Walking On Water


My wife and I lived on a 35 foot sailboat a couple years ago. It was a great fourteen month adventure and we met a bunch of wonderful, or if not all wonderful, certainly unforgettable characters. I could easily fill page after page with funny stories that would befuddle normal folks.

For instance, there were these two younger sailors (who will remain nameless to protect the guilty), who both had sailboats just a few slips away from ours. One day they decided to take a cruise around the bay in a ten foot sailboat that one of them used as a dinghy. The winds were up, the skies were blue, the water was flat, and all in all it was a great day for an afternoon sail. It’s worth mentioning that prior to the sail there was likely a generous amount of beer and/or rum consumed. And there is more than a 50/50 chance that something may have been smoked, just to get them into the proper sailing mood. So, they climbed on the tiny boat, pushed off, raised the sail, and off they went toward the not too distant horizon.

The boat healed to the side and skipped along the top of the water. The sails were full and life was good as they cruised across the waters of Tampa Bay. Larger sailboats drifted off in the distance. A cruise ship plugged slowly along the channel heading under the Skyway Bridge to the Gulf of Mexico. Powerboats buzzed around off in the distance. Their tiny boat was only a few hundred yards from shore, staying far from harms way. The winds were warm and life was good. That’s when something strange happened. That’s when Brendan, (Forget anonymity. I’m outing them.), that’s when he looked over the bow and stared at some unexplainable phenomenon.

“Hey man. Look at them birds standing on top of the water,” Brendan said as his watched the strange, magical birds that could stand on top of the water.

“What,” was all James could muster.

“Right there. Look at them,” he said again as the magical birds continued their Jesus walk in Tampa Bay.

“Oh SHIT!” was all James could spit out before his tiny boat ran aground.

It turned out that the Jesus birds just had ten inch legs and were standing in four inches of water. The good news was that after the two master sailors stopped rolling around the bottom of the boat and after they stopped laughing and regained their professional sailor composure, it only took a few minutes to push the tiny boat off the sand bar. The Jesus birds paid them no attention.

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