Sunset Sails

Waikiki, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA

Sailboats are backlit by an orange sky at sunset, off Honolulu, Hawaii, USA.
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Sunset off the beach at Waikiki, Honolulu, on the island of Oahu, Hawaii. It is my brother-in-law’s birthday and the entire family has gathered here in Waikiki to celebrate. Tonight is the “big night.” A sailboat has been rented for a sunset cruise, before a blowout dinner at one of the posh hotels in Waikiki. In the Hawaiian islands it is common for clouds to gather over the open ocean near the horizon at sunset — a product of the ocean heating and evaporating all day, creating large clouds. Today we were lucky: It has been a bright, warm, sunny day but humidity has been relatively low (for Hawaii). While there are some “fair weather clouds,” they are high, small, and scattered. The horizon is clear. As the sun approaches the horizon it turns the sky orange and back-lights other sailboats and a few scattered clouds. As we drink our cocktails and enjoy the cruise we wonder: Since the horizon is clear, will there be a green flash? Will we see it?

(Sony Cybershot DSC-F707, ISO 100, integrated lens at 33 mm, f/4, shutter at 1/160 sec., using both polarizer and ND-4 filter.)