"As idle as a painted ship upon a painted ocean"


Preliminary post on the Dry Tortugas.

Just returned and rocking, endlessy rocking, compensating for ship motion. It's amazing what six hours on a boat will do to you--even if they are spread across two three-hour spaces. I haven't had time to absorb the trip yet, but suffice to say that it is paradise within paradise. If the Keys are wonderful and beautiful, the Dry Tortugas are that and more as there are far fewer people--flying fish, parrot fish, tarpons, dolphins, sea-turtles, frigate birds and boobies--but only the people who arrived on the boat.

We did not opt to camp out and I now think that might have been a mistake. I think about seeing the Milky Way from the middle of the Gulf of Mexico--Okay not the middle, but well nigh the last little spot of land east of the Yucatan.

And the sea is turquoise--perfect turquoise--the water still slightly turbid from the churning Dennis gave them, the silt and clay still settling, but not dense enough to both the local life.

And the fort itself--the prisonhouse of Dr. Samuel A. Mudd--one of those accused in the "conspiracy" to assassinate Lincoln. Tried and convicted during a suspension of proper legal procedings that passed for law at the time. Pardoned upon helping the garrison when a Yellow Fever Epidemic broke out.

The shopkeeper there was a volunteer. He said that he worked a thirty day shift and lived on the Island during the time. What an opportunity! I'd love to do something like that. Every night the moon, the stars, the dolphin, and the sea=turtles. All of nature cries out to God in praise, and the cries are the loudest I have ever heard in this subtropical haven. (Yes, not heaven).

I'll think about this some more and hopefull come up with something better to say. But don't count on it because words fail in the face of such glorious beauty and majresty. I will try regardless.

Tomorrow leaving Key West, which I have come to love. I wouldn't be able to live here--there is a weirdness here that is merely trying and tired--there is an attempt at energy and night-life that is merely dissolute. There are boutiques and shops that do business as though one were in a third-world country.

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on July 13, 2005 7:25 PM.

Key West was the previous entry in this blog.

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