As we emerged out into the soft glow of an oncoming sunset, we rushed to pile into our rented Ford Focus. With garbage bags stuffed with cold Efes and cheap cigars, we cranked up the Jay-Z and headed for the shore.
During the previous week, countless drives down the stunning coastal road of northern Cyprus had given rise to an idea for an adventure. Sitting roughly a kilometer offshore was a giant piece of granite emerging from the water, battered by waves. Could there be a better place to enjoy a Mediterranean sunset?
Clambering over the rocks and down to the shore, we stripped off our shirts and shoes and began wading out into the surprisingly warm water. The sun, a glowing orange globe, cast its warm and extra terrestrial light on us as we dipped below the surface.
The slow methodical strokes of our front crawls brought us closer and closer to our final destination. As we neared the behemoth, tearing through the fabric of the water, we began to speed up. The waves crashed over and over like the beats of a metronome, driving us to our goal. As the sun met the horizon, we climbed on top of the rock and stared out across the great expanse of an open sea.
Dividing the beers and cigars among us, we sat in silence as the sunlight left our part of the world. Slowly, darkness crept into the night sky and with it thousands of sparkling stars. The whole nights sky was blanketed in light. As our eyes adjusted, the details that were lost with the sun began to reappear. After quite some time of enjoying the solitude and refreshments, we packed our things and dove one by one back into the warm waters.
Despite the awe-inspiring beauty of the first part of our adventure, the best was yet to come. As we moved through the black waters, we noticed the stars reflected below us. But unlike the stars in the sky, these stars swirled and bounced off one another. They were dancing for us. Bits of phosphorescence surrounded our bodies and left a trail behind each stroke of our arms and each kick of our legs.
Rolling onto our backs, we continued to swim through the water. With each movement, the dark water would explode with light. It became impossible to tell where the stars ended and the sea began.