An audio and video podcast of my trip hitchhiking around the world by sea.
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Comets in the Harbor

When you are four years old, nothing is more stimulating than lights. Fireworks on the 4th. Parading the streets in the VW bus during Christmas. Being hypnotized by every emergency vehicle that roars by. So when you’re sitting on the your grandparents’ front porch, in the soupy southern air and the world starts to blink you couldn’t be happier. That is until you learn the lights are coming bugs! Lightning bugs. Can you imagine? The two most fascinating things in life rolled into one: lights and bugs.

Then those 4 year old wheels start turning. I might have been young, but I knew I was genius when I discovered the firefly lantern- shoving as many lightening bugs as my devious hands could catch into one of my grandmother’s mason jars and bumping through the house like a snot nosed Lewis and Clark. It was only a matter of time before I innocently discovered that the magic glow juice in these little creatures can be used to draw happy faces on one’s prestained t-shirt. Life was good.

I’m still fascinated by the phenomenon. Which is why I was instantly intrigued when I learned of phosphoresents. My whole life I had heard rumors of the water lighting up when you stirred it. Some sort of algae that creates light. I finally experienced it when I did my first night dive in Koh Phi Phi, Thailand. The water would literally sparkle as it rushed through your fingers. I saw it again in the Mediterranean waters of Cinque Terra (Italy) when a couple friends and I braved a late night swim.

But I’ve never in my life seen anything like the waters in Luperon. The Luperon harbor is surrounded by mangroves. And the water is as thick and cloudy in the day as at night. But at night something happens. One night standing on the bow I noticed the water was sparkling slightly but with not source to reflect. “Phosphoresents?” I thought and grabbed the anchor chain. As soon as I tugged a glowing line descended into the darkness.

Immediately, Dan and I climbed into the dinghy and started doing circles around the boat. We cruised like rock stars through the bay. The bottom our ding glowing like it was supped with neon lights ready for the next episode of “Pimp My Dinghy”. I just stared in the water awestruck when Dan noticed something. Occasionally, a line would streak through the water, shooting away from the boat. Fish.

You always dream of having superpowers, and while night vision doesn’t really compete with flight or invisibility, after tonight I’ve got a newfound respect. Anytime our boat approached a fish, the water would light up with streaks like comets zig-zagging through the water. It is without a doubt one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen. Rivaling those youthful nights on Grandma Turner’s porch.

Now every night, as I brush my teeth preparing for bed, I stand on deck and watch for shooting stars. Not the ones in the sky. The ones in the water.


1 David { 02.12.08 at 11:24 am }

[this is good]

2 Hannah { 02.13.08 at 4:04 pm }

Hey guys! We just thought we’d check up on your travels, see how you two are doing! We are all safe and at home, and wish you guys the best of luck wherever you go next! It was awesome to meet you guys!

3 Steff { 02.15.08 at 12:51 pm }

That is amazing. It sounds like a crazy dream!

4 Kathy "O" { 02.21.08 at 1:57 pm }

I have your next career picked out for you! Photojournalist. What do you think sweet cheeks? Your a natural.

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