Needing Less Doing More

Tag: blue

The Blues

“…You were only waiting for this moment to be free”

-The Beatles

6 days now in the “Real Bahamas”.  No casinos in Nassau, no cattle boats, just locals.  Let me tell you the first thing you will notice about the island nation.  The water is always four shades of blue.  When the ocean floor is sandy the water is a brilliant Carolina blue.  If you aren’t familiar with Carolina blue, think Tarheels.  If you can’t think Tarheels, you have other issues.  When the floor is grassy the water turns into a darker royal blue color.  Think, Blue Devils…or if you prefer, as I do, don’t think about them.  When the floor is rocky with coral reef, the blue is more turquoise.  A nice transition between the sand and grass.  And when the water gets deep, the blue is a dark, tempting, navy color.  My only wish is that I could swim through each stratification of color and bottle the different blues.  I’m sure with a little food coloring you could sell the bottled blues to the tourists.

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Oreo boy sporting the lobster scarf his Grammy made him.

We are now in Green Turtle Cay, on the Atlantic side of the Abacos, where we have run into luck.  A friend of ours, John Shedd, happens to own a house here.  He has insisted that we take advantage of some solid ground, a bed that doesn’t move and a….SHOWER!  Of course, with some reluctance, we took him up on his offer.  John, we will never be able to pay back your generosity.  So yes, your protagonists have found themselves in another fortuitous situation with access to a house.  Living next to us is the caretaker of the property, Ms. Julie, her husband, and their son David, who happens to be an excellent freediver.  In fact, we managed to talk David into taking us out for a dive, which didn’t take much effort.  The guy has lived on an island his whole life.  His blood needs the water in a different way than the rest of us water mammals.  The island people feel closer and live closer to the water.  If only they could breath it.

We have met a friend here on the island, Nina.  She is traveling alone from New York City, where the water is not blue, and the saltwater content in her blood is just a relic of our evolutionary process.  She is a teacher and a writer who we invited to come stay at the house with us.  She spent the first part of her vacation on Treasure Cay only to find herself on Green Turtle Cay where the non-authenticity of Treasure Cay became immediately apparent.  Treasure Cay is resort Cay.  There are shops surrounding the resort and this co-dependent nature of resort and surrounding shops masquerades itself as a community.  Much like a series of American suburbs whose center is comprised of no less than one Target, a Wal-Mart, Lowe’s Foods, Great Clips, Walgreens, China One Take-Out, Tony’s Pizza, Barnes and Noble, and Old Navy.  A strip mall or two next to a housing development is not a community.  These development situations lead to depression because they lack something.  There is a key ingredient that everyone knows is missing but the ingredient is hard to identify.  The unknown variable is soul.  There is no soul.  There is no artist, musician, assemblage of free thinkers, the heartbeat of a community.  The elements that make up a “downtown”.  Unlike Treasure Cay, Green Turtle has soul.  Green Turtle operates as it’s own collective even when there are no white people around to buy up all the postcards.  The people are beautiful and patronize each other.  They go to church on Sunday, they fish and lobster, they bake bread, they rent houses, they have parties where the whole island shows up (which we were privy to attending).  For this reason, Nina could not return to Treasure Cay, so we invited her to stay on with us in Green Turtle.  I knew she was friend and travel companion material after we both agreed that a perfect breakfast, such as french toast, is ruined when the chef does not use enough egg wash per piece of bread.  A friendship was forged over a detestation of dry french toast.

As I mentioned, David agreed to take the four of us diving.  After the french toast discussion, it was decided that we would eat a nice french toast breakfast on the boat (that I would cook to ensure proper egg wash to bread ratio) then have David pick us up at Nila Girl on his boat for the dive.  I should mention that Ren and I have cultivated a natural circadian rhythm for island time, which we are predisposed to anyway.  For example, this is how the dive morning went:

“Yes David, we will meet you at Nila Girl at 10:00 sharp where you can pick us up in your boat and take us for a little dive.” 

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Ren and David with their bounty.

Bermudian accent: “Ok guys.  No worries if I am 5 or 10 minutes late.”

“No David, see you soon!”

10:00 arrives.  The cast of three + Oreo are on Nila Girl, having just arrived.

“Oh hey David.  We have just managed to put the french toast in the pan.  Breakfast will take at least 15 more minutes to prepare, 20 to consume, then we have to suit up.  That’s Ok though right?  Does not your life revolve around us?”

