Tag Archives: After Dark

Hawi Christmas lights

This week’s Sunday Stills challenge theme is ‘Holiday Decor.’ See more offerings here.

This theme forced me outside after dark, something of a rarity these days. As usual, when I walked into Hawi, I thought, ‘I should do this more often.’

Here are a couple of the downtown buildings illuminated for the season. In truth, this was pretty much it for holiday trappings, but it’s still a good deal more than at my house!

Also posted, belatedly, in response to the last Friendly Friday challenge theme of 2019, ‘Christmas Preparations.’ See more responses here.

Early morning light

This week’s Friendly Friday challenge theme is ‘Illumination.’ (See more responses here.) I plumped for this image for the early morning light and for the two house lights, nicely positioned above the illumination of the passing car’s lights, as though they are somehow all connected.

Tug and barge lights

tug and barge lights

tug with starboard light showingOnce upon a time, I used to know the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea, also known as the rules of the road for shipping. Like those for automobiles, the rules are designed to keep traffic flowing safely. They govern such things as which vessel has the right of way, what sounds signals they should make, and what lights they should show.

Most of that knowledge has faded from my memory, like a ship into a fog bank, but every so often something brings bits back into view. These photos illustrate one such event.

At night, ships and small boats display lights, the idea being that people on other vessels will be able to identify those lights, interpret what they’re looking at, and avoid running into them. In the top photo, the red lights on the tug and barge indicate that’s the port (left) side of the vessel. In the second photo, the green light indicates that’s the starboard (right) side of the vessel. Seeing these lights and how they move in relation to your own position gives a good indication of how close the other vessel will pass. For example, is you can see both the red and green lights, that means the vessels is coming directly towards you and the likelihood of a collision is high. In this case one or both vessels should change course.

As an aside here, I was on the bridge of an oil tanker in the Strait of Malacca, near Singapore, when a ship traveling in the opposite direction suddenly turned 90°, heading directly across our path. This occurred during the day, so the correct action for our ship was to sound the horn for five short blasts, which is the nautical way of expressing ‘What the *&%# are you doing?’ The officer on the bridge duly pounded the horn button to send this message, except that after three short blasts it wheezed into silence (it was an older ship). Three short blasts mean ‘my engines are going astern,’ which was the exact opposite of what was actually going on. About three seconds later, the captain shot through the door and wanted to know why the hell we were going in reverse. We all lived through the experience, but I’m never surprised when ships collide or run aground; there are a lot of factors involved.

Back to the photos and what prompted this post. On the tug’s mast are three white lights. That means it’s a power-driven vessel engaged in towing – it’s a tug after all – but, and I remembered this, the three lights mean the length of the tow is greater than 200 meters. Granted, in the photo, the length of the tow is less than 200 meters, but that’s because they’re arriving in port and the barge has, deliberately, been allowed to ease up close to the tug, prior to maneuvering it alongside the jetty.

Having unburdened myself, I can now slip the lines on that pearl of nautical wisdom and let it drift back out into the gigantic, floating garbage patch that is my memory.

Super blood wolf moon

blood moon over hawi

blood moonThe recent lunar eclipse occurred last Sunday evening here in Hawaii. When the moon rose at 6:02 p.m. (five minutes before sunset) the eclipse was already well underway. Where I was watching, the sky was hazy so the moon wasn’t very clear. It then disappeared into a bank of clouds and I considered heading for home. But the cloud bank wasn’t huge and was drifting away from the area I was watching.

Sure enough, a little before 7 p.m., the now fully-eclipsed moon slid above the clouds into a beautiful starlit night. I took some photos where I’d set up, down by the coast, and then headed into Hawi to see what it looked like there.

Above is a view from downtown Hawi (not exactly hopping at 7:20 on Sunday night). The second photo is the moon soon after it rose above the clouds before the sky was fully dark. Below is the night sky with the moon in the bottom left and Orion at the top right.

Why the grand name for this eclipse? The moon was closer to the Earth than normal so it seemed bigger and brighter than usual, which is known as a supermoon. Because this was a total eclipse it gave the moon a red tint, which is known as a blood moon. And January’s full moon is sometimes called a wolf moon. Voila – a super blood wolf moon.

Posted in response to this week’s Sunday Stills challenge on the theme of ‘Night,’ (See more responses here.) and this week’s Friendly Friday challenge on the theme of ‘Coral-ish colors.’ (See more responses here.)

blood moon and orion

Lunar eclipse

A lunar eclipse over Hawaii

A photo of yesterday’s lunar eclipse, at least it was yesterday here. This was taken at 3 a.m.. I almost missed it. When my alarm went off I looked out of the window and thought, ‘There’s not much moonlight; it must be cloudy.’ Then I thought, ‘Wait a minute….’

Full moon

Here’s another instance of me making posts based on the theme of this week’s WordPress Photo Challenge, which is ‘Silence.’

First up is this shot of a full moon. For me, the night sky always seems silent. What goes on up there is rarely accompanied by any sound that we hear (the recent Michigan meteor notwithstanding). And this was a calm evening with clouds just drifting by, so not even the sound of the wind to disturb things.