"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

Blinded by the Light

>> Wednesday, October 3, 2012

I gaze into the glowing globe of the compass before me, concentrating on my course. It was imprinted in my mind; course ordered 220. As I clutched the spokes of the helm, my number one priority was to steer the Harvey Gamage safely through the night waters of the Atlantic Ocean. My eyes soon climbed up the starboard side of the schooner I have called home for twelve days and fixed upon the mass of lights on the horizon. This particular mass of lights is commonly known as Atlantic City, New Jersey, however, in my mind it remained a source of entertainment. Our exact distance from civilization I do not know, but it seemed to be about a mile away.

My body sways side to side with the movement of the boat against the waves and my thigh pressed against a spoke of the wheel. The lights of the buildings and bridges mesmerized me and I had to collect myself to bring my eyes to my work. The compass had wandered ten degrees off of my ordered course, and read 210. I quickly took a couple turns of the wheel, trying to reach 220 before anyone noticed. In a minute or so, I seemed balanced enough to cease my gaze upon the compass for a moment. My distraction now was at the glare of the moon on the thrashing waves, which were calm compared to some of the seas at the beginning of our voyage. It seemed similar to the lights of the city; both were shimmering and ever-moving.

I noticed someone from my watch coming aft; where I was located, and knew I it was for my relief. We exchanged information. I took one last look at the beauty of the night before climbing below to receive my next job.


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