I’ve risen at pitch dark o’clock, sipped coffee, gulped down some eggs, and am on a small fishing boat heading out to sea.
It’s now 6:30 am.
The sky is dark, the sea is darker, and only the froth from our wake provides contrast to the charcoal surroundings. But where visual sensation is lacking my other senses are on overload. The air is humid, warm, and pouring over my bare arms at 30 mph. My inner ear is mindfully aware of the sea swells and gratefully only that as my breakfast thankfully stays where it was put. Spray plasters my hair into a mat, and the taste of the sea is on my lips. SALT!
I’ve never been on the open ocean before and that provides enough trepidation so I don’t know if it’s easier not to see exactly the void we intend to reach. Or if it would be better to see the sea ahead. Perhaps, it’s like receiving a wrapped gift : a little mystery and anticipation to make it all the more fantastic when the gift is revealed.
It’s sixty minutes of travel before a hint of color shows in the eastern sky. While the sun is rising, recollections of “red sky in the morning, sailor’s warning,” come to mind. A red disc glows where the sun should be; clouds are red, orange, and pink. I wonder if the captain of our vessel knows what he’s doing. I’m a good swimmer, but…
Turns out, he does. The boat carries on, its dual motors propelling us further away from land. We’re far enough that no land is in sight behind us. Only a tiny guano stained rock with a lighthouse sits on the horizon.
This is our destination. Mr. Mudlips and our guide came here to fish. I didn’t know it when I left port, but I came to watch birds in the sunrise: frigate birds, boobies, shearwaters and more.
With the sun up and illuminating the sea, the rock, and the cumulus clouds, my eyes get quite the treat. Deep azure water and pink clouds are the gift box. The gift inside is a male frigate bird perched atop the wreck of what was once a lighthouse. It’s fully inflated, bright gular pouch paints the day red.
Color continued to define this day, red snapper, blue-footed boobies, and the kaleidoscope of fresh ceviche blend to stain the day’s gray start into fantastic colors.
Red sky in the morning? Humpf!!!