My father raced a 42′ sailboat from Marion, MA to Bermuda, twice. He said the scariest part of it was just how utterly pitch-black dark it is out there on a cloudy moonless night. They had to reset a breaker or something like that, and had to turn the running lights off at one point; Dad said it was nearly impossible to tell if his eyes were open or closed.
On the other hand, he said seeing the clear night sky full of stars with zero light pollution was absolutely breathtaking. It wasn’t until then that he understood how ancient celestial navigation was possible.
1. Sailing through the Bahamas, you can sometimes get relatively calm spots of water even if the wind is blowing a good 10-15 knots. One night it was that eerie sort of calm, clear and I was at the helm by myself. We sailed through a patch of phosphorescent bacteria and the ocean glittered in such a way that you couldn’t tell where the sky ended and the water began, it felt like I was sailing through space.
2. A guy in Florida gave the boat I was on coordinates for somewhere between the Turks and Caicos banks and Hispaniola, saying there was something “mind-blowing” out there and we had to check it. I guess he told the captain what it was, but he wanted to keep it a surprise. When we reached the coordinates, (which required some motoring,) we found a source of constant bubbling. We didn’t really understand what it was until the captain threw a bucket over the side and filled it up from the bubbling water… and drank out of it. It was a pillar of fresh water coming from some vent in the ocean floor. Bizarre.
Was chatting with a Gloucester fisherman once who said he had a friend that ran into something while in the geographic center of the gulf of Mexico. He looked over the side and it was an entire small house just below the surface