Welcome Guest
[ Log In :: Register ]


Question: The Green Flash :: Total Votes:6
Poll choices Votes Statistics
Green flash?  Isn't that a character in Batman II? 0  [0.00%]
I could care less about the "green flash".  I'm an idiot 0  [0.00%]
Never seen one but there's gonna be one tonight, I know it 2  [33.33%]
I've seen one 1  [16.67%]
I've seen two 0  [0.00%]
I've seen many 1  [16.67%]
Fill er up again bartender 2  [33.33%]
Guests cannot vote
 

[ Track this topic :: Email this topic :: Print this topic ]

Topic: The Green Flash, at Papa Joe's who cares anyway...< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
Capn Jimbo Offline
The Godfisher




Group: Super Administrators
Posts: 1712
Joined: Jan. 2004
Posted: Feb. 28 2006,17:21

Ah yes, the famous, almost never seen "green flash".  Except by that wasted guy at the Carribean Club who claimed to have seen three.  Probably that week...



Now many of you know watchin sunset is a BIG deal in Florida - from Mallory Pier in the Conch Republic to Naples or Sanibel Island.   People show up, photographers show up, even drunks from the Carribean Club, or maybe Papa Joes (probably the best vantage place in Florida) show up.

Mostly to see another one of the endless incredible sunsets in Paradise.  A few wise ones are really there for the Green Flash.  Sue Sea and I for example.

So just what is the "green flash"?  Well first of all it's a VERY rare event for most of us - a kinda once-in-a-lifetime thing - like finding a Jimona shell at Blind Pass on Sanibel.  There are actually several forms:

First is the "inferior mirage", sort of a last glimpse of the sun, turns into a kind of bluish-green oval just as the sun disappears (about 3/4 of green flashes are this type.  Second is the "mock mirage" - a thin strip of the top of the setting sun is seemingly pinched off into a thin green strip just above the sun (about 1/4 of flashes seen, usually from higher vantage points, like Papa Joes).  There's another one - a green ray - that literally shoots up into the sky for a brief moment - but only lying drunks see this kind.

As a stranger in Paradise you are under an obligation to always watch the sunset if you can, and to believe - and look for - the green flash that is going to occur THIS TIME.  So - how to go about it...

First, it's best if you can find a sea horizon into which the sun can sink.  Any westward shore is good.  But there are three really great places.  Mallory Pier - why?  Tradition and booze.  Blind Pass at Sanibel Island - why?  You might find a Jimona shell too.  But the best is Papa Joes Tiki Bar - up high, on the water, and named "Papa Joes".  

It's the best, honest.  A few meters up, with a clear view of the sea/sun is the best.  Get there early so you can grab a stool on the western rail.  Look for rolling tarpon while you're drinkin and waitin.  Talk about how much better the sunsets are here.

Second, realize what you are looking for.  It's not really a flash, which is why most of us will never see one.  It is a tiny strip or oval just above the setting sun.  They last but a second or two and are so faint and small that the untrained observer won't notice them.  Even the trained observer may only see one of six.
It IS possible to increase your chances though:


Quote
Using optical aid, such as binoculars, or a camera viewfinder behind a long telephoto lens, you should be able to see some green-flash phenomena in most sunsets. Here in San Diego, I probably see one or more flashes in 5 out of 6 sunsets over the ocean.

But, be careful. The Sun is safe to look at, even with binoculars, when it's right down on the astronomical horizon. But it's a lot brighter just a few minutes earlier at sunset. The brightness changes by a factor of two every minute near sunrise and sunset, so an error of just a minute or two can make the difference between eye safety and eye injury.

Be sure your horizon is really lower than where you stand; and don't look at the Sun when it's more than its own diameter above that low horizon. If your thumb, extended horizontally at arm's length, can cover up the Sun while touching a sea horizon, the Sun is low enough to look at safely.

A sensible rule is: If the Sun is too bright to look at comfortably, don't look at it.


I do NOT guarantee your safety if you try this, so don't.  

Third, having a couple drinks before really helps - be sure to tell everyone around you that "the flash is coming, don't blink, don't blink".  If someone tells you to shut up - do so.  This will greatly increase your chances of actually seeing one, and avoiding getting punched in the nose.  Having had a few also means that you'll won't be nearly as bothered when you don't see it.

Fourth, the best time to see the "inferior mirage" type is when the water is warmer than the air, best just after a cold front, on a reasonably clear day (most days in the Keys).

Last, be sure to keep looking for several seconds after the sun goes bye-bye - you may see the almost never seen "green ray" - which actually is wider than the sun and shoots up into the sky.  This is the phenomena after which the "green flash" is named.

