"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

Student Writing: Cumberland Island

>> Sunday, May 1, 2011

Author: Will Burke

In many cases it takes a change in ones environment to realize the subtle details that we experience in our every day lives.

We arrived in Cumberland Island after our short stay in Fernandina, which had been our first stop after eleven days at sea. We were to stay there four nights and five days, what seemed like an eternity away from the Harvey Gamage. We loaded up Sherman and ferried ourselves along with our gear to the pier that jutted out from the island. We left the boat with our seamanship skills sharp as well as a sense of excitement for the upcoming week. Our bags were packed with soccer balls, frisbees, sunscreen, and shore clothes; everything we would need to make out time ashore more enjoyable. We walked about a half a mile down the road (something we were very unused to on the ship) to the dorms where we had been assigned to stay. Once our gear was spread out in our spacious rooms with large beds and mattresses, we walked down tot another building. It was and industrial kitchen, a long room outfitted with brand new stainless cookware: pots, pans, knives, serving trays. It felt as though we had walked into the set of Hell’s Kitchen, extremely elegant compared to the twenty-foot galley on the Gamage. We spent the afternoon and night swimming and grilling burgers (Mr. Petrillo’s secret recipe). And it wasn’t until lights out when I realized how different life ashore really is. As I lay in a bed with sheets, a window open, fan circulating air, and the birds and cicadas conversing outside, I realized that the steady rocking of the ship would not be there to lull me to sleep, that the sound of water against the hull would not be ever present, breaking the silence of the still spring night. For the moment, everything was still. For the moment, everything had stopped moving.


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