Sunrise

Being on the west coast, Cape Town is definitely better known for its sunsets rather than its sunrises. Want one of those early morning pictures taken from an urban environment? Go to Durban.
Durban’s geographical location on the east coast of South Africa means that the sun tends to pop up there way before the sleepy Cape has even contemplated leaving its slumbers. Sunrise City, Durban is.

I’m not in Durban, but when I saw the sky beginning to light up this morning, and with Mrs 6000 volunteering to take on the school run, I took the opportunity to chuck Florence the Mavic Pro up to about 120m and snapped this:

Not bad, Cape Town. Considering you’re more about the evening thing, not bad at all.

And no, I’m not a bad workman blaming his tools the local atmosphere, but the mist and the pollution over the Cape Flats makes this image look misty and polluted. The camera isn’t to blame. The subject actually is misty and polluted. Photograph is accurate. We need some wind and rain to clean things up a bit, although then that makes flying less possible.
Catch 22, ne?

As ever, this looks better bigger and on a black background, here.

Scott Kelly Sunrise

I was going to wake up early and take some shots of the sunrise this morning. But then I didn’t.
Fortunately, astronaut Scott Kelly, currently aboard the International Space Station, took one for me:

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He must have got up properly early to get that.

The photo that I wanted to share yesterday but couldn’t because the dog ate the internet

Yes. Weekend readers will know about the difficulties I encountered this weekend in blogging what I wanted to blog, when I wanted to blog it. And yes, I do have mobile interwebs at home, but until we get the new cell tower we’ve been promised (and which some people in the neighbourhood have objected to because of a natural news article), it’s not that great.

But anyway, here’s that amazing photo, from Chris Wormwell (yes, this guy and this guy):

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Largitude here.

That’s St Michael’s Isle in the bottom right hand corner of the Isle of Man. It’s a place of great historical significance:

There is evidence for human activity on the island from the Mesolithic period onwards and there are two ancient buildings situated on the isle. Both are in a state of ruin and closed to the public, though there are a number of walks which allow visitors to explore the surroundings.

Obviously, one of them (St Michael’s Chapel, built in the 12th Century) is evident in the photo above. You can learn more here, or if you need to know the best bus to catch to get there, try here.

As for the photo: the atmosphere, the peace, the place, the solitude, the muted colours.
Beautiful.

Thanks Chris

Wery Welcome Winter Weather

I’m probably the only one thinking it. I’m probably the only one spelling Very with a W too, but that’s another story. Yes, Cape Town’s wet and windy weather this morning came as a pleasant interlude to the bright, winter sunshine for me, mainly because I’ve lost my sunglasses.

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Yes. Exactly. It’s because we’re only just past the winter equinox here that the sun is currently only getting to a maximum of about 35º above the horizon. And that’s at (today, anyway) 12:52pm. At 8am, the time when I like to set off for work during the school holidays, it’s about 11º up, which is about the same as saying RIGHT THROUGH YOUR WINDSCREEN AND IN YOUR FACE!

Talking about the sun, Cape Town moves back into having a sunset after 6pm as from the next Tuesday, 22nd July. This definitely makes for easier post work sundowners on Camps Bay beach. And in case you’re thinking that sundowners on Camps Bay beach can’t actually be done in July, you’re wrong, as I proved at 17:46:29 on the 11th of July, last year:

I’m pretty sure that sunglasses were used on that occasion.

Shortest Day

It’s the shortest day of the year in Cape Town today.

You’ll have noted that the sun rose at 7:51am and it will set later this evening at 5:45pm. That means that we’re only going to get 9 hours, 53 minutes and 35 seconds of daylight.
Make the most of it. Or choose to slow down a little and use a torch when it gets dark.

Your call.

The official winter solstice is at 12:51pm, three minutes after the solar noon, at which point the sun will be at a distance of 152,023,000km from Cape Town. This also means that it’ll be 152,022,999km away from the top of Devil’s Peak, which conveniently measures 1,000m in height and which is inconveniently casting a curse over the Mother City.
Won’t someone please change the name of that godforsaken lump of rock and save us all?

I digress.

Tomorrow, although the sun will still rise at 7:51am and set at 5:45pm, eagle-eyed readers should notice that the day will be a whole 1 second longer, as we begin our near-unstoppable charge towards summer.

Bring on beers, braais and bikinis on the beach.

Soon.