Noumea: Sunsets at Baie de l'Orphelinat

Occasionally, a sunset will knock our socks off, and we had one like this while ADAGIO was at anchor in the Baie de l’Orphelinat. We became amazed at just how huge the sky is, and how many colors of light there are, as we found ourselves below a 360 degree hemisphere of changing marvel.

The fire began at the western horizon, and before long the largest, billowy clouds were aflame as well. Behind all of this splendor, the blue sky peeked boldly through. Invariably, at this moment, a group of Polynesian outrigger canoes glided silently across the water. Pretty soon the fire was licking the shiny windows of our boat, and the colors began to appear on the water as if the paint was melting down from the sky.

Towards the end, the highest clouds in the sky, that we had not previously noticed, became streaks of bright, glowing embers. The billowy clouds became vivid, three dimensional forms, silhouetted before the glowing coals. Because the surface of the sea was rippled, the sky colors blended together on its surface into a warm rose liquid, streaked with darker cloud reflections. .

The eastern horizon was showing off its enormous areas of glowing pink and gold and brilliant blue. In the east grey clouds were silhouetted before a golden sky, but the clouds in the west were rose colored shapes against the grey, blue, pink and golden sky. The lower clouds became billowy blobs while the high level clouds were intricacies of lace and ruffles. We were unable to predict what the sky would be like from minute to minute. The Grande Finale was a blood-red and golden sky and sea.

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