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The Green Flash
by Bob Moore
March 2001

We were somewhere in the Gulf of Mexico conducting PCO cruises. We had been at it for a week or so. You know the drill: out at dawn, in whenever you finished recovering the fish, then offload the things to the tender and fix 'em up to shoot again the next day. Over and over it went. We were soon pretty tired of it and were griping about these dumbass PCO's who didn't appreciate how much work had to be done so they could play Captain. I guess we didn't appreciate how important their accuracy might be to our futures, after all, we was just a bunch of raghat cheap labor (or so we were beginning to think).

We fired the last shot of the day late in the afternoon and then went looking for it. Usually they were pretty easy to find, but this one wasn't to be found. We sailed back and to, round and round, and finally spotted the thing. By now it was getting well on toward sunset, so we were in pretty much of a hurry to get it back aboard.

Clear days at sea are different from clear days ashore. Sometimes it seems like everything is transparent, and the horizon is a razor sharp line out there near infinity. This was one of those days.

We approached the fish from the East, and the recovery crew had their eyes on it like it might just up and vanish. Now it happens that the sun was setting directly beyond the fish so we all saw something that we had heard about but didn't really believe: The Green Flash. Under certain rare conditions the last light of the sun gets bent so that all you see is the green part of the spectrum. it didn't last more than a second or two, but it glowed like an emerald on the horizon. That put an end to the griping for a while because now we all had witnesses to bear out our stories. A couple of the saltier members of the crew had seen it before, but most thought we had been out on deck too long.

It was worth all the hard work to be right there, right then. I never saw it again, and people still don't believe me when I speak of it.