"Where you headed?" I asked. He told me: the rig we work for.
"Did they tell you that you were leaving soon?" I asked. Nah, he'd been caught in some bad traffic on the West Bank and had missed the morning trip. He said he knew he might have to spend some time on the boat before we left.
The next morning I awoke to the thrumming of our engines and the hiss of water along the hull. As I stepped out on the back deck to drink my coffee, I saw the previous day's passenger standing at the railing with a serious case of bed head.
He turned from the railing, sweeping an arm over a slick sea reflecting the clouds climbing the horizon, and said: "It never gets old, does it?"
No, I agreed, it really doesn't.
I joke when I post on Facebook that all of these flat-sea-and-sunset shots are getting tedious. A friend of mine, another captain who works for us on another boat, recently posted a sunset photo with the caption: "Another boring Gulf sunset, blah, blah, blah ..."
We are not being serious.
We love the sunsets. And the sunrises. And the hugely starred sky. And the reflections of the clouds on the water. And the way we can sometimes see four different rain showers on the horizon.
It's a privilege of this work that we don't talk about a lot but surely is one of the reasons we keep showing up at our boats for one more hitch.
And it never, really, gets old.