Sunday, November 07, 2010

The rocket booster orange lining

They say that night is dark so you can imagine your fears with less distraction. While I agree with that, I'd also say that fog adds a tangible medium out of which to build your fears. Luckily the fog cleared off to the edges leaving us in a clear patch of lapping glassy water, with a beautiful spread of stars. It was incredible just how quiet it was.

We listened as the marine vhf crackled to life, and a nice sounding male voice from the Venderburg airforce base calmly informed us that "Danger zones 2, 3, 4 and 5 were closed off." Hmmm wonder what that's about...

A while later I watched apprehensively as a bright light appeared on the horizon, port side. "Uh Dad?" I was thinking furiously, I really hope that isn't a freighter... it would *really* ruin my night to get run over. Then as it lifted, "Helicopter with a search light?"... the Coast Guard didn't send the helicopter out... did they? Goodness I hope not.

As it continued to climb through some cloud cover Dad supplied "Flare?" we admired how slowly it was climbing, and just how much area it was lighting up. That's one heck of a flare! Even from how far away it was there was a path of reflected light all the way out to where we were.

Then it kept going...

We watched as it disappeared, and the same voice cut through our awe with "Danger zones 2, 3 and 5 are clear. Danger zone 4 is still closed." We looked at each other, "I think we just saw a rocket launch, maybe for a satellite" Dad said. I smiled, "How cool is that?!" We couldn't have been in a better place to watch it from if we'd tried.