Heavenly Bodies

This weekend has been made slightly more dramatic by spring tides, the very low and very high ones caused by full moons and new moons.

This new moon has brought not only extraordinary seas beneath us but awe-inspiring skies over our heads.

As the light disappeared over Port Neville, Venus appeared. I’ve never seen Venus look like this! Solidly round. Like a silver dollar. Or a mirror, clearly not burning, but reflecting.

After a simple bowl of the stew I’d made ahead while Jack was doing the route planning, I grabbed a sleeping bag and settled down for a night on deck. I figured I’d keep an eye on the anchor and the stars at the same time. What a show! The stars blazed down to the black horizon all around. In their midst was the Milky Way, really milky, with an infinite depth, a third dimension of stars I’d never ever seen that way.

There’s no electricity here. No generators. The soft light of lamps in the only two cottages for miles and miles had long been extinguished. So I was puzzled when I opened my eyes to check on the transit of Venus and the stars and found them dimmed by what appeared to be ambient light. So I pulled my weary body up on an elbow and had a look around. There miles away in the middle of Johnstone Strait a southbound cruise ship glowed like a gaudy toy.


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