So - that's it.  The truth is that the elusive "green flash" ain't so elusive - ya just need to know what to do and you'll soon be one of the knowing elite in Paradise - in demand, invited to parties, sexually desirable.  You'll even catch more fish...

:capn:

Good Link to Green Flash Info

And some advice on seeing one!


Edited by Capn Jimbo on Feb. 28 2006,17:41

--------------
Tight lines,
Capn Jimbo

Link to FLYC Main Site
Link to Member Map
New Posts! (also top of page)
Back to top
Profile PM 
Capn Jimbo Offline
The Godfisher




Group: Super Administrators
Posts: 1712
Joined: Jan. 2004
Posted: Feb. 28 2006,17:58







Gorgeous, huh...

The most common type - that we are likely to see has a predictable sequence.  First - as the sun is approaching the horizon - you will see what appears to be a small mirage of the tip of a second sun rising up out of the water to meet and merge with the setting sun.  

Below you'll see where the rising mirage has met the setting sun to form what some call the greek "omega" - an elongated "O".  This is a hot tip that a "green flash" is likely so get ready, quaff that Guiness, don't blink and shut up...



:capn:


--------------
Tight lines,
Capn Jimbo

Link to FLYC Main Site
Link to Member Map
New Posts! (also top of page)
Back to top
Profile PM 
Capn Jimbo Offline
The Godfisher




Group: Super Administrators
Posts: 1712
Joined: Jan. 2004
Posted: Mar. 25 2006,17:40

Based on all this new info (what it looks like, safe use of bino's, etc) Sue Sea and I have been mad to spot our first "green flash".  Problem is that Papa Joe's is quite a haul.  And there are too many trees and other obstructions - which makes a sighting impossible.

Here are the rules:

1.  GF's are related to mirages, and can appear only at the horizon if it is BELOW your horizontal line of sight.  Thus being on  a hill or bldg. is ideal, particularly with a sea horizon.

2.  You need clear, clean air.  Clouds and haze absorb the green. Just after a cold front is ideal.

3.  You need binocular magnification (but only to be used when the sun is in it's last moments).

With all of these your chances are excellent.

Well we finally found an ideal place - took I-75W to Rt. 27N.  Just a mile or so north you'll find the Sawgrass Recreation Area - a nice launch BTW.   It's located on about a 20 foot rise, with no real obstructions to the west.  A little parking area just across Rt. 27 provided what seemed to be a perfect vantage point. The sky seemed clear.

We spent the last 1/2 hour using our bino's to watch a few big gators and lots of wading birds in the several channels below us.   In the final 5 or so minutes we realized there was a far distant low lying bank of clouds which just intercepted the sun.

Darn!

But we watched anyway and with just about 1/3 of the fiery ball remaining I thought I spotted a thin green line - just above the sphere.  I shouted out to Sue Sea - it was early and caught me by surprise - she was focused as well and thought she saw it too!

Did we?  We THINK so.  But that's not good enough, we're gonna go back to this spot tomorrow.  Stay tuned...


--------------
Tight lines,
Capn Jimbo

Link to FLYC Main Site
Link to Member Map
New Posts! (also top of page)
Back to top
Profile PM 
Capn Jimbo Offline
The Godfisher




Group: Super Administrators
Posts: 1712
Joined: Jan. 2004
Posted: Dec. 03 2007,08:56

Congrats to Kayak Willie!

Hooked up with my good friend KW this am, go look at a Panga (more anon), a famous fishing skiff popular all over the world, but especially in third world countries.  Known for their funtionality, seaworthiness and amazingly low power requirements.  Makin what is a new entrance in the American market.

More later.

Meanwhile, Willie proudly announced that, for the very first time in his life, he finally saw the elusive green flash.  This am, sunrise with dead clear and calm conditions.  Everybody else, including daily sunrise photographers, missed it in the blink of an eye.

Congrats Willie!  A bottle of rum is on its way...


:capn:


--------------
Tight lines,
Capn Jimbo

Link to FLYC Main Site
Link to Member Map
New Posts! (also top of page)
Back to top
Profile PM 
Capn Jimbo Offline
The Godfisher




Group: Super Administrators
Posts: 1712
Joined: Jan. 2004
Posted: Sep. 15 2008,06:12

Congrats to...  Sue Sea and Moi!

Yup it finally happened.   And what a story it is...

It was yet another of our endless trips to the Keys.  That used to mean Key Largo, leave in the morning, back late at night, kayak at Pennekamp, some serious cuda.  Later it meant Islamorada, to our sorta secret launch and out to the wreck.  

