Sailing at night is a magical experience. Starting with an ever changing and colorful sunset, with the rare green flash as a final goodbye from the sun. Soon the stars start to show themselves. Without the constant light pollution we often get on land, on a clear night the stars fill the sky and the milky way galaxy is clear to see.
The stars hold a special place for mariners giving us reference for navigation and filling us with wonder, it’s easy to see why the ancient mariners came up with the constellations we know today. Giving them life with stories to remember them by. The Orion constellation for instance has been our constant companion since leaving London, and provides a reference with which to find the other stars as we gradually learn the patterns in the sky.
Now having spent many hours looking at the night sky, I’m able to spot and name a whole range of stars I didn’t know before getting on board. Shooting stars are a continuing source of delight prompting the occasional cry of “That was a good one” ”Wow” and “Did you see that”. Add to this the odd night when the boat is pimped with its own down lighting from the phosphorescence in the water, providing us with a majestic sparkling wake, surprisingly just as some of the Disney films I watched growing up portrayed. When the moon is full it can light up the night providing enough illumination that you can see the different colours of the lines on the deck. And finally the sun rises as unique in every way as the sunset, that gradual predawn light that signifies the coming of a new day.