The occasional, often ill-considered thoughts of a Roman Catholic permanent deacon who is ever grateful to God for his existence. Despite the strangeness we encounter in this life, all the suffering we witness and endure, being is good, so good I am sometimes unable to contain my joy. Deo gratias!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Eclipses and Fishes

As part of the celebration of our 45th anniversary yesterday we decided to go to the show put on by the ship's remarkable young entertainers. It turned out to be a tribute to the disco music of the seventies, a decade I pretty much missed because of my 24x7 Navy life. I was either at sea, in graduate school, or teaching at the Naval Academy. Also, our four children were born between 1971 and 1977 so that pretty much absorbed any free time we might otherwise have had. I suppose the only concession I ever made to the 70s zeitgeist was a pair of bell-bottoms and a leisure suit. (Yes, the photos have all been burned.) The show, however, was actually pretty good -- a number of talented singers and a troupe of seemingly inexhaustible dancers. Diane and I enjoyed it. 

Later at dinner our maître'd and wait staff surprised us with a special anniversary cake which was surprisingly good. And when we returned to our room our bed was covered with rose petals and one of our room attendants had drawn a rather good caricature of the two of living color! And there, too, on our coffee table was another anniversary cake. I thought it a rather nice conclusion to a wonderful, relaxing day.

Before going to bed we heard that the ship would experience a partial eclipse of the sun from about 7 to 9 a.m. So we rose a bit earlier than usual and made our way topside to deck 11. Some folks had come fully prepared with special darkened viewing cards that enabled them to watch the eclipse without destroying their eyesight. One kind gentleman must have had dozens of these cards and gave one to anyone who asked, including us. As it turned out, the eclipse, although partial, covered about 90% of the sun's surface. And so all of us oohed and aahed as we watched the moon slowly move across the surface of the sun. Here are a few photos, including one taken through a make-shift filter during the eclipse...

While all these astronomical events were taking place, we were also entertained by a seabird, some sort of hawk-like bird of prey that gave us a remarkable demonstration of airborne acrobatics. I had noticed him yesterday when he made a high-speed pass down the length of the ship just a few feet from my balcony, so I suspect he's taken up residence in his own little aerie somewhere high up on the ship. 

And then the entertainment shifted to the ocean's surface as we watched many tiny flying fish leave the water and skim over its surface for quite a long distance. We see them often when they break the surface to escape the bulk of the ship as it disturbs their habitat. You can barely make out three of them in the following photo. They're the three white specks in a line from upper left to lower right.

As you can tell, I am easily entertained...

Take a moment today to thank God for His creation.

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