In which there is smooth sailing

The sea is glassy today, and the Keelhauler is bringing a boat up from Marina del Ray. He called a while ago to say he had just rounded Point Dume--a name whose ominous sound is nullified in print--to see what appeared to be a breaking wave, thirty feet or so in height, in the middle distance.

After a few minutes, the Keelhauler realized that the wave was a trick of the light on the water, a bending of light rays that make the offshore islands, on certain days, appear twice their normal height. He's familiar with this visual phenomenon, but had never seen it manifest in such a way, and even with all his hours on the water, in every kind of condition, he was convinced for a minute or two that the situation was about to turn dire.

I started thinking about the weird things the mind perceives after a long spell at sea. We wouldn't have mermaids or sea monsters if a sailor's perceptions were always clear.

My thought for today is: The tsunami headed this way might be a simple trick of the light.

Star of the day. . .Wim Wenders
posted @ 12:15 p.m. on October 23, 2008 before | after


She lay awake all night,