“Oh sure guys, that’s fine.  It’s Sunday and all I want to do is wait on your American asses and then show you all my special diving spots even though the weather is not favorable.  You know us Bahamians, too nice to say no to you demanding devils.”

“Oh David, you’re the best!”

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There’s nothing attractive about pics of dead fish, however, lobster are absolutely delicious!

That’s exactly how it went before we managed to make our way onto David’s boat for the dive.  He first took us to a spot for lobster…which proved to be fruitful.  The spot was not an extraordinary dive as it was pretty shallow with sporadic coral life.  We managed to scrape supper together in about an hour in the form of 11 lobsters, one NC sized.  I’m not bragging, I’m just recounting the facts.  This may sound like an absurd number of lobsters but rest assured, the meat is already consumed.  The second dive spot was special.  It was the kind of dive people pay big bucks to go on.  An underwater playground of fish, sharks, and four humans.  We pulled up to the spot and left all fishing gear in the boat.  It’s not the kind of place you take from.  Leave only fin splashes, take only pictures kind of place.  We anchor in about 20 feet in sand and swim over to the reef.  At this point we are offshore and are in an area just inshore of the reef where we are completely protected.  The depth at the reef was about 30 feet.  The four of us cruise along, checking out the fish, blah, blah, blah.  The spot was good and the reef came all the way to the surface of the water, creating almost surf-able waves.  However, I was hoping for a little more.  I was hoping that we would go somewhere where I could fly.  That’s when I saw David and Ren swimming through a break in the reef.  I finned over to the break that reminded me of the Oracles from The Never Ending Story.  Each side of the reef wall towered above me.  You enter the “other side” through a huge crevice in the towering reef.  As I swam through the crevice, I looked down to see the bottom drop out from under me.  The 30 foot bottom gave way to 80 feet just on the other side of the Oracle.  This is 80 feet, Bahama style.  Meaning, you could see blades of grass and grains of sand on the bottom.  Looking down the 80 foot drop, a Bahamian reef shark swam by, followed by a school of Bermuda chub. 

Damn it!  There is no way, other than through video (come ON Ren!) to convey the feeling of being suspended over deep water able to see the bottom below.  It would be like jumping off an 80 foot building but not falling, just riding the wind, floating like a bird.  My first instinct was to fly.  This is how I do  it:

I nestle myself back over the reef which is protruding through the surface of the water in some spots.  So I’m suspended in one or two feet of water.  I tuck back in the reef so I cannot see over the edge.  Then, in a sudden burst of energy, I pull myself past the wall of the reef as fast as I can, hold my breath, and soar over the edge of the reef into 80 feet of nothing.  I “jump” off the edge of the building and free fall down to the sandy bottom.  This is the only way I have learned to fly without growing wings, which i have been trying to do for some time now.

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On Doc Shedd’s porch, chilling and grateful for his generosity.

After my flight I look up at Nina and she says something striking.  She says, “This is so beautiful  I don’t even know what to do!”.  I almost cry when she says this because I know exactly what she means.  When your heart fills up completely full and there’s not room for anything else without it overflowing.  It fills with gratitude.  To whom?  Who knows.  For what, everything I just described to you.

Needless to say, we finished the night off with a few Budweisers, some lobster rolls with Thai sauce, lobster tails with red curry sauce and vegetable brown rice.  And yes, Oreo ate lobster too.  In fact, he has a special bandana made by his Grammy Nancy that he wore just for the occasion (see picture).

To learn to fly, contact us at [email protected]  🙂

New Years in The Dry Tortugas Part1

“Isn’t she lovely?” 

-Stevie Wonder

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Meeting up with the Filer’s was a huge treat!

Leaving Big PIne Key, we set our sights, and sails, for Key West.  That place was an adventure in itself and I will come back to that.  All you need to know for now is that we got our fill of beer there, and liquor, and wine.  Key West was just a stopping point between Big Pine and our real goal, the Dry Tortugas.  With some luck, we’d even make it to the Dry Tortugas  just in time to intercept some Wilmington friends who were planning a day trip to the small Key.

