It's a body of water with an aura that borders on the mythical, a force of nature renowned for its scope, range, and power. For sailors, crossing it for the first time is a rite of passage and a nautical milestone as significant as making a first-ever landfall or rounding a prominent cape. The Gulf Stream is a wonder of our watery world, and over the years, it's inspired great thinkers to conjure vast, inspirational thoughts. That said, as I know from experience, a transit of it?depending on the weather and the ever-changing conditions?can be a glimpse of heaven. Or, of course, a side trip to hell.