I have never been one to exclaim that I’ve seen the light, but this time I feel compelled to write about it, as I am now a true believer. As they say, seeing is believing, and for me, seeing twice is believing.
The light I’ve seen is a phenomenon, known to many of us as Eddie’s Light. The first time he saw it was in Papua New Guinea. The light has appeared to him in white, green, orange, and red, sometimes very briefly and sometimes for several seconds, in total about fifteen times. Once he and Captain Claus were on deck and the light appeared above on the port side, and once with Kira he saw the light in green on the stern. He describes it as an extremely concentrated bright spot light, but with a colored trail similar to a jet stream. The light always appears somewhere in close proximity to the ship and is distinctly different from a shooting star. Eddie has seen it on port, starboard, above, and in South Africa across the entire ship from starboard to port.
The first time I saw the light was on the crossing from Freeport to Horta. It was night, during my 8pm to 12pm watch. I was on deck, sitting on the rigging box next to Lhasa. It appeared as a bright white light, about a foot in diameter, about 4 feet off the deck, just aft of the main roll bar. It illuminated the deck, and lasted about two seconds. We both saw it and were astonished.
My second sighting occurred a couple of nights ago, on my new watch, the 12am to 4am. Carlos was on the helm and I was again sitting on the rigging box. The light appeared in approximately the same location and had a similar duration. Carlos also saw it quite distinctly.
Neither Eddie nor I can recall anyone from another ship describing such a phenomenon, and none of the other sailors Eddie has asked have seen such a light. So perhaps we should call this the Heraclitus Light.
Whatever explanation for the light you gravitate to, if you are the type who requires explanations, or perhaps you are simply comfortable accepting it as a part of the Heraclitus’ magic, it now has a place in Heraclitean history.
For those of us who enjoy the magic of being on deck at night, the possibility of seeing the light again is ever present, and I somehow find it offers reassurance that the Heraclitus is indeed a magic ship, a unique vessel that is also a portal to another world where even seeing the light is possible.