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My favorite time of day

by Daria Blackwell

I have on occasion seen the sun rise, and it has been spectacular.  Everyone waking up seemingly in sync to the promise of a new day.  It’s lovely and exciting; but there’s another time that’s far more special to me: comforting, calming, and soothing.

It’s the time when we have fewer miles ahead of us than behind for the day; the time just after we’ve dropped anchor, tied down the sails, coiled the lines, stowed the day’s gear, switched from VHF to CD, and settled in for the evening.  It’s the time when the sun paints the sky to match the color of your chosen cocktail, and you in turn toast its myriad iterations and applaud its effort to impress. 

It’s the time when the clouds close in on the sky for the night, when the birds sing themselves into the sanctity of a safe haven, and when the fish make one last attempt to see the day. We, observing from our comfortable cockpits, reflect on a day well spent in each others' company, without too many trials and many smiles. If we're really really lucky, we may catch a shooting star, be amazed by a meteor shower, mistake a moonrise for a burning ship on the horizon, or spot a planet we didn't realize we knew. With each, we take deep fresh breaths and snap mental pictures to retrieve when we need them.

It’s the time when Onyx, the cruising kitty, revs into full gear, clamoring to get on deck to witness the final throes of diurnal life before nightfall calls for a change to nocturnal watch.  She’s a wonderful guide to what we might normally miss, trembling at a sight here, and sneaking up on another there. 

And the color. Oh, the color of a pink-orange tinged cloud with a razor sharp neon coral outline.  The light plays with your eyes, painting skin a warm glow, painting the water a shimmering gold, and painting the earth in shadows. The greens of the shore get fluorescently greener, the yellows stand out against the failing light for those few brief moments, and yet you see more than you’ve noticed all day.  It’s those fleeting moments of brilliance before the sun flips the switch, before the trees are drawn in two dimensions against the sky, before color transforms into shades of gray, before depth dissipates, temperature drops, and night descends.

It’s my favorite time of day.

Some think it marks the end.  I think it’s a unique punctuation to a marvelous achievement. There’s nothing like it and it’s never the same twice. Here’s to the reflection on a day well spent, one that will imprint my memory with fine comforting thoughts.   Here’s to the spectacular opportunity to be here to see it.  Here’s to another that will beckon to me as it did today. 

Here’s to the joy of sailing…and to my favorite time of day!

Price Bend, Northport, NY


Milton Harbor, NY


Oyster Bay, NY

Captain Harbor, CT


Anywhere, LIS

Ziegler's Cove, CT

Milford, CT

Port Jefferson, NY


New York City, NY


Editorials usually consist of just words, but in this case, well hey, you know what they say about pictures and a thousand words.

All photos copyright Daria & Alex Blackwell. All rights reserved. No reproduction of any kind permitted. We spent hundreds of hours waiting for the right moments to capture these, so don't even think about using them without permission. Of course, the waiting was kind of fun and beautiful in rather ideal settings so don't feel too sorry for us.

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