Otherworldly Sea of Cortez

I’m rocked awake by the gentle juddering of the ship’s engine, a deep sigh after hours spent travelling through the night. Careful not to rouse my bestie, Kim, who’s snoring in the next bunk, I open the cabin door and walk out onto the deck. We’ve dropped anchor, it appears, on Mars. We’re in the middle of the sea, morning-placid except for the trailing ripples left by a low-flying pelican. The rising sun projects a lightshow onto rocky ridges rising from the water and there is not another single living thing in sight. I shake Kim awake, eager to share the view before the sun washes away the Merlot stain in the sky.