Shivering on the 49th Parallel
Thursday, February 2, 2006

I've been living down here on Grand Cayman since the summer of 1998 and I can honestly say I've seen hundreds of sunsets. I even have a keyword/tag called sunsets in Picasa I have so many pictures of them. I've read in all the tourist mags about the “Green Flash” and have looked for it on many, many occasions. I've never seen it before, and put it down to a myth.

I even had a theory about it, and about how people could be mistaken and there eyes playing tricks on them. Here's what you do: look at a lightbulb. Any lightbulb will do. Stare at it for a few seconds, as if you were staring at a sunset... then turn the light out. There it is, a green blob in the shape of the lightbulb, and it's green! When people would ask me about the green flash, I would tell them that some people swear they've seen it, and that I think it's a myth and their eyes playing tricks on them.

Last night, Renee called me up and said there was an IDC/IE party going on at Calico Jack's. IDC/IE parties are fairly legendary. Starting with my own back in 1997 at the Cactus Club on West 10th near UBC, continuing through other ones at the Seaview Hotel when it was open, a few at the Lone Star and even one at the now-closed Treehouse, from which I still have a scar on my leg that will permanently remind me of that one. Basically the IDC is two weeks of long days, a lot of studying, a lot of memorizing PADI Standards and Practices, and prepping for the Instructor Examinations (IE) so when it's finally all said and done, there's a good lot of pressure that needs to be released.

Seeing as how Im now living on the beach just down from Calico Jack's, I decided to walk up there after work, have a drink or three with the new Open Water Instructors, congratulate them and welcome them into the ranks so to speak. Note to self: it's further than it looks! For some reason, I was under the impression that it was just on the other side of the Governor's house, when in fact it's a little further up the beach. It wasn't that far off, and I made it in 20 minutes.

As I was walking up the beach, there was a couple who just got married being video'd and photo'd walking at the water's edge, so I shifted my track up into the sand so I wouldn't get in their shots. A little further along was a large extended family posing for photos in the waning sun as well. As I got up near Calico Jack's, the sun had just started to sink into the horizon. It all happens pretty quick at that point, and I noticed that thre was not a cloud in the sky on the horizon... perfect conditions for a green flash, if they existed.

The sun continued down and just about when the middle of the sun was passing the horizon, a dark blotch appeared: a cloud. Since it was only ten seconds or so away, I stopped and, along with everyone else on the beach looked at the sun. Just as the last few millimeters of sunlight was visible above the horizon, there it was... the whole surface of the sun that was still visible glowed emerald green! It wasn't really a dark green, more of a lighter emeraldy-jade color, and the green sort of undulated and varied in it's intensity. Before my jaw could drop open, just like Kaiser Soze, (blow) it was gone.

I carried on up to Calico Jack's, and Zac and John were there too, so I sat and had a beverage with them, and then walked back along the beach in the moonlight (what little sliver of moon there was) to my new apt. I came upstairs, nuked some turkey soup and grabbed a couple slices of cold pizza and sat outside on the balcony. Another band was playing on the beach at the Ritz-Carlton again, so I put my feet up and enjoyed the warm breeze, moon over the water and the live music rolling across the beach to me.

This was the lifestyle I always thought I would have living down here, before actually getting here and having the cold, hard backhand of reality slap me in the face. It took me nearly eight years, but now, I've made it.

Thursday, February 2, 2006 4:47:18 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Cayman | Misc#
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