Now and then a whim strikes Beloved and he acts on it. He tends to be a most rational and logical being, rarely given to spontaneous whims. But when he does given in, it’s always something.
This time Beloved thought it would be a wonderful thing, just the very thing to be exact, to go for a ride on the water. In a boat. As passengers rather than attempting to “drive” it. I was glad he decided against trying to take a boat out on his own. Not that he’s useless on the water as he does just fine rowing a rowboat and is good paddling in a canoe with another person. He is no good in a kayak for some reason. And sailing is a disaster for both of us if we have to use a sailboat.
So to take a boat out on the water, a proper boat with an engine etc, it’s best left to the experts. Besides this way we can enjoy the scenery and such.
So we grabbed our stuff, made sure the dog could come with us and off we went, for a couple of hours out on the water, in a proper boat. The dog settled down in his little bed after running around taking in the new smells. Once he was sure he had smelled it all, he settled down into his soft little bed we had brought along. Perhaps it was the rocking motion that put him into a deep sleep, perhaps it was the ocean air. At any rate he settled right down to peaceful and contented snores.
And the two of us settled down to enjoying the sights. Birds wheeled overhead screeching and squawking as we passed by, for all I know we ruined a perfectly good day for them. Then again, maybe that’s just what they do. Now and then a flash of something silvery would be right near the surface before disappearing and making you wonder if you had seen anything or imagined it.
Perhaps this is where the legends of merpeople come from. I refuse to believe that there are only mermaids, there must be mermen too and thus mertoddlers and teens. But surely it is from that quick trick or light and waves that would make you think you see one thing when in fact it’s nothing out of the ordinary.
I mentioned this to our captain and he explained that there would more to it, too much exposure to sun, heat and improper diet would allow a man to hallucinate even to the point of interacting with the hallucination. He then went on to say that most sailors couldn’t swim, he himself had never learned dhow to swim, so these fears added to the legends and myths.
I couldn’t imagine living near the water and not knowing how to swim, certainly not if I were to make my living off the water, but I guess it makes sense. In a rather odd way, if you consider that falling in the ocean means getting into cold, rough water miles from land and then even if you could swim, could you swim far enough? Would the cold and the waves get you? So why bother to swim?
Perhaps the bigger fools are those of us who can swim and we think we can swim to where we need to go. We forget about the cold water, we forget about our strength and energy being stolen from us. We forget that there are hungry sharks and other fish in the water, and there we are, a small dot in the ocean.
Perhaps it is more romantic to think you could be lulled into then water by the beauty of a mermaid and the song of a siren.
Of course none of those things happened to us on our boat ride, we simply enjoyed the water, views and the company. His whim was exactly what we needed!