Now for the hardest part of a trip like this–leaving. I have made quite a few close friends here over the past months and it breaks my heart a little to have to let them go. I never know when I might see them again, though, so the goodbyes never seem final. I try to keep in touch with everyone, but of course some relationships will fade with time. There are equally as many that will remain bright and will continue on without skipping a beat when I meet up with the people again in some far-off time and place. I treasure those moments–the chance or planned meetings of people that I have loved and had to leave behind.
For now I have to get underway before the day fades. I want to be well offshore before I lose the light so that I can enjoy the dark and the stars rather than being nervous about unseen hazards. I will be sailing straight from here to Fort Jefferson in the Dry Tortugas–a straight-line distance of about 120 miles. The wind looks fair and light. It should be an uneventful passage.
I have no idea what adventures may await beyond the horizon and the excitement dulls the pain of leaving. What a strong mix of emotion! There is the fresh pull of leaving mixed heavily with the temptation to stay. It all leaves me feeling very alive even through the sadness.
I hope that I leave everyone’s lives a little better for having been a part of them. I know that mine is better for having shared moments with those around me.