Thursday, March 3, 2016

The Lost Horizon

The Mantus cleared the sand at Rodriguez Key this morning at exactly 7:00 am. Not a breath of wind was to be found but we raised the main anyway to help to dampen the rolls we would surely experience later in the day from monster sport fishing boats. At that particular moment there were no boats to be seen underway, only our two anchored neighbors, and the water was flat. The Westerbeast yawned and growled to life and Kintala was off on the second of two 45 mile days down the Hawk Channel headed to Marathon.

Henrietta the autopilot was brought online, this being the day of her majesty's preference - flat water and no wind. The sun made a very brief appearance through a slit in the clouds, the only time we would see it through the entire day which settled into an odd, hazy combination of blues, greens, grays and purples all blended together in a fuzzy combination that defied both my old camera and my even older photographic skills. The various keys and long bridges rolled by a mile or two to starboard, and the crab pots sprinkled the landscape just enough to justify a careful watch and an occasional degree or two of change in heading.

We rounded the bend to the west side of Boot Key where we tucked in as far as we could go for protection and laid the Mantus to rest. It's impossible to capture on film the magical feeling of losing the horizon in this place. The green of the water blends seamlessly into the blue-green of the sky as the sun fades and the conch horns blow. As the boat traffic dies, the only sounds remaining are the dive-bomb splashes of the brown pelicans as they search for dinner and the occasional rhythmic splashes of the flying fish as they attempt to escape their predators. A few birds unfamiliar to me call in a sing-song chatter as the first starlight eases through the darkening fuzz. The last of the wakes smooth out and I want to sit here for a long while, just looking, but the bugs are claiming their territory so I'm chased below. It will be nice to see this beautiful water in sunshine tomorrow, but I'm completely happy to have enjoyed the day of the lost horizon.

As the sun set the colors deepened

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