Yesterday the final stage of Mystique's sail from Key West to Miami ended without a drop of fanfare. This northern return passage took three full daylights cruising after the southern passage two weeks earlier had taken four. But my arrival in Virginia Key's Marine Stadium was greeted with overcast thunderclaps and a rainy applause.
With a light morning northeasterly breeze followed by a more robust afternoon easterly, the last 51 northerly miles from Tavernier, Florida northward to Marine Stadium anchorage were filled with equally dark and light formidable clouds. Impressive distant squalls crowded the northern vista, but most like pompous, over-confident, chest-puffing braggards taking center stage, these thundering hot air masses with an occasional lightning flash or two, eventually disappeared without much notice. Many seemed mostly show without much substance or impact. None came anywhere close to becoming show stoppers!
Two however doused Mystique with temporary 25-30 knot gusts and accompanying showers. These short-lived soakers elevated and exhilarated Mystique's progress to 7.5 knots. In contrast, most of the day's 10-12 knot easterly had made my cat keep a steady 4-5.
As I watched the perched unperturbed cormorants pass by atop the ICW marker posts, I also noticed the parading thunderheads passing overhead. The contrasting relationships of indifferent birds and clouds made me wonder about Nature's nature.
While teetering against a steady breeze on a thin metal sign numbered high above high tide, these omnipresent black seabirds rested peacefully, always seemingly fished out for the day. Every port and starboard post had their share of these fishers, surprisingly none seemingly stuffed with their fair share of the catch of the day. As I sailed close by their intracoastal waterway marker perch, nary a one paid any heed to my passing. None seemed to give me a care, neither eager shift their roost, leave or catch a ride.
The clouds also seemed oblivious to Mystique's passing them. Mid-afternoon booming thunderclaps and some lightning flashes marked their appearance up a head and overhead. Neither clouds nor sea at first glance appear to care for any of its creatures below, however it is untrue. Nature cares in its own way. Sometimes mankind can only comprehend and envision love in human terms. A cloudy day can be the respite from the sun. And the breeze and rain replenish the hot and parched. Seabirds aren't gluttons; they fill themselves to suit their need, and then know how to rest atop their world. Simple explanations, but all signs of a kind caring. All take care of the balance of nature.