The sailing ship swayed in the light surge, the two tall white masts carving circles in the night sky far over my head. I lay on beanbag chairs on the aft deck, awaiting moonrise off one of Indonesia’s magical 18,000 islands. The surrounding waters were bathtub warm, the evening breezes soothing on my lightly sunburned skin. We were moored off Komodo, where the last of the world’s living dinosaurs live.
In the waning light of early evening, I had the aft upper deck all to myself. The other passengers were below, having dinner and drinks. However, I didn’t want to miss the light show. Instead, I lay quietly under the blackening night sky. I had maybe an hour. All around me, drying laundry hung tightly pegged to the lines, lightly flapping in the evening breeze. Fish splashed nearby. The lines hummed and sang when the wind came up.
The previous night’s stunning tropical full moon had obliterated the entire lightplay of stars. I’d been awake at 3 am, sleeping up top, feeling the spume and the rocking of the boat as we moved to a new location. The moon left a Rhine River of liquid silver in our wake. I was dying to see the sky without her. She would rise, bright orange like a Halloween pumpkin, over the dark hulking silhouette of the island, and grow increasingly brighter as the night wore on.
The Real Night Sky
When I was very young, I lived a part of Central Florida which was mostly citrus groves. Our small farm was snugged between oranges and an Angus farm, with a lake to the east. I used to lie on our dock on summer evenings after thunderstorms to watch the stars come out. From that dock, we watched all the launches from Cape Kennedy that streaked towards the very night sky I studied. The stars, the moon, the nebulas.
Get far out into the desert. High into the mountains. Far out onto the ocean. Deep into the wilderness, where trees far taller than the rising mast reach for infinity, and there is your sky. Here, thanks to Sea Trek, I was reacquainting myself with my old friend.