- I’d say it was more of a glow than a “flash”, actually. If you’ve never heard of this flashing business, let me enlighten (geeky pun intended). There’s something called the “green flash” which is an optical phenomenon that occurs at the tail end of a sunset just as the sun slips below the horizon. Supposedly it can be seen in a variety of conditions and altitudes (even inland over mountains) but here we often have the ideal conditions.
Since watching the sunset is a daily activity, this was very special for us. Paul was lucky enough to witness it on our ASA course in Bimini (Bahamas) in 2014. That time I missed it. But at least he and our charming captain shared a romantic moment, they both saw it as I squinting, stared daftly into the sky. Although I was looking at the same sunset I was focused on the the wrong spot, too high in the sky and not close enough to the horizon, where the ocean and sky meet. You need to watch the top curve of the sun as it slips just below the sea’s curved horizon and its glow changes color from oranges, yellows, reds… the final color before it slips away turns/flashes/glows a lime green. Though we both agreed this first shared flash was a sort of glow rather than a “flash” it was quite special since we saw it together for the first time!
After weeks of sailing with Daniel and Jason and the nightly debate and comedic bantering over whether or not we’d see the flash that evening, making deductions based on our observations of the conditions, we were always left disappointed since we had too much cloud cover to get a glimpse. That doesn’t mean we weren’t able to enjoy 2.5 weeks of amazing sunsets, each a uniquely breathtaking spectacle of Mother Nature, images of which our blog surely has no shortage of. No green flashes that trip but we were never left disappointed and remained eternally optimistic that “next time” we’d surely see it. Duly noted: the conditions have to be just right and you have to be looking at the correct spot on the horizon or you could miss it. You need a nice clear sky to see it best, no (or few) clouds on the horizon as the sun descends, is ideal. One good sign seems to be when the sun looks like it’s melting in the ocean as it goes. Here’s wishing you luck in your green flash spotting.