Nila Girl and her inhabitants (Ren, myself, Oreo and possibly a small rat, who may have stowed away in Big Pine) raised sail early morning on December 29th.  Since Tay Filer and family were going to be in the Dry Tortugas on December 30th we were really pushing it, in true Ashley/Ren fashion.  Why get somewhere on time maybe even with time to spare when you can get there by the skin of your teeth, often inconveniencing family and friends who are more punctual than you?  It is a flaw I hope we can correct in the future.  Too late for this trip though.  So we sailed all day and through the night.  The wind was down so we fired up the engine for a few hours, technically on December 30th.  Our original plan, on leaving NC, was to never run the engine unless coming into port or if emergency requires.  This plan is only valid if you are not sailing on a schedule.  Something we still have not accomplished except for a few days at a time.  The sails were up and the engine roared until about 5:00 am.  We cut the engine and silently advanced.  Stealth like, but not really with Dinky (our inflatable dinghy.  Our car essentially) flapping around behind us!  Quiet Dinky, damn you!  Garden Key of the Dry Tortugas is home to Ft. Jefferson.  An old Civil War era fort which looks particularly menacing in the middle of nowhere, just standing there, cannons pointing right at you.  Union soldiers ready to board your boat, raping and pillaging.  I digress, it is easy to let your imagination get carried away in the lee of the fort.  So, like I said, Quiet Mr. Dink!

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Nila Girl had the Dry Tortugas to herself.

Approaching a shoaled complex such as the Dry Tortugas at night is not an easy feat.  It’s hard on the nerves.  This was evident on our boat by the presence of all three crew members on deck.  One armed with a Q-beam (me), another at the helm (Ren) and another licking his crotch in anticipation of landfall (Ren…I mean Oreo).  Daylight began to break which was a welcomed friend!  Not to mention a breathtaking sight as the red-orange sky rose on the east side of the fort, illuminating the ancient red bricks.  The fort is dotted with open air windows from which watch was kept and cannons were aimed.  The dawn poured out through these spaces and reflected on Nila Girl and our grateful faces.  It is funny how much a sunset, sunrise or blue moon come to mean to you when you’re living on a boat.  Without DVDs, Netflix, or anything but books and some writing and chores, the sky becomes an awesome form of entertainment.  I have managed to see three green flashes on our adventure during sunset.  Before this trip my grand total of green flash sightings came to a whopping zero, in fact, I kind of doubted their existence. 

We picked up the channel markers and easily sailed to the east side of the fort where we dropped anchor (silently of course, who knows who’s in the fort watching).  A few anchor dropping chores were done.  These chores include putting the engine on Dinky and taking Oreo to land ASAP.  He deserves a trip to land whenever we are somewhere to manage it.  Ren is in charge or Oreo and I’m in charge of getting everyone’s breakfast ready.  Did it, ate, then decided to lay down for a nap since we had sailed through the night.  But.  However.  Captain Ren was banging about the cockpit getting all his dive gear ready.  At our first sight of “Caribbean Blue” water since leaving NC, he was not about to pass up a dive for a much needed nap.  Truth be known, neither was I.  It didn’t take much to rouse me and before I knew it, Oreo was cashing in on the nap and Ren and I were in the water, swimming with a ~200 lbs. goliath grouper!  I can sleep later!

Dinky was ready for action so we decided to crawl in and go exploring while we were still brimming with excitement.  We soon realized that it was terribly hard to pick out an appropriate dive spot.  To remedy this situation, we got out of the dinghy and drug it behind us.  First stop, underneath a sport fishing boat that was anchored near us.  Underneath that boat, seven goliath groupers!  These groupers were the puppy dogs of Garden Key.  They chilled underneath boats looking for handouts, and who didn’t have the heart to give some to them?  Not us!  A guy from the boat we were hanging with the groupers under gave us a little jack he had caught earlier.  I attempted to, ahem, feed the grouper but chickened out.  The mouth on that thing was pretty huge and who knew if he had good eye sight or not.  Like an old dog, he may misjudge the end of his treat and the end of your hand.  Confusing where one begins and the other ends, the dog chomps your hand a bit.  I didn’t want to risk this from a 200 lbs animal.  But Ren did.  Before Ren knew it, the grouper skillfully chomped the fish, and looking down we realized, he left Ren’s hand.  Phew!

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Just a cool shot.

