When the conditions are just right, you can see a green flash at sunset just as the last part of the sun disappears below the horizon. While it is possible to see the flash anywhere, conditions are best over the ocean on a pretty clear day. While I have often heard people talk about the phenomenon, I had never seen it myself until last night. Susan saw it from our veranda earlier in the trip, but my mother taught me never to look directly at the sun so it was too late by the time I looked. A photographer friend on the ship caught the earlier flash by taking multiple pictures automatically. The pictures are 0.2 seconds apart and the spot is yellow 0.2 seconds earlier and gone 0.2 seconds later. It truly is a flash! But I have crossed one more thing off my bucket list.
Today we visited Hamilton Island in the Whitsunday Islands. The Islands were discovered by Captain Cook and he named them thinking he discovered them on Whitsunday or Pentecost. However, he had not dealt with the International Date Line properly (possibly because it didn’t exist then); so it was really Whitmonday. Hamilton Island is a large luxury resort and we had free reign on the island for about four hours. Anyone who knows Susan knows that we spent that time at the beach and the pool. The air temperature was quite warm, but the ocean was delightfully refreshing. We also checked out the pool and it was even warmer than the pool on the ship. The beach outing was a nice change from touring big cities. The sail away was also beautiful with the sky and the ocean competing with each other to be the bluest. Since this is the first time Viking has been to a lot of these ports, they are getting a lot of beauty shots to use in their advertising. The helicopter circled our ship taking pictures as we sailed out of the harbor.The Whitsundays are along the Great Barrier Reef. Tomorrow we will be in Cairns, the primary entry point to the Reef. Since we have snorkeled there previously, we are going up into the mountains and rainforest.