||Midnight Tempest Mercury Item 1746|
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Red skies and mare's tails means high winds and lowered sails.
This design was inspired by an actual midnight crossing to the Channel Islands under a full moon.
There was a storm building in the north that made its presence known at about 1:00 am mid channel. Strong winds had blown the scattered clouds into wispy streaks called Mare's Tails that raced across the night sky.
The crossing ended at Scorpion Bay in the lee of Santa Cruz Island. The last leg of the crossing was made under power because both the main and head sail had been blown to tatters.
After scuba diving in murky conditions a return crossing was made under power between storm fronts.
Outside Santa Barbara harbor there were eighteen boats of various sizes that had slipped their moorings and washed up on the beach that first night.