Sunday, March 31, 2013

Easter Sunrise Service at Sombrero Beach

     The unfamiliar sound of the alarm rang at 5:00 AM this morning. It was quite a shock to both of us after spending nearly three laid back months in the Florida Keys and waking up most mornings at 8:30 just in time for the SSB Cruisheimer's net. Yesterday, I met my friend Nancy from SV Flying Dogs in the project room at the marina. She asked if Joe and I would like to join the dinghy flotilla that planned to head out at 6:15 AM for the Easter Sunday Sunrise Service at Sombrero Beach. Pastor Keith from the Assembly of God New Life Church would officiate the celebration. It sounded like something we'd enjoy.

Sunrise at Sombrero Beach
     Of course when the alarm rang it was still dark with nearly a full moon. While making coffee Joe said, "Why do plans like these always seem like better idea in the daylight?" We'd made plans with Nancy and the crew on a neighboring boat SV It'll Be Alright to meet at their boat in our dinghy at 6:15 AM. It was dark, an hour before sunrise, but the moon was shining brightly in the western sky offering just enough visibility to negotiate the mangrove lined channel toward Sister Creek. It would take twenty minutes to dinghy out of the harbor by way of the creek to Sombrero Beach.

     Music wafted over the dunes as we neared the shallow stretch of beach where the dinghies landed. A crowd had already gathered at the beach. The band played a mixture of Christian and Gospel songs with strains of bluegrass interspersed. Palm tree branches seemed to sway to the rhythms of the tunes while pelicans and seagulls made their first flights after roosting overnight in the nearby mangroves.

     The down to earth pastor reminded us all of our blessings on this day as we were all invited to take communion and celebrate our gift of life. It was our first Easter sunrise service and I can't imagine a better setting than overlooking the Atlantic Ocean on Easter Sunday morning on Sombrero Beach in the Florida Keys.


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