Stars Above and Below

After a long hot day of sailing, our boat, the Lucky Sol, pulled into a deserted bay on the South East tip of Baja California, Mexico.  My friend Jason, his wife, Tina, and I set the anchor and tied up the sails.  Once we had prepared the boat for the night we relaxed and half-heartedly fished in the emerald-green waters of The Sea of Cortez.  The brutal Mexican sun had finally relented and the world became peaceful and cool.  The bay was surrounded by rocky desert mountains and a pristine white sand beach.  There were a few black cows on the beach but besides them we were perfectly isolated.  Our surroundings were lonely and desolate but also tranquil and beautiful in their own unique way.

We had run out of beer a few days before so we settled for drinks made of Tang and vodka whose only redeeming qualities were that they were cold and wet, but in that amazing place they were more than we needed.

Slowly the sun fell behind the dry desert peaks but the sky glow tenaciously lingered.  I remembered a conversation with my friend from New Mexico who claimed that desert sunsets where as good as those over the Pacific.  I relished watching a desert sun set from a boat floating in aquamarine water and I thought this may be the perfect combination of the two.

As the pink and orange light in the West finally quietly faded like a dying ember the stars burst onto the darkening sky.  Instead of our normal evening of watching East Bound and Down on a lap top we decided to take our Tang and liquor drinks, which now included tequila, onto the deck of the boat to watch the night sky.  The galactic chandelier hung low over the sailboat as we climbed onto the deck.  We lay on our backs and enjoyed the gentle rocking of the boat as the mast swayed and danced in front of the sparkling sky.  We saw several shooting stars that lasted long enough for us to say “Oh, shit, do you see that?” before they burned out.

A sense of perfect relaxation and contentment was washing over me as I lay on the deck of the boat when Jason said “I think there is bioluminescence in the water.”  We all stood up and looked down into the black water below.  It was unmistakable.  There were blue and white sparks shooting through the water surrounding our boat.  We stared into the water and watched the small waves sparkle and flash.  It was beautiful and it seemed like a perfect ending to a great night so I went down below and got into bed.

A few minutes later Jason shouted “Tim, you have to see this!”  I went back up on deck and found Jason and Tina whipping a rope into the water.  Every time it hit the water flashed blue in the form of the rope.  Sometimes the rope made an S and other times a circle and others an infinity symbol.  A splash and then the shape of the rope that was a moment later swallowed by a cloud of blue light that quickly faded back into dark glimmering water.  We were playing with an enchanted toy.

“Should we get in?” asked Jason.  I didn’t want to.  The water was cold and the desert air was crisp but as soon as he asked the question I knew the right answer.  I hesitated for a second and then said “Yes.”

Moments later Jason and I were perched on the edge of the boat a few feet above the shimmering water.

“Should we jump at the same time?” Jason asked.

“If you go one at a time you will get to see the other person hit the water.” recommended Tina.

“Okay, I’ll go first.” I replied.

I turned around and hurled myself towards the Sea of Cortez.  As I rotated in the cool dark night I began to critique my ungraceful back flip but then I hit the water and all conscious thoughts were obliterated by an explosion of azure light that engulfed me. All that my mind could process was that I had entered a cool, wet world that was ablaze with blue illumination.  I popped to the surface and let out a shout of hysterical joy.  I was surrounded by a glowing, swirling cloud of pale blue light.  As I treaded water plumes of sapphire radiance rolled off my paddling arms and legs.

A second later Jason plunged into the water and immediately disappeared into a liquid blue fireball.  It looked like he was covered in a radioactive paint that had immediately washed off into the dark water.  Every movement we made created churning currents of luminescence.  We splashed water on the boat and marveled as it flashed indigo when it hit the hull.  I treaded water with just my legs and slowly moved my arms.  The supernatural water reacted differently to my tranquil movements.  Instead of a pale cloud of light my slow-moving arms were covered in cobalt flashes, miniature lightning strikes from my finger tips to my shoulders.  As I sped up my movement the flashes intensified until I was creating pale blue clouds again.

I felt several clunks as my mind slipped a few gears.  I relaxed and accepted my new impossible reality.  I was immersed in magic.

After several mind shattering minutes I got out and dried myself off.  And then with a layer of salt and mystical, microscopic creatures still on my body I crawled into my comfortable bed and closed my eyes.  As the boat gently rocked I lay in the dark and smiled.  It wasn’t long before the lapping of the waves and the rolling of the boat plunged me into a dream world that was no more incredible or surreal than the one I had just left.

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