Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Sunsets are a wonderful time on the intercoastal waterway. As if on cue, everything around you begins to wind its way down for the evening. The wave action begins its ebb, the wind starts to settle down and the general mood for most boaters takes on a decidedly mellower tone.

To top it off, mother nature provides spectacular displays of light and color with each setting of the sun.

Since we have been out on the water, we have always made it a point to get out and enjoy the waning moments of the day's sunlight. There is nothing quite like a cool refreshment on a warm evening, watching the final moments of the sun's daily journey from the aft deck of our beloved Maya.

We have enjoyed lots of great sunsets since we have been on the boat. While the camera can capture the awesome beauty of the moment, it is hard to describe the sounds and smells that often accompany the falling light of day.

My favorite sound is that of the gentle waves as they slosh up against the side of the boat. Kim likes the sounds fish make when they suddenly jump out of the water, hoping to catch a quick snack out of an unsuspecting insect. Sometimes you can hear faint music from another boater anchored further downstream, as they listen to the sounds of Jimmy Buffet or Bob Marley. The whole thing is a sensory delight.

Unfortunately, this utopian extravaganza brings out the worst of mother nature's annoying imps.

The bugs.

First let me say that I grew up in the woods. We now live in the woods. I am used to bugs. They are mostly an inconvenience up here in Ohio. On the water, they are a menace. Truly.

Here in the midwest, you have a fighting chance at keeping them at bay. For the most part, they are large and and you can see them. They make a noise so you can hear them coming. They are dissuaded from taking a bite out of your flesh with the simplest of repellents and pose no more of a threat than the Cincinnati Bengals in a divisional playoff game.

The bugs on the water are different. They are stealthy and tiny. You can't hear them or see them coming (as a matter of fact, they are referred to as 'no-see-ums'). Your first clue that they have arrived is the sharp pain you feel on an exposed part of your skin as they sink their teeth into your flesh and draw their fill of blood.

There is no escaping their wrath. Trust me, we have tried everything. Every lotion and cream, every spray and insecticide has been employed to deter this invisible menace. We have found nothing that works.

For now though we will have to enjoy our sunsets and then run for the safety of Maya enclosed spaces. Until we find that magic repellent, we will be like the fans at the end of a Bengal's game; looking for something better to do.