Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Lagoon Blink
By Michael

Believe it or not, they were not posing
when I spotted them on the pulpit looking
at the sunset, but I did ask them to
freeze so I could grab the camera. 
Dave and Jaja Martin long ago wrote, Into the Light, their gripping account of their second cruise, aboard their second boat, with their three kids. Shortly after, they followed up with a film that is a must-see for any future cruising family. They called this film Ice Blink, in reference to the phenomena by which high-latitude sailors use the reflection of ice on the bottoms of clouds to identify distant paths—paths still over the horizon--through ice-choked waters. In effect, these sailors use the clouds as a mirror to see ahead.

“Wow! Look at that.” I said to Windy a couple days before we left Bora Bora. We we’d been anchored for several days in what must be among the most pleasant of places on earth: a large shallow pool within the lagoon, tucked behind the protective shore of a palm-forested motu. With our Bruce resting in only 8 feet of water, we cautioned the girls not to dive off the deck at too steep an angle.

“What? Where?”

I handed Windy my polarized sunglasses.

“Oh, wow!”

The clouds over the edge of the reef sported bright turquoise bottoms. I’d never seen anything like it. “It’s a lagoon blink, yeah?”

I grabbed my camera and started taking pictures. As it was for Windy looking through her non-polarized lenses, the effect was invisible to my camera. Desperate, I held my sunglasses over my camera lens and tried to capture the image that way. Only partial success. I immediately thought back to a blog post my friend Behan on Totem wrote, about the value of polarizing filters for capturing better—more accurate—photos outdoors and on the water. I’d been meaning to get a filter ever since, but I’d not acted. (read her post here, good stuff)

Well, this episode was the final straw. Today I picked up my new polarizing filter from the Pago Pago post office here in American Samoa, where I’d had it sent to me, General Delivery. Expect better photos on this blog from here on out.


So, I shot this looking through my sunglasses. You
can sort of see the green tinge on the base of the center cloud.
Oh, had I only had a polarizing filter.
Our first waterspout! As non-Floridians, this was pretty
exciting. It lasted nearly 10 minutes.

This rainbow surely would have benefited from a polarizing filter.
This was our first afternoon at sea, leaving Bora Bora.


  1. A gorgeous image of two of the Robertson ladies . . .

  2. That's a gorgeous shot of Windy & Eleanor.

  3. We second the comment about having a gorgeous photo of Windy and Eleanor! Can't get over how the girls are growing.

  4. We watched Iceblink before our first cruise. That turquoise-bottomed cloud is so cool!

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