We went sailing almost every weekend when I was a teenager.  My mother loved to sail and Huge was a boatbuilder.  Sometimes there were dolphins playfully racing before the sloop, but mostly there was open sea. Turquoise water stretching in every direction for as far as the eye could see and a bright hot sun.

One year my mother borrowed Huge’s sloop and took us on an overnight trip from Cutler Ridge to Elliot Key.  She learned to sail and use a compass from her father, in the same Biscayne Bay. I learned the jellyfish are fluorescent. The water was shallow and you could see the ocean floor.  The night was moonlight, which made schools of fish visible beside the boat.   A storm came up and we lowered our sails and went below to sleep.  It was the first and only time I sailed when it was not a hot day on gentle waves.

When we awoke we had taken on some water that destroyed our bread, and we only had bananas. No problem. The boat had a pump; we were still floating and the sun was up.  We arrived at Elliot Key, a mangrove swamp, without mosquito repellant.  Big mistake!  Fortunately, we could buy some at the tackle store.

I took a cruise on a ship.  The water was the same, but it felt like a nightclub.  There was nothing to navigate and you could not see the fish. The food was very good and it wasn’t boring.  I didn’t learn as much.

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