Monthly Archives: February 2021

If you like clouds, you’ll love this.

Nearly anyone can recall that special moment, in a field with a friend, lying in the tall grass, gazing up, watching clouds roll by.  “Look, a panda!  No wait, a horseman galloping.   No way, it looks like an embryo.  What’s an embryo?  Ask your mother…”
I have always loved clouds.  How they make a sunset.

Yes, yes, I know.  I have used this photo before, taken at Shirley Heights in English Harbor Antigua.  For me, it’s about the best place on earth, or at least the best part of the world that I have visited.  To watch the sun and clouds at sunset.  Clouds bring the sky alive.  Without them, the sky is just a Pantone color sample, I’m going with “Etherial Blue #15-4323, yes that’s the color. Pedestrian, unless a tropical long-tail happens by.  Then it gets a bit more interesting. Enter an interesting cloud and then you really have something. If you have followed this blog over the years you know that I just love sunsets and have posted photos of them more often than I can ever justify.  Perhaps my love of sunsets is equal to how I feel about clouds.    Particularly the big puffy kind that always make me think of those times laying in a field trying to decipher what they are trying to tell me.    I can’t admit what this one reminds me of.  You decide… Or this one taken off of Miami.  The sheer magnitude and so often, gone in a moment. What’s not to love about clouds and how they affect a sunset like this one on Eggemoggin Reach in Maine. The “picture” changes from moment to moment in ways that defy words.I find sunrises and their interplay with clouds endlessly entertaining and is why I always choose the “dog watch” from 04:00 to 08:00. This shot taken on an offshore passage to Antigua. Who can resist the thrill of a full moon rising through the clouds on the first day at sea.  This was taken as we approached the Gulf Stream on another passage to Antigua.  Look hard to see the sailboat in the distance, the last sighting we had of another boat for the rest of the trip.  Without clouds, this sunset shot with a shrimp boat on Albermarle sound near Ocracoke on the ICW would not be nearly as interesting.
There is no end to the shear majesty of clouds offshore.  And that’s a good thing as there’s just not a whole lot to look at when you are 500 miles from terra firma.
Amazing from one moment to the next. A view like this makes you wonder about majesty of forces behind everything in our world.  Seeing a moment when rays shoot toward the heavens from behind a cloud always reminds me of that iconic moment when God speaks to Arthur in Monty Python’s  Holy Grail movie.   Arthur!…Clouds are not always so dramatic.  Take these “clouds”, early morning fog shrouding islands in Maine.  Fog is clouds or is it “fog are clouds”?  Hmm…Along with sunsets and sunrises, I have always been smitten by clouds which brings me to the real message of this post.

I am a “joiner”.  I love being with what you might call “like minded people”.  Whether it is the Salty Dawg Sailing Association, my current number one time sink, the Seven Seas Cruising Association or a recent additions to my “club addiction” the Ocean Cruising Club or my favorite the Royal Naval Tot Club of Antigua & Barbuda.  Yup, I’m a member of that one too.

Yes, there is a club for everyone.   Have a particular passion or interest?  There’s most assuredly a club that will help you scratch that itch.  For many years, Brenda and I were members of a group dedicated to Cape Cod Catboats.  Remarkably called The Catboat Association.  We even served on the aptly named “steering committee”.

The folks in the UK are big on clubs and beyond my favorite Tot Club, they have many other obscure clubs.  Love traffic circles?  Yes, believe it or not, there is a club dedicated to roundabouts as they call them, the UK Roundabout Appreciation Society, dedicated to you guessed it…

There are literally  an endless number of clubs and societies that you might join.  How about the “dill pickle club“, formed in 1914.  Sadly, they were dissolved in 1933.  I guess that their members felt that they had became “soggy and past their prime.”

So, how does the whole issue of clubs and clouds relate?  You guessed it.  There’s a club for cloud lovers.

Recently I was listening to a podcast from the New York Times, The Daily, and heard about yet another not at all obscure club, The Cloud Appreciation Society. It’s a charming recounting of the group and is worth listening to.  Prefer to read the article that the podcast is based on and learn now the group came to be?  Check out “The Amateur Cloud Society That (Sort Of) Rattled the Scientific Community” a group that now boasts more than 54,000 dues paying members.

This photo, from the times article of the founder, Pinney, from the Times article.  He TOTALLY fits the part.  I joined, of course, and my membership number?  54,749.   Who knew that there could be so many that loved clouds.

Among their many benefits, they send out a daily photo, usually submitted by a member.   I have to say that it is fun to get a photo every day of something that I love.  This was my inaugural cloud-of-the-day, submitted by Amy Steinkraus, member #54,121.    Wow! Amy’s member number is not far from mine?  We’re practically related…So, there you have it, another rambling post but hey, I got to use a bunch of cloud photos and it proves that I’m not only about sunsets.

And, with apologies to Skippy Peanut butter, “if you love clouds, you’ll love The Cloud Appreciation Society”.