Ghost dolphins at the bow…overnight passages.

We are now safely in the Bahamas! Travis is napping after our all-night passage, Rachel is fishing off the dock with a newfound friend, and Shad is impatiently waiting for his dad to wake up and return to customs to get him a spear fishing license. I am showered and finally feeling awake after a lovely chat with the Mom of Rachel’s new friend.

We have had two overnight passages – a new thing for us. We were excited and apprehensive as we set out the first evening (to Key West from Marco Island). The first half of the night was amazing. As soon as it got dark we could see phosphorescence in the water. Soon after, at least 10 dolphins approached our boat and swam just in front of our bow for a long time. We couldn’t actually see the dolphins, but as they swam and played, they were perfectly outlined by a silvery blue glow from the phosphorescence. I think it may have been one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen! Added to all this, was a sky filled with stars.

After midnight, it became more difficult to maintain the feelings of awe and wonder! I found myself counting the minutes until my shift at the helm was done. Because the winds were light, we motored the whole night…and it was hard to sleep in the noisy, vibrating, diesel-scented cabin. By morning, I was very relieved to arrive in Key West, turn off the engine and crawl into bed for the morning.

I wasn’t excited to repeat the process last night…But the only way to arrive in Bimini during daylight is to make at least some of the passage at night. So, we left Islamorada, Florida at 4:00 pm yesterday. I slept a bit early in the evening, and then took the 10 pm to 1 am shift. This time I pulled out my headphones and listened to music as I kept watch and kept us on course. It made an incredible difference. I was listening to songs selected for us by Diana…many of which had lyrics pondering God’s great love for us, the majesty of his creation and his constant guiding presence. I felt my soul swell with love and gratitude – beautiful stars spread out endlessly above and over 2000 feet of water supporting us below. A song by Gungor contained the lament “How long must we wait” and as I gazed up at the sky and echoed this – “we love you so much – Why don’t you come for us?” – it felt like the heavens shouted back “I love you more!” How wonderful to know that my life, our destiny, lies in the hands of one who loves us so much more than we can ever love him!

So, it was a much different passage, my deep sense of God’s presence calming me as I tried to discern in the darkness how close approaching ships were (i.e. how close we were to death!).

We are very happy to be in the Bahamas. It is warm, sunny and the water is so clear, even in our marina, that we are seeing all kinds of sea life already. Once Travis wakes up it will be time to start exploring!

2 thoughts on “Ghost dolphins at the bow…overnight passages.

  1. Oh, this sounds so lovely, and I’ve been a bit achy for your family lately… I could just climb aboard! The phosphorescence is something I’ve never seen, but I imagine it dazzles like northern lights. In Winnipeg we’ve hit a nice deep freeze. I was at your house yesterday for games and Daisy and all the fish say ‘hi’ (you should have named Daisy ‘Hootie’). We brought a girl we had just met and she kept saying “who ARE these people that live here, and own this home???” I showed her your pictures on the wall. She thought you must be really special people, and extra special for the adventure you are on. Missing you LOTS.


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