And still drive back.

This time Sue Sea packed a bunch of camping stuff - we figured Long Key might just have a space available after all the storms.  So off to Largo, take a break at Denny's Latin Cafe for a couple cafe con leche's, call the park.  Not only weren't there any spaces, the camp site will be closed for a LONG time - again due to hurricane damage.  After all the work they put in, a real shame.

Nuts!

So here it was late in the afternoon, so we decided to go to the real Keys, which basically means the middle and lower ones.  Still relatively undeveloped compared to Largo or Key Messed.  Picked up a travel guide and scored a room for $79 in Marathon.  Now let it be said that many travelers pass Marathon by.  Too much like a small town, lacks the history of Key Largo, the fantasy of Key West and the dripping money and reputation of Islamorada.  The truck stop of the Keys.

Not really.  It's the home of the Turtle Hospital, Seven Mile Bridge and close to three wonderful state parks (Bahia Honda, Long Key and Curry Hammock).  And a Super K-Mart  with one of the best fishing departments in the area.   People are more real, down to earth.  The bars are friendly, accessible, live music, good grub at fair prices.  $5 lunches.

We were staying at the Black Point for a mere $79.  The grounds included docks, a sand and coral point with their own lighthouse and the "Sunset Cathedral" - a small roofed deck, sufficient for maybe three people and festooned with crab floats and a rough hewn sign proclaiming it's name and "Thanks Wilma!".  Seems as though the deck and hut got ripped away from another location, got blown by hurricane force winds, through heavy surf, to land on their property.  

When after some months, nobody came to claim it, the "cathedral" found a new home.  Thanks Wilma, for sure.  Just before sunset I was exhausted, decided to veg out in the room with the tube and some nice A/C when Sue Sea burst in the door with that big smile of hers and wouldn't stop until I agree to walk to the point with her to watch the sunset for a green flash.  Bring your camera Jimbo she begged.  

Sure.  Of course.  Even grabbed the #### camera.

So we walked to the "cathedral" to join some of the locals, a guitar player who made up a song on the spot for us, and some of the liveaboards docked in the marina.  And watched the sun go down.  At Sue Sea's behest I clicked off a series of pics.  The sky was clear with orange or salmon overtones.   Our sightline to the Gulf horizon was unobstructed, no low lying clouds.  The sun turned a deep fiery yellow orange and started down.  I kept clicking pics.  Then it happened. Just when the sun was a small dot.

It turned green!  So help me!

Just like a traffic light turning from yellow to a clear and unequivocal green, and just like rotating airport marker or blinking harbor light.  Yellow - green - off.  The cheers went up and we all screamed out.  "It's the green flash!  Did you see that?"  We ran around, double checked with the others.  

Yup.  

They all saw it.  In fact they said this was the second one in a row, there'd been one the night before!  We were stunned.  After literally hundreds of sunsets, watching each for the elusive green flash, it had finally happened.  The night was clear, colorful and perfect in every way.  The right place, the right time, the right setting and with the right people, in our Keys Paradise.

Perfect.


:capn:


Note:  Later that night, Sue Sea dragged me out once again to the Sunset Cathedral, which was now lit with strings of pale blue lights.  "There's some huge fish, bring your rod!".  And of course, I did.  Sue Sea does not kid about big fish.

The coral rocks down the long walk to the lighthouse point were softly lit by small lights in real conch shells that had been roughly cemented onto the tops of the rough hewn coral rock break walls.  Idyllic.  The water was lit in three locations by underwater lights which reflected off large schools of silvery bait circling in the light.

And circling around the bait was a school of maybe eight or ten medium tarpon - averaging maybe four feet!  And they weren't leaving.  This sight went on for the hour or so we stayed.  I tried every retrieve and technique I know, and nada.  Not a speck of interest, they just weren't feeding.

But beautiful they were.  Seeing the silver kings circle and roll in leisurely circles with the underwater lights reflecting off their silvery magnificence was, well, magnificent.  Not to mention a full moon and mirror calm clear water.  

Man, it doesn't get any better than that.  It just doesn't...


--------------
Tight lines,
Capn Jimbo

Link to FLYC Main Site
Link to Member Map
New Posts! (also top of page)
Back to top
Profile PM 
4 replies since Feb. 28 2006,17:21 < Next Oldest | Next Newest >

[ Track this topic :: Email this topic :: Print this topic ]

 

Quick Reply: The Green Flash
iB Code Buttons
You are Posting as:
Guest
Do you wish to enable your signature for this post?
Do you wish to enable emoticons for this post?
Track this topic
View All Emoticons
View iB Code