As Osmany ran the skiff across the gulf toward a little channel where dead mangroves merged with new, the boat began to slide and fall in colossal swells. When a dot of trees finally came into view, Osmany radioed Yadian, whose skiff was coming in behind ours.
“Yadian, háblame!” he said, lighting a cigarette under his zinc-smeared nose. “Hay malas olas!”
He turned to us: “We are safe now.”
I had not known we weren’t. It was my first-ever flats trip, and I found the full-bore skiff ride through a blaze of sun and humidity to be a time of transcendent euphoria…