The magnificent nature

During my voyages at sea I had the privilege of watching sunrises and sunsets over three Oceans and many big and small seas on both sides of the Equator. I know that for many people the sun always sets down in the same way and in the same place (with small changes due the seasons) but sunset is always different at sea. The more clouds are involved in the event, the more beautiful the picture is and if the luck brings some more ‘characters’ in the scene the whole show gets an amazing touch of surreal as if it was painted by the brush of a divine artist.

From all the sunsets I witnessed until now I prefer those which happen exactly in front of the vessel, offering me the possibility of including the forward part of the ship in the picture. For this reason, the ship must certainly go west and ‘sail into the sunset’. I also prefer those sunsets which take place over a clouded sky because the clouds offer a large display of colours, forms and shadows, enriching the picture. I like watching this kind of sky even long after the sun disappears under the horizon because its colours change every minute for at least half an hour before everything turns into black.

Sailing into the Sunset Atlantic OceanSailing into the sunset, Atlantic Ocean

San Antonio (3)Sunset approaching San Antonio Este, Argentina

IFSunset approaching Alexandria, Egypt

Sunsets are always amazing at sea, but they are very beautiful inside the ports, too, projected on the huge cranes or reflected on the buildings along the pier. No matter from which side you watch it, the sunset will always bring you joy and sometimes, it  may leave you completely speechless because, after all, nature is the greatest painter and artist of all.

Sunset in the port of AnversSunset in the Port of Anvers, Belgium

Sunset over the port of SingaporeSunset in the Port of Singapore

Sunsets in Port ElizabethNey JerseySunset in Port Elizabeth, New Jersey

Waking up in the morning to watch the sunrise is quite a big challenge for me and every voyage I try to witness at least two or three moments like this. If entering the port (or departure) takes place at the same time as the sun rises, it might be a good reason for me to make the effort and wake up in time because I always like to watch the maneuver. So, catching both moments can be a real joy. The sun always rises at the specified time and the view towards it will never be blocked by any building or mountain because it will always appear on the horizon and start its climbing on the sky. It can sometimes be covered by clouds, but if the blanket is not too thick, the rays of light will make their way through and offer a splendid display of colours and shadows.

Sunrise Charleston (2)Sunrise in the Port of Charleston, USA

sunrise Charleston (3)– Sunrise in the Port of Charleston, USA –

Sunrise Charleston– Sunrise in the Port of Charleston, USA –

Sunrise in VeracruzSunrise in the Port of Veracruz, Mexico

IFSunset over the Port of Alexandria, Egypt

Anyhow, after watching hundreds of sunsets and only tens of sunrises, I have to say that I prefer the sunsets because I find the whole event more interesting and colourful.

Sunset and rolling in South Atlantic OceanSunset and rolling in South Atlantic Ocean

Sunset approaching Puerto Madryn ArgentinaSunset approaching Puerto Madyn, Argentina

Sunset approaching VeracruzSunset approaching Veracruz, Mexico

IFSunset approaching Koper, Slovenia

Sunset in the Atlantic Ocean (2)Sunset in the Atlantic Ocean

Sunset in the Gulf of Mexico (2)Sunset in the Gulf of Mexico

Sunset in the Mediterannean Sea departure TangerSunset in the Strait of Gibraltar

Sunset on Mass River approaching RotterdamSunset on the River Maas, Roterdam

Sunset approaching Hong KongSunset approaching Hong Kong

Sunset alongside in Puerto Madryn Argentina– Sunset in Puerto Madryn Madryn, Argentina

During daylight, I also enjoy watching different kinds of clouds covering the sky and their changing forms every hour or so. The most interesting part of ‘cloud watching’ is trying to make a weather forecast for the next 24 hours which proves very accurate most of the time. I always make connections, when trying to remember things that I read in specialized magazines or books and the relation between poems and real happening events seams very adequate. Rimes like ‘red in the night, sailor’s delight, red in the morning, sailor’s warning’ or ‘ when the clouds look like rock and towers, the earth will be scattered by frequent showers’ are often coming into my mind and noticing the shapes of clouds is always a very fun activity.

If rainy clouds are gathering on the sky, I never run for shelter before having the chance of taking some photos. A little rain can never ruin the day, but can bring a lot of colour and all kinds of interesting shapes like clouds scattered around the vastness of the sky. A little rain here, another rain there – the sky will be dotted with rains which will appear like being planted there by the invisible hand of a powerful master.

IFRainy clouds in the Gulf of Mexico

Rain and sunset in Atlantic OceanRain in the Atlantic Ocean

Raining in the Gulf of Mexico (2)Raining in the Gulf of Mexico

Raining in the Gulf of Mexico (3)– Raining in the Gulf of Mexico –

Raining in the Gulf of Mexico– Raining in the Gulf of Mexico –

Raining under way to FosRaining in the Mediterranean Sea

Sunrise and rain CharlestonSunrise and rain near Charleston, USA

And the rainbow may come to complete the masterpiece.

Rainbow in DavaoRainbow in Davao, Philippines

Rainbow in the Atlantic OceanRainbow in the Atlantic Ocean

After spending some time admiring the sky, I find the sea even more interesting and I like to take notes about it every day. The sea can change its appearance from one day to another (sometimes even more frequent than that) and during my voyages I had the luck of experiencing very calm, calm, moderate and rough waters. I hope I will never get the chance of witnessing very rough seas and the 9 meter waves I experienced this February (while approaching New York) should forever remain the highest.

My favourite kind of sea is the one state zero (or even one) when there are no wrinkles on its surface and I can look more than 30 meters down for any sign of life. Most of the time, my efforts are paid off and I often have the privilege of spotting interesting creatures swimming beneath us.

Calm seas - Atlantic OceanCalm seas, Atlantic Ocean

Mirror like sea in the Gulf of MexicoCalm Seas in the Gulf of Mexico

Clouds reflecting on calm the calm sea - Gulh of Mexico

I always like to admire the sea when it gets agitated and the waves are climbing up to 2-3 meters, even up to 5-6 meters. Mountains of tiny drops of water are splashing everywhere and the white foam is growing bigger and bigger, almost dancing around in circles.

A little rolling on 3-4 meter wavesA little rolling in the Atlantic Ocean

IMG_6951More rolling in the Mediterranean Sea

Rough SeaMore rolling in the Atlantic Ocean

As I am a big fan of calm and moderate seas, I do not like to watch the nervous Ocean when it reaches states higher than 7 and, even if I watch it for a few seconds, I will never use my camera to catch the moment. For this reason, there is no photo to prove that I actually witnessed the Ocean getting very rough (state 9) as I only like to forget those moments and never to experience again.

Watching the sky at night can also be a very fun and interesting activity, especially for those passionate about astronomy. You can test your knowledge and try to find the star you know in the conglomerate of millions other lights, discover a planet, a satellite or just admiring the immensity above you. Taking photos of the sky by night is impossible with normal equipment and even taking photos of the moon can prove a little difficult because the permanent shaking of the floor (due to the running engine).

The sea and the sky can offer you enough reasons to embark in a wonderful voyage and, even if you are not a nature lover, your perspective can change after only a few days spent on a vessel, surrounded by water. You may come to love the sea more than anything else and realize how lucky you are to enjoy such a wonderful and exciting trip. All you have to do is keep your eyes wide open all the time and let your soul be embraced by the beauty of the nature.


One Response to The magnificent nature

  1. Lena says:

    great article! amazing photos! our world is gorgeous!

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