Friday, June 09, 2006

now, the weather

Just in case we needed a reminder that hurricane season started last week, it rained most of the weekend. Really, really raining- big loud thunderstorms, first in the Bahamas Saturday, then more Sunday at sea. On a cruise ship, where one of the attractions for the customer is that we can, and usually do, steer around bad weather, believe me, it’s a very pleasant change of pace to have rain.

One of the things that I like most about life out here is the stark beauty of the weather, well, when we have any. On the ocean you can see the rain pouring down from the storm clouds, like a sheet connecting the heavens and the seas. On one side of the ship the sea will be its usual blue-green, on the other a swirling grey. It’s an obvious reminder of how big and powerful the ocean is, and how much respect it deserves, even on the very sheltered run we do.

There’s also the heat lightning, an uncomplicated but breathtaking phenomenon I don’t quite understand but see often. As the weather gets warmer, at night even if there’s no hint of rain we’ll get these amazing shows off the bow of the ship, peel after peel of lightning sizzling through an otherwise black sky.

Finally, Monday on the way to Key West we were visited by a school of dolphins, playing off the bow of the ship. It’s only the second time I’ve seen any in my time out here, but hopefully we will see more as the warmer water temperatures take hold. I know that dolphins have been romanticized in the American imagination to an almost silly point, but they are such beautiful, smart, playful creatures, especially in person, that it’s hard not to. After a very short time they realized that they were the show, so they started hamming for the audience- bouncing in and out of the water, playing chicken with the bow of the ship, the adults taking the lead while about a hundred yards away the young ones poked their much darker fins up now and again.

It's easy to get dark out here, and I certainly know why, but it has it's moments...

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