Riff on a sunset

121416-raro-and-tahiti 

Lat 25.24 Long 159.51 Wind NE 5-10 knots Waves SW 1.5 metres Cloud 100% Baro 1013
Distance in last 24 hrs: 98 nm  Range to Rarotonga: 250 nm

Day 18 December 14, 2016

Lovely cool morning here. The sky is filled with change. A very large bank of grey cloud with a ragged front is sliding over from the north east. The sea has just a ruffle of a breeze showing from the east over long rolling swells from both the South West and the East. We’ve had Perkins pushing us along since midnight when, for the very first time there was not a breath of wind. I took all sail down and after drinking up the beauty in the moonlit sky for half an hour, went back to sleep with Perkins snoring beside me. There is just a bit too much swell and not enough wind yet to hoist any sail but it does look from the clouds moving in that we will get wind soon enough from the East.

Last night I witnessed the most spectacular sunset. It was not one of those classic radiating blazes although that element was there. It was the illumination of so many layers of clouds over the entire evening sky from one horizon to the next and one encore after another of those ever changing pastel blues, brilliant reds and flamingo pinks. It didn’t matter where I looked there was a event of galactic proportions as if on an IMAX screen. It started with the billowy clouds on the edge of the opposite horizon which early on showed faint hints of shadow ever darkening underneath them, the blue sky around them fading lighter and lighter.

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As the sun sank into the ocean behind, it revealed the dying moments and molten bright red blazed at the edges and a molten silver flame shot out right at the oceans edge. The high sky above this regular sunset event was still very bright robin’s egg blue. It was the texture and variety and the clarity of the high cloud that was so dramatic, bright white against brilliant pale blue. There were long wispy clouds that stretched in over the northern sky and overlapping those in the western sky just above us were paddocks of soft cotton batten balls all very close together. Then in the southern sky high and overlapping the cotton were jagged thin edged bright white wispy streaks. All these sat in a very bright soft blue sky light. Mean while back behind us, opposite the dying sun in the eastern sky was a large foreboding swirling Tsunami of a wave cloud starting to turn a soft pastel red. It was as if in slow motion all these clouds which were moving in different directions over lapping each other crossed the stage while all their sunset pastel colours grew more faint but so very crisp showing all the detail of the thin cloud edges.

I was overcome by what was unfolding before me. Everywhere I looked in the sky, a beautiful scene was taking place. It went on and on, and eventually after a half hour show, a bright star appeared as if to draw the curtain down and signal the coming of the night. I was spellbound.

My description could never come close to explaining what I saw and experienced in the sky last night but hopefully I did it some justice.

Comments

  1. Greg Miller says:

    Vicariously captivating Glenn, thank you for taking the time to describe these amazing experiences

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