I’ve had moments in my time at sea. Moments that just burn themselves into my brain. The kind of moment where everything felt all wrong and then magically everything feels right.
Sometimes it’s something I see, sometimes it’s someone I meet, sometimes it’s just a feeling. Sometimes I’m with shipmates and sometimes I’m alone.
Most times, I don’t share them. These moments are often times indescribable. No photo could possibly do it justice. Plus, sometimes these moments just feel too personal.
Yesterday, I had a moment. Except it wasn’t deeply personal, and it wasn’t super emotional and, I did capture it in a photo.
I’ve seen many rainbows in my life. I grew up in Hawaii and we have many, many sunny and rainy days. That being said, no one in Hawaii takes a rainbow in stride. We love them. I mean, who doesn’t love a rainbow right? In fact, I’ve seen many different kinds of rainbows. I’ve seen moonbows at night (not the kind that is a circle around the moon but an actual arc across the sky from the bright light of the moon) – thank you Waimea. I’ve seen white rainbows (this one is in the shape of a rainbow but is pure white) – thank you Mauna Kea. I love rainbows because they leave you feeling loved. They leave you feeling looked after. They leave you feeling like you live in a beautiful world.
As I stood my bridge watch yesterday I could see a bit of a squall up ahead. It was a mostly cloudy day and I could see the distinct line of rain on the horizon. The wind picked up and water droplets began to blow across the deck. Just then the sun came out from the clouds astern of us. A small rainbow developed on the horizon. Nothing major – just a bit of color.
Before I knew it a full rainbow had formed dead ahead. The full rainbow quickly turned into a double rainbow. I was scrambling around trying to snap a picture while getting blown around and rained on.
It just got bigger and bigger and brighter and brighter. I ran to the port side of the bridge to get a picture of the brightest end of the rainbow and the rainbow literally grew even bigger.
The rainbow formed a full arc. It was a perfect circle around the ship. I have never, ever seen a rainbow on the water.
I was able to capture a photo showing the circular-ness of it.
A double full circle rainbow. I've never even heard of something like that.
Before I knew it, the rainbow was gone.
I was left thrumming - with excitment and energy.
I stood on the bridge wing knowing that my pictures weren’t going to accurately show how bright the colors were, or how distinct the double rainbow was, or how the same circular action was happening on the starboard side. I was never going to be able to show someone that I just sailed a ship through a perfect circle of a rainbow in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.
Listen, when you start a 30 day ocean crossing at day 30 of your rotation it is majorly a different thing than starting a 30 day ocean crossing at day 90 of your rotation (my current situation). I would challenge the sanest of humans to feel stable at this stage. I’m two weeks from land. Two weeks from land. Every single morning I feel like I’m getting on the struggle bus. I’m devoid of energy.
To have a moment - when feeling so depleted - just reminds you that you're exactly where you need to be at this exact moment in time. That feeling of rightness lets you draw on reserves you didn't know you had.
I’ll take energy anywhere I can get it and, if I can get it from sailing a ship through a perfect circle double rainbow in the middle of the Pacific Ocean then I’m going to call it a moment and, I’m going to assume that someone loves me and is looking out for me.