December 16, 2008
The Southern Atlantic Ocean provides beautiful landscapes with the dark blue ocean, clouds reflecting sunlight, and the refraction of the sun's rays as it gently sets on the horizon. When all of these factors come together at sunset, an unbelievable backdrop for stunning photos is on display for all to enjoy. I have been out every evening so far on the cruise and have been awestruck by the incredible beauty Mother Nature offers us all. On a ship there is little entertainment, so this gives one time to ponder nature in all its glory. I often stop to hear the sounds of the crashing waves as they break against the hull of the REVELLE. Truly stunning and an experience that has put a thousand pictures in my minds eye that will last for decades I am sure.
The picture below was taken shortly before solar noon on a very nice day last week. The beautiful rainbow colors, of the cirrus clouds was even more vibrant in person. This phenomenon lasted for about 30 minutes and was caused by the refraction of light in ice crystals at very high altitude. The cirrus clouds are full of ice crystals and are known to help cause this rare sight. It is known as a circumhorizon arc (CHA) and they occur mostly in high latitude regions of the earth. We were fortunate to see one this day, we were a little further north of where they normally form. Those aboard the REVELLE consistently see beautiful images in the sky day after day.
Even a perfect day can change quickly. At 6:00 pm the sky was blue and full of sun and the temperature was near 75°F. The ship was heading south and hit a wall of fog, only five minutes later visibility was measured in feet. Still the work goes on as the crew awaits a CTD to return to the surface.
Questions of the day: