Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Navigating by Starlight

Port Royal Sound to Fernandina Beach, FL
December 2‒3

Our first trip offshore took us from Port Royal Sound, north of Hilton Head, to Fernandina Beach, Florida—an easy overnight run. For the previous couple weeks, chilly winds persistently blew from the northeast, which would have provided good sailing on this leg of the journey. By the time we were ready to leave, though, winds had switched to light and southerly. We weren’t able to sail but had a very comfortable ride. It was one of those trade-offs.

Well out to sea, the rose-gold disk of the sun painted the clouds periwinkle and slid out of sight, splashing farewell shimmers of purple and gold across the rippled water. Clouds closed in, the world turned indigo, and we were alone, not another boat in sight. Feeling so tiny in an immense world fostered a holy sense of awe, reminding us we were not alone at all.

Pelican sashayed across gently rolling swells, making steady progress in light headwinds. We bundled up and traded watches through the night. On one of my watches, I leaned out from the cockpit to see if there were any stars, and the dazzling display took my breath away. “Oh,” I gasped, “it’s beautiful, Lord! You’re amazing.” Fifteen miles from shore, with a new moon and no reflected light, an unimaginable number of stars filled the sky. They were brilliant! And behind the stars, held in reserve, was another field of distant stars—tiny pinpricks of light tossed into the universe in swirls. I was wonderstruck! I’d never seen anything like it. It made my soul soar, navigating by starlight.

In this season of Advent, I thought of another star, singularly brilliant, and of other travelers navigating by starlight—not knowing what they would find but convinced the journey was worth everything. I want to travel with them, to keep following the star’s light to God-with-us, the true Wonder of all.
The heavens are telling the glory of God;
they are a marvelous display of his craftsmanship.
Day and night they keep on telling about God.
Without a sound or word, silent in the skies,
their message reaches out to all the world.
Psalm 19:1-3 tlb


  1. You tell it so beautifully, thanks. Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

  2. Oh, yes, this is wonderful and God so worthy of our praise! Glad you're having such a good sail. ~Denise