Monday, August 02, 2010

When the Boat’s Away

“So, now that the boat’s in Vermont what will you do this weekend?” a co-worker asked me on Friday.

“There are a zillion things to do,” I replied. “We can dive, hike, camp, lounge around, whatever.”

And we did just that. On Saturday we trailered the dive boat to the ramp in East Greenwich and motored over to Prudence Island. We heard about a concert going on over there and though we’d anchor to hear the music. When we arrived, on the eastern side of the island (located in the center of Narragansett Bay) we saw a band playing on a Sea Ray powerboat. The lead singer/guitarist was on the bow of the boat, while the drummer, bassist and keyboard player was inside the boat. We grabbed an empty mooring, unfolded the lawn chairs on the open deck of our dive boat and hung out.

The people watching was incredible. Dozens of boats were rafted together, forming long lines of boats tied side by side. When the wind shifted the whole line of boats turned on an axis, like a line of ice skaters synchronized kicking.  Children jumped off swim platforms.  They splashed and sprayed each other with squirt guns.  The adults danced with drinks in their hands.  Laughter could be heard all over the anchorage, occasionally it was louder than the music. 

Then we untied the mooring and headed to the south side of the island and tied the boat to an old pier. We put on the dive gear and descended to 20-something feet. We followed the pilings, though at first it was hard. Visibility was only 5-10 feet. In instantly lost track of Todd. After we found each other I only kept my eyes on him, and missed all the cool fish he saw under the pier.

Even if I didn’t see as much as I’d hoped, the dive was still great. It was our first dive of the season and I usually don’t care much about what I see and am perfectly content to be underwater. But on this particular dive I saw something I’d never seen before. I saw a starfish walking on the bottom of the ocean. Normally we see stars piled up on the sides of rocks and underwater structures. But on this dive I saw one slowly inch its way across the floor. We hovered near it and watched it for a few minutes.

I wonder how it must have looked from its perspective, two big human heads with big glass eyes and a mass of bubbles coming out of it’s food hole. Maybe that’s why it was going so fast?

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