Is there a more emotive time of day than sunset? For some it signifies the end of the day and a time to relax, for others it heralds the mystery and excitement of the night to follow. For most it is a time to relax, remove a cork (unwinding a screw top doesn’t have quite the same romance to it) and enjoy conversation and company. Many people prefer to experience the sunset in silence, contemplating either the day that is now done, or even the big questions of the universe. Lovers bond, poets are inspired and career criminals wonder if it is the last they will be seeing for a while, or in fact the last one they may ever see!

To sit and watch the sunset, with a view of the entire sky and to witness the astounding pallet of colours that change before your very eyes is something we don’t do enough of. It happens every day, yet how many of us take the time to watch and enjoy a light show that no man made pyrotechnics could ever come close to emulating? (Well apart from a nuclear blast, but we are unlikely to be enjoying watching that. We would most likely miss it anyway as we would be facing the other way as we try to kiss our arse goodbye.) And best of all a sunset is free!

For us sailors this is an almost religious time of day as it is the harbinger of that most important ceremony, the ‘Sundowner’. I have noticed however that the exact time of sunset is quite flexible amongst many sailors when it comes to the sundowner. It can be as early as 11 am apparently.

As Jimmy Buffett sang ‘Its 5 o’clock somewhere.’

Navy’s, yacht clubs and other institutions where the wearing of impressive uniforms by the sea is common place even have a formal ceremony for sunset, involving much flag lowering, bugle playing and saluting action. But for those of us with simpler needs, a beer, the radio and a dog to pat suffice just fine.

One thing the climate change Nazis won’t tell you is that air pollution makes for better sunsets! Yes folks when the air is clear and pure the sunsets are a dull yellow colour but when the atmosphere is full of particles, the sky explodes through each hue of orange, magenta and finally a deep blood red as the daily show concludes. Now I am not suggesting we all get out there and release as many particles into the sky as we can, but the odd volcanic eruption or bush fire can have one small upside! These are best enjoyed at a safe distance and it probably won’t be much consolation to anyone who has just lost their house, so it might be best to avoid the topic at the scene of a recent disaster.

Astronauts on the international space station get to enjoy 15 sunsets (and rises obviously) each 24 hours. I dare say watching the sunset from space would be truly amazing, and make for a great ‘selfie’ for my younger readers. So if Ivan the visiting cosmonaut misses one sunset, he only has to wait for 45 minutes before kicking back at his porthole and cracking open a tube of freeze dried ‘ВАРЕНЫЕ КОЛБАСЫ’ (boiled sausage) to enjoy the next one.

If we live to be 85 we will have the opportunity to witness some 31,004 (including leap years) sunsets, but how many do we miss?

The answer is in fact all of them as due to ‘atmospheric refraction’ the sun has actually set by the time the bottom of the disk appears to us to have just touched the horizon.

So it is time to make time to witness this daily miracle. And what better way to view it in all its entirety than from the deck of a yacht. Absolutely nothing beats sailing on Moreton Bay, watching the sun set over the towering buildings of the city, knowing that most people in those buildings are just packing up in their tiny cubical before heading for the train to enjoy a hour long commute staring into some strangers armpit. This I believe only adds to the experience. Living as we do at latitude 27 south also makes sunsets occur at a very civilized time. Much better than in say Hobart where you need to start drinking as the sunsets at 330 in the afternoon in winter, or worse wait until 11 pm in summer. You will be both quite thirsty and ready for bed by that time.

Here at Southern Cross Yachting we offer 2 hour sunset cruises every night of the week!

So whether you want to enjoy a romantic experience with your lover over a glass of champagne, or with 7 mates from the football club with a slab of payless bitter, we can accommodate your every wish. (A word of advice – if both these appeal to you I would suggest you don’t try and do them on the same trip)

Sunset Cruises are $500 weeknights and $700 on weekends on board one of our luxury fleet of yachts and include a skipper to cater to your every whim, a platter of scrumptious nibbles and a bottle of champagne (or a slab of payless bitter if you prefer!)

These beautiful spring nights make for beautiful sunsets and these cruises make a great surprise gift to a special person or a reward for your staff.

Call the office now to book your sunset experience and you will soon understand the old sailors saying ‘Hot shower at night – a sailor’s delight’

Or something like that.

Cheers Mike Job

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