In contrast, we travelled in a large, modern 90-horsepower motorboat, with all the GPS bells and whistles. Nevertheless, we constantly checked the weather, as we were still apprehensive, given the unpredictable wrath of Lake Superior.
We arrived at the lighthouse around 8 p.m. to set up, take some test shots and catch the sunset. The skies, as predicted, were clear and dark. The Milky Way was expected to make an appearance around 11 p.m. The centre of the Milky Way is only visible for short periods during the summer in the Northern Hemisphere, so we settle in for a long, cool night.
By 10 p.m., the sky was dark. Looking north, I noticed a hint of green in the sky. No way, I thought! The aurora borealis (northern lights) were going to make an appearance! I quickly turned my camera around and rapidly set up to capture the show. I didn’t know how long or how intense the show was going to be, so the camera never stopped clicking. The show exceeded all my expectations. The lights danced for two hours above us, around us and even lit up the lighthouse. After the initial adrenaline rush of witnessing the intense green with occasional purple light, I had to manage my work. The Milky Way was visible to the south and the northern lights to the north, so I kept switching my focus back and forth, not wanting to miss anything. Witnessing the northern lights above and all around you from atop a cliff hosting a lighthouse was truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience.