I have come to find that the best(and perhaps the only) way one can live this scalawag, swashbuckler's sailing life is to wake up every morning completely ready for any circumstance and with a willingness to jump on whatever adventure may arise!! Don't let the fleeting unimportant things like, perhaps, expectations, drowsiness, uncertainty, inexperience, your hair or makeup (ladies...i'm lookin at you here... stop caring so much about what you LOOK like and dont ever let it get in the way of what you could FEEL like) and other impedements that hinder you from welcoming the new day and giving your all to make it the best one it can be!
After spending my nights camped out up on deck under the glow of thickly consentrated stars -making up constelations I have never before learned- I would wake with the beginings of dawn as the dim, purplish red horizon began to rise. No sooner than my eyes were open, Ken would already be at the stern , dressed complete with his professional-photography grade camera hung around his neck, and preparing the dinghy to skip over to the Fort for some epic sunrise pics. "Want to go over?" He would ask me in his matter of fact manner (never one to waste an extra word or two) but with a glint of a true excitement that i saw for the first time during our journey on our first morning isolated in the Tortugas. 'This is it!' I thought to myself. This is where his personal version of our shared "Sailing Dream" sprang from; To catch the hidden beauties that nature has to offer. I felt glad to get that glimpse and knowing that opportunity only knocks onces (and every second counts with a sunise, i jumped up to grab my running shoes and ball cap and within moments we were on the island.
I could spend every morning that way if it were possible. Run a couple killometers around Fort Jefferson as the cotton candy sky threatened the approach of the new day, racing around the last corner of the fort wall just in time to see that bright ball break over the horizon and for an instant pierce everything with it's most brilliant hue. I didn't have every morning timed so precisely, of course, but on those lucky days when i did....i could hear angels singing God's praises.
We found out that the moat wall circling the the fort was exactly 1k and made daily practice of running or walking our respective quotas. For my ankles sake i also took to walking around the parade ground area inide the fort or exlpore its bastionsand tunnels. (Side note: This would be a dream airsoft/paintball field!! There were many times when roaming through by myself i would see it in my mind and think, "WESLEY!! Shoooot him!!")
Now, The moment MOST worth mentioning here is the one that let me check something off of my 'Goals List' you might recal me making a few months ago. The box to check: Experience something you've never experienced before..
The wind died down a day or two after we had sailed in to the islands and left the water indredibly still for the rest of our time there. Well, one day we got up early to dinghy 3 miles the Loggerhead key to go snorkel. <--More on that later
Coming back it looked as if we were flying along on a sheet of glass. Being so still, the sea made a perfect mirror and as i looked out to the horizon my breath caught in my chest. I couldn't find it. The sky seemlessly matched up with the ocean and you could not tell where one began and the other end. I didn't know if anything could feel as trippy and spectacular as that moment... That is, until later that day during my afternoon run around the moat i had THE moment.
Blue skies and fluffy white clouds over my head were perfectly reflected by the water both inside and outside of the low moat wall that only occupied about 4.5feet width. I am not lying when i say, i nearly tripped into the water as i double guess my step thinking i was running through the clouds.
I will never be able to capture that moment in words so i will stop trying and leave it at this: How great is our God!