I’m uncertain how many days I have spent at sea. I am uncertain how many sunsets and sunrises I have seen far from shore. But I have still not seen the green flash.
Yes, the same green flash in that Pirates of the Caribbean movie. It is real – however, decidedly different from the movie version, as most things are.
The green flash is an optical phenomenon that happens when the atmospheric conditions are absolutely perfect. I’ve always wanted to see it happen. So… I go watch a lot of sunsets when the view is unobscured. This view is far from unobscured, but it was a nice evening nevertheless.
There’s something about the transition between day and night that has captivated people throughout history. Some groups actually make the end of the day the end of the sunlight, which means that the “next day” begins when it is finally dark.
And, though I’ve spent so many days and nights at sea, there is still an uncomfortable time as the sun goes down that I always wish I was somewhere nice and safe and cozy. Far from shore in constant motion is rarely nice, it is only as safe as the next uncertain broken part, and definitely not cozy.
It is nice, though, to make a point of watching the sun fall beneath the horizon. It is a reminder, perhaps, that we do live on a planet, a ball, and that all the fancy parts of science and nature converge to make something slow and beautiful come to pass.
So, perhaps I feel like apologising for posting sunset pictures. I’m always harsh on my photography students for submitting oversaturated sunsets. But the thing that is a sunset or a sunrise is something to remember, something to revere, and something significant that brings to an end a busy day of hard work.