Moving on we dove a few more spots.  Colorful angel fish and tangs swarmed the huge coral colonies that littered the rocky bottom.  We picked out two huge NC sized lobster and three lionfish (which are delicious to eat and make great ceviche).  The lobster were hanging out in front of their rock crevices.  Not in the holes, outside catching some rays I guess.  One reached his antenna out as if to shake my hand.  They were not afraid of us, that was for certain.  As we were on a reconnaissance dive we did not bring our animal harvesting gear so the spot was mentally marked.  We were to return later after a visit to the fort to collect our lunch.  Good thing we decided on a recon mission first because later when we reached the fort, and had an interview with the park ranger, who bum rushed us as soon as we got off our dinghy, it came to light that spearfishing and lobstering are strictly prohibited in the Dry Tortugas.  In fact, you are only allowed to hook and line fish within a mile radius of Garden Key.  There goes lunch, and dinner, and breakfast the next day… 

We had collected Oreo after our dive, changed clothes and planned on making an afternoon out  of land exploration.  Our buds were supposed to be arriving by seaplane sometime that day.  We had already seen two seaplanes come and go and the ferry arrive with a horde of people.  No sign of any other North Carolinians.  This place was also the first place where we found a  nice beach to hang out on.  Taking advantage of this fact the three of us spotted a nice place in the sand and relaxed, letting the warm sun burn our poor little bodies (which I wish it was doing right this minute.  A cold front moved in and I’m freezing right now!).  After a few hours we got hungry and decided to go back to the Nila Girl and rustle up some grub.  But wait!  What’s that noise…a seaplane!  Leaning against the dock, we waited in anticipation to see if our buds would emerge from the awesome plane.  The plane circled around the fort and touched down in the water between the same channel markers Nila Girl navigated early that morning.  We watched the pilot run across the water and back the plane up right next to the beach.  This guy was good.  The small plane swung open her doors and people began pouring out.  We saw three children, two girls and a boy, jump to the sand.  Uh oh, our friends have two girls and a boy.  We saw a slightly chubby guy handing bags to the kids.  Ren pointed to the guy and said, “That’s him.  That’s Tay.  I can hear him from here”.  Now Tay works out a good bit.  I see him often at the UNCW pool swimming laps with Mr. Bob Berger.  This is how I got to know Tay.  I took one look at the gut of the man Ren pointed to and said, “Nope.  Give Tay some credit will ya?”  Underneath the plane were two more man legs.  Also, I saw the legs with a stance just like Tay’s!  Yeppers, our friend’s arrived.

They only had two hours to check the place out, not enough time, but we ran through the fort, reading this, questioning that.  The children earned their junior  ranger badges (they will thank their Mom later for making them do that at all the national parks they visit).  The visit ended with a quick snorkel.  Ren and I got to spend some time  with some NC-ians and also  left with one cold can on Lipton iced tea, a blueberry muffin and two, one serving sized containers of cream cheese.  Who scored?  We did! 

After their visit, it was back to the boat for some three hour late lunch and that nap I thought about earlier in the day.  The Dry Tortugas proved to be a place where we decided to stay three whole days.

New Years in The Dry Tortugas Part 2

Happy New Years, Corona style!

-Ashley and Ren

Slobber, slobber!  Sniff, sniff!  Lick, lick, whimper!

-Oreo

There we were in the Dry Tortugas on New Years Eve!  Encouraged by our few shallow dives the day before, we decided to make a day of it and check out some of the national park charted dive spots.  We rose with the sun and had a hearty breakfast, something to keep us going for a day of diving.  We worried little about what we ate since we had the freedom of having our “aqua deuce” anytime and anyplace we felt the pangs come on.  After breakfast it was time to embark to location #1, Texas Rock.

The sail over to Texas Rock was beautiful.  We opted to sail instead of dinghy over to avoid burning fuel.  A long ride in Nila Girl is far preferable to a long ride in Dinky.  The former rides like a true lady, graceful and gentle.  The latter rides like little a punky little bronco, noisy and bucking the whole way.  Nila Girl delivered us skillfully to the mooring ball at Texas Rock, which we secured her to all under sail.  Meaning, we sailed to the ball, picked up the mooring line and tied her off while the sails were doing the heaving lifting.  We are getting good!  Jumping in at Texas Rock we were immediately welcomed by the kind of sight we’ve been waiting for since our departure.  Huge corals, fish everywhere and a little relief where lobster and other animals hide out.  We stayed for a while (no longer than the two hour period in which the park permits you to tie up to any mooring ball in the Dry Tortugas network…of course), cruising the reef, pretending we were flying, which is one of the best things about freediving, it’s proximity to the sensation of flying.  Ren got some video footage which I’m hoping will make it to our Videos page sometime soon.

