Mark and I, a co-worker and her husband as well as our boss and two of her friends all headed out to sea on the boss' boat. We took the boat out to a sweet little uninhabited key about 15-20 off of Key West called Boca Grande.
|Photo credit: http://www.panoramio.com/photo/1798641|
We anchored the boat just off the shore and carried our snacks and towels to the cute little beach.
The winter has been exceptionally warm so it was no problem going for a swim on February 1st.
The semi-solid surface of the sea grass did get the best of my coworker and her newly wed hubby as he tried to romantically sweep her away.
Mark and I posed on the rope swing which just a week later was cut down by fish and wildlife officials.
After a few hours of fun it was time to head back home and we all settled back on the boat for a peaceful ride home.
But instead this was where the real fun started.
Now I neither Mark nor I nor my coworker and her hubby had any real boating experience and really the whole situation didn't seem that bad. The boss suggested we could push it loose and if we didn't succeed the worst case would be we would wait for the tide to come up. We had plenty of food and water so there was no real need to panic. Except someone did. One of my boss' friends, we'll call her "Smashley" immediately went hair-on-fire nuts.
Lady, if you are a few hours late getting home, you dog will have peed on the carpet. It will be ok.
She continued to babble, cry-whine and generally detract from any helpful thoughts that were being shared. Luckily for her, while she was hyper ventilating the rest of us had gotten out of the boat, and while standing on the soft bed of sandy sea grass began to wiggle and push the boat free.
We worked for about 30-45 minutes of pushing and wiggling and then getting the boat moving only to get stuck again, but eventually we made it to a deeper channel and headed home trouble free.
It was a bit later than anticipated but the darkening hour meant that the sunset was beautiful behind us.
The peaceful ride home really gave me time to reflect on the best parts of the day.
First, when the boat stopped we were at least a mile or two from the shores of Boca Grande. As a girl who grew up firmly on the ground in Ohio, my mental image of the ocean is that it slopes down from the beach and just goes deeper until it starts to go up toward another beach. Now, I know that my adult self knows better, it just wasn't a thought I had ever challenged. But there we were that day, out in the open, not a shore near by and we were able to hop out of the boat and stand - and push and run on a sandy bed of sea grass. It was just a few inches of water and if you would have seen us from a distance it would have looked like we were walking on top of the ocean. I couldn't help but wonder if that was how Jesus did it. (Sorry if this offends anyone as it is not meant to.) I wish I could have gotten a picture, but well, we were a bit busy.
Second, at age 31 it is not often that we have a thought, feeling or desire that we have never had before. Many of our experiences are at least close to something we have come across before. But on that day, out at sea, I had a new thought. The exact thought went like this "I really wish I knew how to put someone in a sleeper hold because if I did, I would really, really do it right now and it would be for the best." Needless to say it was directed at Smashley. I just wanted to gently put her out of her misery and let the rest of us get to work with a positive attitude. Then I kept imagining something like this in my head except with the guy from Burn Notice...
And third, my coworker Jen made a comment about how you really learn a lot about people when you put them in a negative situation and it turns out that is in fact true. The longest I've known anyone on that boat was two months but when it was stuck and the immediate future was uncertain I was glad to know that everyone, except Smashley, of course, was able to tackle the problem with a smile. So even when we were out pushing, for the most part we were positive and even had a few smiles, laughs and "go team!" moments.
Both Jen and I later decided that being stuck really was the best part of the trip. I mean, this blog post could have read "We got on a boat. We went to an island. We came home from the island." but instead it was filled with fun, adventure and learning on the sea.