No matter how often I see it, there is just something about watching a sunrise over the water. It’s opportunity. It’s a reset. It’s calming. It’s hope.
The first one I saw during a recent sojourn aboard a friend’s 50-footer came after a night of rain. The bright, orange orb crested over a seemingly infinite horizon, obliterating the night’s blackness and bursting through the leftover clouds. Radiant rays lit up the Atlantic with the sun’s version of the Yellow Brick Road, leading not to Oz but toward Portugal. If this sight doesn’t get you pumped for the day’s cruising, check your pulse.
We stayed dockside on days two and three to do boat maintenance, relax poolside and simply untether from technology. Each morning, I got up before the proverbial rooster, grabbed some java and headed to our marina’s exit, which offered a direct view out the inlet to the east. Like an express elevator, the sun rose quickly, dispatching the pre-dawn chill that is omnipresent around the waterfront.
“The bright, orange orb crested over a seemingly infinite horizon, obliterating The night’s blackness.”
We followed that “Yellow Brick Road” on days four, five and six, heading offshore in search of some fishing fun. In the early morning light, acres of flying fish skirted along, just above the sea’s surface. A group of pilot whales glided lazily around the boat, as if swimming in slow motion. Two molas moved with the current, seemingly too sleepy to keep their dorsal fins vertical; for some reason, those odd-looking ocean sunfish always make me smile. Pods of porpoises raced past us as the sun cleared the horizon and turned from fiery red to a more modest eggs-over-easy yellow.
Call it luck. Call it serendipity, but we found some fish, and two of our three days in the deep were slick calm.
On day seven, it was time for our 150-mile run back to reality. The sky was black, and the rain was heavy and steady. There was a lightning bolt here, a lightning bolt there. It wasn’t what one would call optimum conditions for on-the-water travel, but as we headed east out of the inlet and made our left turn north, I looked to starboard. Beyond the squall line, the clouds were thinning. And in the distance, I caught a glimpse of light piercing through them. You see, the sunrise is always there, if you’re willing to look for it.