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<   No. 1583   2007-05-28   >

Comic #1583

1 Long Tom: Arrr, it be dark. Now we be losin' that English galleon. Hard a starboard, helmsman!
2 Long Tom: Ye see, Wendy, they be unable to be doin' anythin' but be headin' straight fer our last sighted position.
3 Long Tom: By makin' a big, long turn, we be evadin' pursuit!
4 Wendy: {pointing towards the bow} What be that with lights an' sails dead ahead, cap'n?
4 Long Tom: {to helmsman} Not that hard a starboard!

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More accurately it should be a fair bit darker here, but one theme with all-black panels is enough.

Have you ever been outside on a dark night with no moon, some cloud cover to obscure the stars, and no city or town lights anywhere in the vicinity? It's scarily dark.

One time I was doing some astronomy observing at Siding Spring Observatory. As you can imagine, they have strict rules about outside lights, and the nearby towns (which aren't that close anyway) have extremely subdued outdoor lighting. It clouded over so we couldn't do any observing and I decided to walk back to my accommodation, a hundred metres or so away from the observatory building.

It was so dark I literally almost walked right into a tree. (I had a torch [flashlight to Americans], but I turned it off briefly just to see how dark it really was.)

2017-06-25 Rerun commentary: Providing a link for Siding Spring Observatory, which is located in the Warrumbungles mountain range in northern New South Wales, about 20 kilometres west of the town of Coonabarabran.

It's a beautiful place to spend some time, and particularly walking in the Warrumbungle National Park. Just not in the middle of the night.

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