Friday, June 19, 2015


Imagine that you are on a sailboat at night. The seas are rolling, but not too roughly, the wind is blowing, but not too strongly, and rain is falling, but not too harshly. The sky is overcast so there are no stars to navigate by nor moonlight to illuminate your surroundings. The only light that you can see is the dim glow of a few instruments in the cockpit and a steady stream of tiny, white-blue flashes of light cast by bio-luminescent sea life in your wake.

Gradually, the wind shifts and lessens and shortly thereafter a thick fog besets your vessel. This fog, aside from reducing your visibility, has the singular effect of blurring the horizon as it blends in with the clouds overhead. Instead of a clean transition from sea to sky, it now appears as if the water you are sailing on is gradually evaporating and encompassing you. For all you know, the world beyond the several hundred yards that you can see has ceased to exist.

No horizon.

No sky.

No land.

Just a dark sphere of water and vapor punctuated by brief flashes of light.

The effect is not frightening. On the contrary, it is rather calming. Your entire focus is centered on you immediate proximity. No thoughts of work, nor home, nor missed loved ones. Your only thoughts are of sailing your vessel and keeping to your course.

It is surreal.

If you can picture this in your imagination, then you have a pretty good idea of what I was experiencing at roughly 2AM on Saturday, June 13th, 2015 somewhere in the Gulf of Maine.

*I'd have asked you to close your eyes, but that would have made reading the rest of the post rather difficult....

1 comment:

  1. Great post.
    I was recently sailing at night. We'd had a rough afternoon but it was now pitch black with no wind. Suddenly there was a strange light on the horizon. I glanced at the depth sounder and for some unknown reason it was only reading 5m deep, I looked back at the horizon and the light appeared to be racing along it! I freaked out and woke my partner. He poked his head out of the companion way just as it became apparent that the light was the moon rising, and the depth sounder was back to normal too.
    Surreal alright.