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Why do we stare at this water?

November 14, 2012
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Blue Water
Anchored off of Sandy Spit, a small uninhabited island, which is little more than a beach and a couple of coconut trees near Little Jost van Dyke and Sandy Cay, British Virgin Islands. Zach Stovall

Captain Jimmy gazes silently from the helm of our catamaran. The first time I saw him do this, two days ago, I thought he’d dropped his house keys overboard. Now I’ve learned not to ask him what he’s looking at. His answer is always the same. “Jus’ the water, I guess.” Neuroscience studies show that when we watch the color blue and calm seascapes, we produce the same stress-relieving alpha brain waves as seen in meditating monks. After musing on the topic, I turn and ask Jimmy if he wants anything to drink. Hello? Cap’n?

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