Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Snoozing On Cudjoe Bay

My boat motor is not responding to treatment. In consultation with Robert who is as stubborn as a mule has determined to overcome, and he says the final solution is in sight. If not I know a pro who solved the last intractable problem and the boat motor next goes to his shop. Meanwhile...

An offer of a ride from a neighbor is not to be sniffed at. Dennis is a hunter-gatherer who was going out to seek dinner. I prefer not to kill in our over fed society so I was along for the views. My wife was thinking about another swim.

Our canal makes an excellent swimming pool, deep, clear and maintenance free so boat rides are for fun, to explore, to swim elsewhere when we feel like a boat ride.

Even at ultra low tides.

Tides in the Keys are strange phenomena, as two separate bodies of water meet along the line of the islands. The Atkantic tides to the south are regular and easily predictable, four times a day every six hours, two high, two low.

The Gulf of Mexico has weird irregular tides that follow no rhyme or reason, yet are predicted by science and listed in tables.

And here we are in the middle, able to float small boats on thin waters, where an extra foot of tide makes for ease of transit in places otherwise closed.

Dennis hunts around Cudjoe Bay lining up transits on his favorite spots. A tall bush on a mangrove island to the left a squat pink house to the right...and there it is, his spot.

Looking forward or backward through the sunlight these waters always look thin. The only way to see their depth is to look straight down over the side.

One looks for black spots to mark rocks, brown patches for thin water, and deep dark blue for depths untold.

Be it ever so thin you float on the tide and talk. Dennis used to be a teacher at my wife's school. They talk of students and the middle school where Dennis works today. Key West is a small town and everyone knows what they know about each other and their children.

Florida summers are said to be a purgatory of heat and humidity yet these days rarely rise beyond 90 degrees, though complaints abound in the newspaper about the muredrrous unnatural heat this year. It looks and feels normal to me, down to the scattered and random thunderstorms and tropical downpours.

Dennis went off with a spear, primitive man in pursuit of protein. I tried to read my novel (on my phone, how cool is Kindle), but I got sleepy and stretched out.

I expected my wife the amphibian to get in the water but she was as tired as I from our hour paddling around our canal. A nap was in order.

To my relief the foraging failed and we were faced with no flopping suffocating fish. I have never participated in the casual cruelty of hooking a fish and not killing it. When I fished, eons ago, I killed rather than let the creature die by degrees. I fear that if there is a judgement day not only will dog beaters be judged but I hope people who catch and suffocate fish will get theirs.

But we none of us are guilt free, that's the beauty of eternal judgement. As soon as you figure you are in the clear some other broken regulation, moral code or habit now deemed deficient pops up to restore your humility. Mine came later at Publix looking for cage free eggs. None to be found so I bought eggs produced by birds caged in cruelty. Bugger.

But for now we have summer to ourselves and very nice it is too for those of us free to enjoy it. I hope summer Up North repays in some other manner. I wanted to enjoy New England this summer with greenery, mountains and small towns. And I did, but I was ready to come home after a few too many cold days filled with drizzle. To this I came home after just three weeks of uncertain weather, gray skies and oddly reserved people. Even my gregarious wife found New Englanders reserved.

Luckily Dennis isn't from New England. I'm glad he invited us out for a nap on Cudjoe Bay. Teachers are back at school, students start next Monday, so vacation is over even in the land of endless summer. Cage free isn't only for eggs.