Every forest holds a secret.

Some secrets are mundane, or only important to a few people: a tree tattooed with a heart-shaped equation, a defaced rock scrawled with graffiti. Other secrets are expansive, crackling with immediate energy—like a forest trail newly discovered on an early morning run, fog lifting from its floor. Every forest holds a secret. Cumberland Island’s live oak trees seem to whisper such truths to me as I catch myself deep in thought, staring up into the tree’s web-like canopy of dense, twisted, Spanish moss–covered limbs that reach for the overcast sky as the path winds its way to the beach.

How did we get here, here in this wood? It’s easy to forget that we had come by way of Capt. Bill Pike’s lovingly restored Cape Dory 28 Flybridge and

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