    Cormorants!!! We see them all the time but above water!

  2. Mike Whitty says:

    Leave it to the Air Force to apply laser targeting to cormorants… ☺

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