A few days ago, while passing over a tall local bridge, the clear atmosphere offered a view towards the Gulf of Mexico, and thoughts of my time offshore returned.
I saw many things while I worked offshore. Some left memories that will last as long as I can still remember.
It was around 7:30 pm on a summer evening. I had made my first rounds of the evening and was headed back to the shop to work on safety equipment. The wind was light out of the southeast and the Gulf was a tranquil emerald green.
As I walked across the catwalk, movement in the south caught my eye. I stopped, spent some time examining what caught my attention, and within moments, felt the hair stand on the back of my neck. Whatever it was, it was big and moving under the surface towards the platform.
The circular object appeared to be around a hundred feet in diameter and was a silvery gold that shimmered in the late evening sun. Since it was right beneath the surface, the small waves prevented me from seeing any detail. One thing I did know: it was moving fast and would be at the platform shortly.
As I examined the object, I tried to determine what it could be. Was it a some type of secret military submarine, or was it extraterrestrial? My curiosity turned to apprehension and then to fear. I thought of trying to alert the crew, but soon realized there wasn't enough time. I stayed where I was and waited. It was moments away.
When it arrived, I braced myself by tightly grasping the handrail on the catwalk. It passed between the platforms, so I had a ringside view.... It was fish. A huge school of moon fish that swam in a chaotic ball of motion, which kept predators at a distance. They passed silently through the water right below the surface. In less than a minute, they moved to where the light couldn't catch their silvery scales and were gone.
That was the only time I saw moon fish. I don't know if that was a migration, or a rare occurrence. I do know that I was in the perfect place to see the school as they passed. If they had passed a few hundred feet on either side, my tale would have a different ending.