I still can't believe it. We had a couple of very clear nights last week as we sailed the Safari Quest through Southeast Alaska. Not only did that bring some beautiful sunsets, but one night it brought something even rarer, Aurora Borealis!
To see the Northern Lights you need a combination of factors. You need a clear night sky, darkness, and a perfectly timed release of charged particles by the sun. There are a few apps out there that are getting better at predicting the chances and intensity of the northern lights, however just getting a clear night sky is a task in itself here in Alaska. It is the rainforest, which means low hanging clouds almost all the time. Plus it is still summer, so the days are long, and the nights not very dark.
Our night deckhand shocked me with a midnight wake up call for northern lights. I lept out of bed, threw on my clothes, grabbed my camera and bolted up on deck. I was amazed further at the intensity of the lights. They stretched from horizon to horizon, clearly visible with the naked eye. They persisted until everyone had had enough and slipped back into the beds.
Not too shabby for my last week up in Alaska this season.
You can read about the first time I saw northern lights here, back in 2015.