I've always felt empowered by the ocean, and by the sun. They're the source of life, and joy. When I feel sick, I soak up some rays. I can feel the sun penetrate my body and drive out the "evil spirits."
Water is my favorite toy. I've often said that if God never got around to creating dry land, I would not complain. I could be a very happy sea creature, eating other sea creatures. While I enjoy steaks, ribs and burgers, I could thrive on clams, shrimp and lobsters.
Floating is just plain magic. Swimming underwater is close to flying. (Astronauts train in big tanks with diving gear and I've SCUBA-dived under ice.) When I'm under water I can move left, right, forward, reverse, up or down. Gravity becomes irrelevant.
Even up on the surface, ocean equals freedom. If I had the strength and supplies, I could quickly go from my house in Connecticut to the beach of Long Island Sound which connects to the Atlantic Ocean, and swim to Brazil, Spain or Japan. No highways or airports are necessary to see the world.
If I chose to hollow out a tree and carve oars or weave a sail, my trans-ocean voyage would be more likely to succeed. Ocean equals freedom, and life.
There is no denying the damage that oceans can cause. Many swimmers drown close to beaches even in calm water. Homes and businesses are destroyed by monstrous tidal waves.
Most people rightfully fear announcements of "Small Craft Advisory"—but not me. I translate that warning into "Surf's Up, Dude."
Sometimes I'll just stand in about five feet of water and let the incoming waves pick me up and deposit me somewhere else. A greater thrill is to lie on my back and be rocked and rolled by huge waves. I become my own boat or surf board. It's a cheap thrill.
One time I was lying on my back about a quarter-mile off the Fort Lauderdale beach. My eyes we closed and I was loving my wet life. Suddenly I heard a loud sound. I opened my eyes and saw a brightly colored Coast Guard helicopter above me.
An amplified voice asked me if I was OK. I gave a thumb-up sign and smiled.
The voice said that the waves were very dangerous and I should get closer to shore. I was then asked if I needed help and this caused a dilemma. It would have been super-cool to be hoisted up in a basket and then have a copter ride to shore. But I did not want to seem pathetic at the end of the rescue, so I started back-stroking to return to the North American Continent.
I had a wonderful day and never felt in danger for even a moment. I later read that I was apparently the only one in the water betwen Daytona Beach and Key West.