Pink sky at night sailors delight; Pink sky in morning, sailors take warning.
The sky is sometimes pink because the sun’s light is being scattered through dust particles in the atmosphere. Usually during the day we see the sky as blue or violet because light doesn’t have to scatter as far as when it’s at the horizon.
Or something. From there it all starts to get really sort of boring.
Look, this isn’t an atmospheric sciences class, so let’s not get too hung up on any of that. The point is we crave good news, but we also insist on hearing bad news right way - like Pauly in Good Fellas. We either want to begin to cope with consequences, or we simply want our minds free of it.
The question I have is do sailors really care if the sky is pink at night or in the morning? It seems like a pretty loose tell-tale if there ever was one, particularly when we’re talking about the weather. I mean, men in bad suits with access to state-of-the-art technology often enough totally cock up a simple three day forecast. The guy says slight chance of rain and Hurricane Sandy shows up like Uncle Frank after he’s been at the bourbon.
I’ve spent a great deal of time on the water. A great deal. I’ve never once noticed if that particular adage is even faintly true. Maybe it’s because I’ve never spent a night on the water, save the one time my friends and I beached a boat due to a total lack of sailing competence. And then we decided we should finish the keg of beer we had on the boat rather than try to deal with anything.
Maybe if I had to sleep on the open sea, I would be more interested in the color of the sky going to and from my bunk.
So, maybe sailors do like to see a pink sky at night. After all, in this life, “probably” is sometimes the best you can do. It’s all a gamble, really.