Just to the southeast of Texas Rock is another Key called Loggerhead Key.  Loggerhead Key is infamous as a landing spot for Cuban refugees.  It is the closest US landfall to Cuba and is often a destination for refugee rafts.  From Loggerhead, the refugees go to Key West, then on to Miami for processing.  All this, IF they can get one foot on land before a US guard spots them.  On the Key is a lighthouse and some lodging facilities for caretakers.  There is also a shipwreck near the Key that we were eager to explore.  We were off to location #2 the Windjammer Wreck.  The sail took us a while since the wind was way down.  To keep cool in our ultra-warm Dessault wetsuits, Ren and I took turns jumping into the water and letting Nila Girl pull us along the side of her.  That’s some kind of fun!  We just hung onto a line trailing behind the boat and checked out the scenery, all while cooling the body down. 

The Windjammer Wreck was neat.  It was pretty dilapidated with the influences of time, sand and the tides.  Still, while there, we visited with a huge goliath grouper, not domesticated like the puppy dogs that hang under the boats anchored at the Dry Tortugas (see previous blog entry).  This guy kept shying away before we could get close enough to take some video of him.  The old boat bow provided a vertical structure for schools of all kinds of fish to hang out in.  Ren took video here too and claimed that it was his favorite dive spot of the day.  I thought the wreck was too shallow.  We had to wear too much weight to stay down on it for any bit of time.  Plus, I was pretty mad after I smashed my foot on a hard coral protruding very close to the surface.  I wasn’t wearing fins…bad idea.  My sometimes bad temper will not allow me to “get over it” very soon after getting angry.  To Ren’s dismay, I wasn’t over it until we left the Windjammer Wreck.

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Hook and line supper.

As I mentioned in the previous entry, no spearfishing or lobstering is allowed within the park complex.  Hook and line fishing is allowed within a one mile radius of Garden Key.  As soon as we crossed the invisible radius threshold, Ren dropped a light tackle spinning outfit with a diving plug into the water and we thought nothing else of it.  Partly because we weren’t hungry enough to REALLY care if we caught anything.  Partly because we have had stellar luck trolling for fish.  It must be the quiet of Nila Girl’s hull passing over the water teamed with the perfect trolling speed allowed by her sails.  As we suspected the line was buzzing in seconds as it reeled out behind us.  Ren easily reeled in a smaller yellowtail (translation=lunch) and dispatched the creature right away.  I gutted and gilled the fish just after it’s death and fed the ocean with the refuse.  Now that we had the fish properly preserved and showed adequate respect for the catch, it was back into the water for the fishing line.  As I said, the yellowtail was small (but legal) and we required a bit more protein for our already lacking bodies.  In minutes the line buzzed out again with much more authority than the first time.  I took the wheel of Nila Girl and turned us into the wind to slow down a bit just so Ren could get a handle on whatever we had hooked.  Correction, I took the rod and felt the intense pressure of the fish bearing down on the line. Since the outfit was light tackle, to prevent an argument when I improperly try to reel the fish in and break our tackle off, I handed over the rod to the Captain and took the wheel.  The animal pulled hard and caused us to redirect course multiple times in order to secure it.  Still unable to identify the fish by the fight, Ren reeled all the way up to Nila Girl and discovered that it was a bruiser mutton snapper (translation=dinner).  The fish was treated with the same respect as the previously caught one was.  With our catch secured, and our hunting satisfied, Nila Girl sailed back over to the anchorage where we dropped anchor, showered up (in the cockpit, out of a bucket) and ate some lunch.

Once lunch was ate and we finished cleaning up, it was time to reward Oreo for hanging tough on the boat all day while we pranced around the reef and wrecks of the Dry Tortugas.  Dinky took the three of us over to the beach for a nice sit in the sand and our usual daily viewing of the sunset.  Once we got to the beach, Ren realized it would be much nicer if we had warmer clothes, for after sunset, books, the camera and chairs to accompany the wine and rum we definitely already packed.  He left Oreo and I on the beach while he went back to Nila Girl to fetch the needed items.  Oreo was feeling spunky and further deserved a walk.  He sniffed and rolled and galloped about.  I took him over to the mote wall surrounding Fort Jefferson.  The wall is 6/10 of a mile around and makes a great little walk.  Oreo ran so I started to run.  Oreo looked at me with gratitude and I looked back at him lovingly.  Oreo started to merge over to the edge of the wall and I didn’t.  I couldn’t stop him as he ran clear off the mote wall and tumbled 8 feet down to the clear waters below.  Did I mention that a crocodile lives within the mote walls?!!  Since Oreo is a less than par swimmer, and is losing his eyesight and hearing, it was quite a feat to encourage him to swim back from the fort (30 feet away from me) to where I had posted up, in the water, on top of the only structure I could see that would allow me put Oreo back on the wall and climb back up myself.  Anywhere else and the water was too deep for me to still have access to the top of the wall.  Finally, the poor monster swam back to me.  I grabbed him quickly and lifted him to the top of the wall.  I pulled myself back up and stared in disbelief as Oreo’s tail was profusely wagging.  He was looking at me thinking, “What’s wrong?  It was just a little swim”.  So Oreo survived “Oreo Suicide Attempt #8 (previous attempts are not accounted for in this blog). 

