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MONTEREY LIFE

Looking to the Skies

Fri, Apr 14, 2017 at 3:03PM

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On April 14th--Look Up at The Sky Day--we celebrate the magic that happens where our favorite marine horizons meet the endless skies above.

There's a lot to see--from ominous thunderstorms to moody seaside fog to one-of-a-kind shapes in the clouds we swear resemble someone (or something) we know.

In today's blog, we're paying homage to the classic pastime of watching the sky. Read on to see some of the strangest sky phenomena--as well as a few ways to celebrate the day on board.

Nacreous clouds

Nacreous clouds may have a sinister-sounding name, but their appearance is nothing short of wondrous.

Nacreous clouds are named for their nacre or mother-of-pearl-like appearance, glowing with light and iridescence in the rare times that they are seen (most typically around twilight). These clouds catch and reflect the colors of the surrounding sky, making for multicolored pastel or sometimes even rainbow displays of light unlike anything you usually see in the sky.

Animals from above

We've all heard that it's raining cats and dogs, but none of us actually expect to see animals fall from the sky. But on occasion, that's exactly what happens--animals such as fish, frogs, and even spiders come and fall from the sky in droves. It's not something you would like to experience in person, but the reasoning behind the phenomenon (that tornadic waterspouts whisk these animals up and into the air) is not as far-fetched as you might have guessed.

Flying saucers?

We've all spend some time searching the skies above for formations in the clouds--dogs, cats, the faces of friends and family members. Sometimes, however, our imagination gets the best of us--as in the case with "flying saucer" clouds. They look like bona fide UFOs, but these formations--more accurately known as lenticular clouds--are, in reality, not very different from the shapes we see every day. (Of course, it's always fun to imagine!)

Green flash

We've talked about the mysterious green flash before--the sudden appearance of a bright, green light before the sun finally dips below the horizon at night. It's elusive, hard to see and even harder to capture on camera, but is worth looking out for the next time you find yourself by the water at sunset.

How to celebrate

These are just a few of the things to see in the skies--now how do you celebrate the big day? We suggest...

• Cloud watching. Lie on grass, sand, the deck of your boat or your backyard trampoline--wherever you can carve out a comfy spot perfect for watching the clouds float in and out of view. You might be surprised at the shapes you see!
• Flying a kite. Few activities bring your eyes to the sky quite like flying a kite. It's a pastime that requires you to look up and follow the pattern of the wind, a skill which can also help you when you're on the water.
• Learning to forecast. You don't need to know it all--but being able to identify signs of storms, wind, good weather, bad weather, and everything in between can be incredibly useful on and off the water. Not to mention, it's fun, too!

History is filled with stories of oddities of the sky--and perhaps you've spotted one or two yourself! On this day, kick back and enjoy the view--it's relaxing, mesmerizing, and sure to inspire. 


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