Today I was thinking about boat bottoms. Something that anyone living in the islands with a boat will eventually have to devote a certain amount of time to, one way or another. Things grow on the undersides of boats that are seen nowhere else in the world and as a group I think are still largely unidentified. At the moment I need to jump in the water to do a small repair job on the boat but I find myself hesitating. After all, I have always been warned by people who I take quite seriously about the dangers of swimming with tools and in addition it is quite recently that I had a bath and feel fairly strongly that I should at least wait until that wears off before jumping under the boat to confront whatever misery awaits me there. Many would disagree but I choose not to listen to them. Another point I also have to take into consideration is that as soon as I jump in the water I will be forced to look at the bottom of the boat which I have a picture of in my mind as being quite smooth and shiny but in actual fact has certainly by now become decidedly grumbly. I realize that the correct technical term is dirty but every time I think about jumping in the water with a scraper in my hand and going mano-a-mano with a mob of barnacles and the usual assortment of alien vegetation I grumble quite a bit first.
There is also a newly arrived phenomenon in the water here which has swarmed into the area over the last couple of years and is even now lurking in the water under the boat. As the story goes, a bunch of lion fish in Florida somehow made a break from an aquarium a few years back, and although they are not a species native to this area, or maybe because of it they have simply started to take over the place. Apparently they have no known predators outside of the Pacific Ocean where they originally came from so they have really managed to thrive. They eat just about anything that is smaller than they are and carry on the operation day and night at a truly alarming rate. The main reason that nothing else eats them is that they have several sets of extremely poisonous spines sticking out all over the place which although not deadly to humans, will still ruin your day.
The little brutes are absolutely fearless and will swim right up to your face and just sit there like some kind of school yard bully until you poke at them with something sharp. Even then they don’t seem to be all that disturbed. While this doesn’t actually represent any kind of valid reason for staying out of the water, I just thought I would mention it because after years of listening to people from Florida complaining about cold air coming out of the north and ruining their Oranges and all the people coming down in the winter and ruining their wonderful state, I just couldn’t resist complaining about something crappy coming out of Florida.