This was one of those moments that come along and happen fast, gone almost as quickly as they begin.

One afternoon I was running RAVEN from Monhegan in a long straight shot to Vinalhaven. It was a lowering, slate-gray day and the fifteen-mile run from island to island was uneventful until, just as we were closing in, just south of Hurricane Island, the sky opened.

There had been no hint of a possible break in that seamless leaden sky, but suddenly a magnificent single beam of light flashed downward, lasting less than a minute.

If you're on the water a lot you inevitably see wondrous things, “sightings,” and most fishermen have an intense relationship with their environment. Certainly, being on these waters instills a profoundly deep respect for all that nature offers.

The men on TWO CROWS briefly paused in their hauling to stop and behold this wonder. The captain’s wife later said to me that “it looked like the finger of God came down.”

Meredith Ralston