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    Thursday, January 13, 2005

    Like two peas in a pod

    Last Friday evening, to kick off our vacation in style, we planned a sunset kayak trip off the coast of Key Largo. The owner of our resort at Azul Del Mar was more than gracious to lend us his 2-person kayak and take us out to a remote location of the mangroves so we could sit like two peas in a pod and watch the sun set.

    At about 4pm we met him at the end of the resort's pier and helped him lift the kayak onto the bow of his boat. Soon after, we found ourselves zipping through the mangrove islands out to a peaceful location to drop our kayak for a couple hours. The owner, who resembled a crazy cross between Gene Wilder and The Who's Roger Daltrey, kept joking during the ride about leaving us out there to find our way back. Given the number of times he brought it up and his wry sense of humor, we weren't sure if we'd ever see land again.

    We plunked ourselves into the tandem yellow Hobie and soon our ride was out of sight leaving us to paddle among a maze of mangroves. Motorboats could be heard in the distance, but during our little adventure we felt like we were the only two people for miles around. Neither of us are avid kayakers so for the most part we let the slight breeze take us where it wanted to go. We soon found the leeward side of the mangroves where the wind died down and no sound could be heard except for a few pelicans hopping among the branches.

    Alyssa spotted some movement in the water thirty feet ahead of us. At first, we thought it could have been a couple turtles surfacing for air. But the splashes were far too frequent and quick. She wanted a closer look, so off we went rowing toward the action despite my trepidation. I was certain it was a man-eating alligator or some other denizen of the deep. But I kept my fears at bay and soon we were floating above where we first saw the disturbances in the water. There was no sign of any movement until we heard some flapping behind us.

    We discovered it was a school of small silvery fish leaping out of the water to catch bugs on the surface. At least that's what we settled on. We still couldn't tell for sure and this explanation kept us the happiest. (For all we knew, it could've been an underwater monster).

    It was 5:30 and twilight was approaching. At this time of year, it takes just over two minutes for the sun to vanish after it begins its descent into the sea. As the sun's edge dipped into the horizon, and with the flapping fish as our only witness, I asked Alyssa to marry me. She said yes. I really don't remember much after that. I was just trying my best not to flip our kayak in excitement.

    Moments later the sun disappeared. Our adventure for the day was coming to an end but our lifelong adventure together was just starting. We paddled back to our ride and returned to shore a few minutes later. Like two peas in a pod.

    Key Largo Sunset