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The Glory of a Sunrise

a sunrise

I was busy in the engine room when an orange glow outside the port hole caught my attention.


A scattered layer of clouds promised one of unusual intensity, so I downed my tools, cleaned off my hands and climbed the ladder to the deck. Walking up the side deck toward the pilot house to grab my camera, I couldn’t realize the full splendor of the rising sun until I rounded the front of the cabin and the whole sky was revealed.

Mackerel-scaled clouds glowed with an incandescent intensity, and the ocean reflected them along a trail of burning light that ran from the horizon to the sea at my feet. The instant that the sun broke the horizon’s plane, I felt its warmth upon my face. Closing my eyes, I could now feel the rising sun. The condensation gathered from the coolness of the night soon steamed off of varnished railings and wooden decks and disappeared into the desert’s dryness, perhaps to rise and coalesce into tomorrow’s morning clouds. There was time now to sit down to watch the day’s approach.

The sounds of breakfast being prepared in the galley, guests arriving on deck, gasping at the beauty of the morning, the growing dawn chorus of magnificent frigate birds, gulls and osprey all added to the symphony of the day.

Soon the table would need to be set for breakfast, and conversation would replace quiet contemplation. The coolness of the morning would build to a pleasant intensity that will have us looking for our hats and sunglasses, but for another few minutes we spoke in whispers and stood side by side, just watching the sun rise and the clouds kaleidoscope from one impressionistic scene to another.

The edges of the day in these small latitudes are quickly over. Wait to get your coffee before heading out to watch and you might miss the whole thing. Look away, and the scene changes, sometimes to something even more glorious, and sometimes to either the white light of morning of the star-holed darkness of the desert night.

Every day there are moments like this. It may be the sunrise, crossing courses with a pod of vigorous common dolphins, seeing the 30’ high blow from a huge blue whale, or noticing the rich diversity in what you may have thought would be a sterile desert landscape.

There is more here than you thought, and the opportunities for having your breath taken and mind expanded are legion. Step beyond the comfort and safety of your high-speed, crowded and busy life, and spend a week or two re-learning to be amazed. It may be the best investment you’ve ever made.