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Oreo boy happy as a lark on the beach.

By this time, Ren must have gotten back from his chores on the boat.  Oreo and I walked over to a ledge where we could better view Nila Girl.  He still hadn’t left the boat!  Don’t ever send your husband out for milk and eggs ladies, they might not come back.  Discouraged, we took a trail back to the beach where we ran in to two campers we had met the night before.  Josina and Bobby are a super nice couple living in Ft. Lauderdale.  Bobby attracted Ren’s attention the previous night when we passed by their campsite and Bobby had his arms elbow deep in a portable film developing tent.  Bobby likes to take pictures using film, which intrigued the developing photographer, Ren.  You can check out some of his work here, www.elevation9photography.com.  I stopped to talk to Bobby and Josina for a bit and invited them to join us on the beach for some wine (if Ren ever came back).  I also found out that they were camping there for the rest of the night.  Sounded to me like it was almost time to start thinking about a little New Years Eve celebration.  Oreo and I rambled onto the beach.  I drank some wine and built a sand scene of an alligator chasing a fish.  Thinking back, I should have moulded a crocodile chasing Oreo but we had already tempted fate and won.  I had nothing to prove.  Upon finishing my scene the Captain returned with our booty.  I gave him one annoyed look at his hour’s absence and quickly got over it.  I didn’t want to be responsible for ruining a  perfectly good time to be.

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Posing from Fort Jefferson.

Our new friends joined us on the beach with more wine just in time for sunset.  No green flash, but we did have a mutton snapper on the boat that was huge and needed to be shared with our new friends for a New Years Eve feast.  A few glasses of wine and a couple sips of rum and we  were again in action.  Ren went back to the boat to collect some things to contribute to a meal, Bobby went to start the coals and Josina and I continued to shoot the poo.  The meal came together quite nicely.  We grilled the fish whole and our friends added to the grill their steak and elephant garlic.  We   spread the roasted garlic on bread and I made some make shift guacamole to accompany the garlic  bread.  We had brie cheese and grilled snap peas, mashed potatoes and even some M&Ms and Jordan Almonds to finish the whole thing off.  Oreo had fish skin and tail and mashed potatoes.  He was a happy boy.  I couldn’t of asked for a more satisfying meal…or company for that matter.  Since Ren, myself and our company deemed ourselves way too cool to stay up until midnight, and there was no ball dropping anywhere close to where we were, and we wanted to avoid hangovers, we departed company and slept. 

We woke up to a happily bright and sunny New Years Day.  We had leftover fish, eggs and fruit for breakfast.  I picked the remaining fish off the fish head and skeleton (which we brought home with us the night before) and proceeded to make fish salad according to a new chicken salad recipe my Mom’s Guamanian friend gave to her.  I smashed the fish by hand into almost mush and mixed in lots of lime juice, some lemon juice, red pepper flakes and fresh coconut.  We brought the salad over to the beach and shared it along with crackers with our friends from the night before while sitting on the warm sand.  They left for home on the ferry and the three of us hung a bit longer.  We went back to the boat where Ren caught a nap in preparation for the night sail we had planned.  It was time to leave our Dry Tortuga heaven and head back towards Key West.  I left him for his nap and suited up for a nice run along the mote wall back at the fort.  4 miles and one beautiful sunset latter, which included a green flash, I went back to the boat where we prepared for our departure, including a shower.  The wind was perfect around 2:00am.  If I looked closely I may have noticed a shed tear or two from one of the three members of our crew as we finally departed the Dry Tortugas after a 3 day, 3 night stay.  Now more than ever we are hungry for warm weather and blue waters.  It’s time to move on.