“I like this place,” the father told his son. “Especially on a windy day.” He collected his thoughts as he stared out into the inlet. His son, barely nine, stood next to him staring out at the sea. The noise of the waves, intermittently smashing the rocks, was deafening at times. “I still tell your mother that I need to make sure the ropes on the boat are secure, but really I just want to watch the waves crash on the jetty.” He paused for a moment, and then added, “and I wanted you to see it. I want you to learn to appreciate the power and grace that the ocean is capable of.”
Another wave pounded on the rocks, sending a spray of sea water up into the air, surpassing any spray sent skyward by the legendary blue whale. “A wave like that could crush you,” the father observed in awe. The boy mostly stared in wonder, not really understanding the magnitude of what he was seeing, or what he was being told. “That kind of force slowly eats away at the whole island, little by little, eroding the shore. Matter a’ fact, they had to move the lighthouse back twice in the last thirty years.”
“How come there’s no boats out there today?”
The father looked down at his son and chuckled, realizing he probably hadn’t been listening. “Sonny, those kind of waves would capsize most of the boats in the marina.”
“But it’s not really wavy out there.” He pointed out past the breakers, where the swells moved up and down, but didn’t crash in a torrent of white water.
“Well, no, it’s not, but in order to get out there you gotta go through the inlet. This one hasn’t been dredged in years. So, when the weather is like this, it’s possible to hit bottom and get stuck.” The boy gave his father his undivided attention. “If that happens,” he continued, “the next wave is comin’ down on top of the boat. And, the shallow water also makes the waves bigger and more powerful.”
Another wave crashed on the jetty, sending streams of water up into the air, which were caught by the prevailing winds, and sprayed on their reverent faces. They could taste and smell the salt. “This is probably the most dangerous inlet in the world,” The waterworks display became more intense, like a finally on the fourth. ‘That’s why I like it, I think.” The father looked at his son, he could see himself in that face. The wind caused the boy’s face to squint, but it was unable to hide the faint glimmer of expression. It seemed as if somewhere, in there, he understood.