"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines.

Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." -Mark Twain

Cumberland Island Reflections

>> Tuesday, October 27, 2009

“Early Morning” By Elliott Hays-Wehls
October 16, 2009
Pre-Sunrise, Cumberland Island, GA

My God, how beautiful the natural world is. I have been so lost in the world of man while on Ocean, I completely forgot the unmoving beauty and stillness that comes with nature. I believe today is Friday; which is fitting, seeing as on Fridays at Proctor I usually catch the sunrise from the water at Elbow Pond. At the moment I am watching that same sunrise, only from the warm Atlantic Ocean. We are not at the beach celebrating the tradition of the Polar Swim; no we are here for fun and education. We are being taught how to appreciate, in these moments of alone time; just how important our thoughts are. We are learning that what we think and how we act is who we are. Simple lessons of self and responsibility.
As a song by The Waifs says “Take it in, take it on in. Now is the time that will not come again. Take it in, take it on in. Now is the time that is here for the living.” I am going to do just that. As I watch the color of the magnificent clouds change from gray to blur to white, as the shade of the horizon brightens to majestic hues of gold and red.. All of this from the ever moving, ever beautiful ocean.

Cumberland Island
by Maggie Hull
October 16, 2009

This morning was a bit indescribable. Waking at 5:30 am, long before the awakening of the sun over the horizon, we prepared for a long day of exploring and experiencing this island. Silently walking through the dark jungle-like terrain, we ended on a long stretch of a fine white-sand beach, just as the sun began to rise over the ocean. The water soon turned orange, yellow, then a deep blue, and the fins of both dolphins and sharks emerged just feet past the break of the waves. Swimming out into the warm water, we all turned to find a full arc of rainbow stretching over the beach. The sky was every color possible from every surrounding direction- orange, yellow, bright blue, dark grey – the morning truly couldn’t have been better. Following the boardwalk back into the jungle, we now sit upon the branches of live oak trees awaiting the long day ahead of us.

Cumberland Island
Madison Koenig
10 / 16/ 09

This morning was amazing. 5:30 am wakeups were less than satisfactory, and via our boat rides to the island, we were all on land by 6:30. We had a short walk in the dark, which was rather scary after learning that the island is inhabited by wild horses, armadillos, and alligators, not to mention lots of snakes and spiders. We walked to the start of the board walk as a group and then started a solo walk to the beach. On my walk I thought about Proctor, and how most kids at school were just about hitting the snooze button on their alarms hoping to squeeze in an extra 5 minutes of sleep, and I was walking on a boardwalk to the beach in Georgia. On the beach we watched the sun start to rise above the horizon and we ran into the waves. As we swam the sun rose and rain clouds started to move in. Sharks were spotted just on the other side of the break and we ran back to the sand. False alarm; just dolphins! The swim call was back on. From the water we watched a double rainbow form as the sun continued to rise on the horizon. It was the ultimate morning that made 5:30 am wakeups worth it. It is only 8 am, but already I have had more excitement here today than three days worth of excitement back at school. While everyone is in classes today, we will be preparing for a two week passage. We will do a section of the “death march”, a 26 mile trek around Cumberland Island. The walk might be miserable as we move along, but after a week or so at sea it will definitely have been worth it. I just keep reminding myself, this is school and there is no better way to learn about the world than seeing the world first hand.


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