Misleading Lights

Most of you will know that in their wisdom , the seafarers this side of the pond interpret red and green lights in completely the opposite way that we do back on “our “side , but as we found out there are still more coloured phenomena that can lead to confusion over here .
Last night’s passage to Antigua was a delight. The wind was on the beam so we made good speed despite the gentle conditions , and the sunset over Monserat gave us our first glimpse of the famous “green flash” . Up till now we had watched in vain for this phenomenon and assumed that we weren’t putting enough rum in our evening cocktails , but Festina is a dry ship on passage so we can assure you that the two facts are entirely unrelated.
It was one of those inky black , moonless nights that are somehow even lovelier in the tropics. Perhaps ones appreciation of the starlight is helped by the relief brought about by the charmingly cool warmth of the night time tropic breeze. The lights of Antigua came up and set me searching the charts in vain for a powerful constant red light that dwarfed in intensity even the lighthouse on Shirley Heights. It wasn’t until we opened Falmouth harbour that we realised it was the mast head light of the huge Mirrabella 2 that we had seen over the top of the cliffs that protect this fine anchorage. What’s more , once inside there were seemingly hundreds of vessels with masts tall enough to require a red light, although none other tall enough to be seen over the cliffs. It was all a bit obscene and we began to muse on the collective term for a gathering of superyachts . A “superfluity “ perhaps?
Today we have moved round to English harbour where we are surrounded , in the outer anchorage at least , by boats of a more normal size . The rowers are here as well – at least 4 of them are , which means the majority of them are still out on the ocean 6 weeks after we finished our crossing. Now THEY will definitely deserve their rum when they eventually get in!
Ben and Steph arrive on Wednesday so we have a couple of days to potter , and of course , now that Lynda is such an aficionado of 18th century naval history , explore the famous old naval dockyard .

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