August 3rd, 2008
a note to Jason….
Woke up quite early after a fairy restless night to take my girlfriend Rina to the airport on her way to see her boyfriend’s place in the Florida keys. I went home, had a fabulous conversation with a very handsome man…sorry babe, not you…;} . Shortly thereafter, I found myself deciding to either watch a movie or take myself to the beach to swim now that I have a car. Oh yeah forgot to tell you. Rina also chose to rent me her 2006 Honda CRV for a pittance a week. SO…back to the beach for goodness sakes. I found a great beach chair and hunkered in. Got wet and fell asleep. End of story…Fuck NO!!!
First off you honestly think I’d fall asleep before getting my swim in. Not on your life babe. Too much energy in this body these days. Again I digress. I started my swim…
Figured I could get about 1-1/5 miles in if I swam to a certain point. On the way back while fighting the current (OK HERE”S THE GOOD PART!!) I suddenly became a the center of a fairly large immature Jack fish school. There were about 3 large needlefish and 2 BIG Jacks lurking along the edge of them constantly trying to jet in and take a bite of one so they saw the opportunity as I swam by and used my body as a barrier.
As I swam nonchalantly along acting like I hadn’t noticed being surrounded by fishies and totally enjoying the experience, they began to infiltrate every available space with in millimeters of my skin. It was a rather unnerving to me initially. Then I began to enjoy it. Every move I’d make they’d copy. I’d dive, they’d dive, I’d roll over under water and they’d follow. I slowed, they slowed. I sped up and they’d follow suite. Kind of like when you see the big schools of fish swimming together in unison. I was literally engulfed by them. It was mind blowing!
We swam on like this for almost 45 minutes. I kept slowing or speeding up and they would stick like feathers to water, never moving too far away ever and usually with in touching distance. What an amazing feeling to become a part of a school of fish.
The Needlefish constantly doing flybys with little nips here and there. The Large Jacks running the school and picking out the stragglers. These fish were like the big flocks of blackberry birds in the Pacific Northwest that literally undulate across the sky in a switchback pattern. The Big Jacks were even taking pop shots at me. They would swim close and then suddenly swipe past my face or across my stomach just touching the skin.
As I neared a couple and their baby boy near shore the fish darted off to greet up with them and hide there in the waves. The little boy was squealing with sheer delight as they roared around his daddy’s legs. It was adorable. I finally got out of the water, my body all pruned but every nerve on edge. My body was covered in red welts from the Needlefish and larger Jacks who kept trying to get past me to get their dinner…lol I fell fast asleep on the beach chair exhausted from the experience.
I find myself constantly in touch with some creature of the water here. Barracudas off the coast of my house challenging me for territory, a school of Cuttle Fish and I in a Mexican standoff for hours, schools of fish using me as cover, a shark here and there. It’s a lot rougher waters here in West Bay and we get the majority of rain usually. I love being in this water. It challenges me, scares me and completes me.
August 24th, 2008
The sea has been dead flat the last 2 days, dead flat!! It’s amazing to wake up and see this here The Grand Cayman Islands are rarely calm. The wind is always blowing…or so I thought. Being on the water is an adventure in itself. The weather entertains me instead of the TV. Much funner to watch a lightening storm or water spout pass by than to sit and stare at a TV all day and night. Snorkeling outside the apartment is fabulous when you can get in the water. There are at least 5-6 dive spots about 1/4 mile off shore we swim to almost daily. There are 3 of us here in the apartment complex that go swimming together regularly.
Last night Sherri and I sat on the landing and watched the bio-luminescence flicker each time a wave hit the rocks. We dosed up on mosquito repellent. The night was silent. You could hear voices travelling across the water from miles away. There was one lone boat fishing on the reef in front of us. Illegal as all hell but who cares.
This is the Caribbean.
August 27th, 2008 Wednesday,
Today I’m sitting on the landing with Sherri, my downstairs neighbor. We just watched a great movie and decided to move outside and watch the storm clouds move in and the bio-luminescence in the water. The water is dead calm right now. The calm before Gustav I think… There is a slight breeze. Enough to rustle the dead palm fronds hanging from the trees. A small swell has started to lap at the coastline. Ever so slowly increasing in size till soon this lovely setting will be no more, replaced by an angry beast.
Sherri and I make out way out of the house and navigate the stairs and walkway to the 2 Adirondack chairs we have strategically placed to see both the night ski and the water below. The clouds are all around us. Stacked high in mighty columns ever growing, melding into one another, transforming into something completely new every few minutes.
But there still is a void in our bay and the sky is crystalline clear. . Directly above and in front of us Jupiter in all his glory blares out amongst the Sagittarius cluster. Running through Sagittarius across the sky from top to bottom of me a milky ribbon of iridescent beauty. The Milky Way like I’ve never seen her before. So clear and defined. Almost like a cloud in the stars.
I’ve watched northern lights off the coast of Iceland. I’ve sailed tropical storms in Hawaii and now I’m about to be a part of my first real hurricane with a name. All those nights were incredible and unique. All those nights I saw amazing things. Tonight the sky is clearer than I’ve seen her since I’ve been here. Lightening flashes behind us on the north side of the island. Planes in Georgetown 7 miles distant are landing and taking off at extraordinarily close intervals. Everyone is vacating the island for fear of the hurricane damage.
We laid out in our chairs long enough to watch the rotation of the earth. It’s amazing when you are still, long enough to actually tune into the slow moving things of this earth. It’s a sobering thing to experience. How magnificent is this place we live? This beautiful place we think is the center of the whole grand universe. And yet are we? Look up and you will have your answer. So amazing the very idea of there being someone else and yet not. I mean really, just look up.
Falling asleep in a lawn chair at the edge of a very rocky ocean on a cement landing is not a smart thing to do. One can wake up, sit up and take a step but oops no ground to land on. Can be a bit over stimulating. But since when have you ever done what you’re supposed to do ALL the time? Of course we both knocked out for a minute or two and well here I am now writing this lovely little moment to you. And Sherri is now most likely in bed.