Short long weekend

We had a great long weekend. It had been too long since we were down in Cape Agulhas. And so, after a bit of a shaky start, we made the most of the Agulhas weather and welcome, and the only issue was that it had to end. I’m now back in the lab, knee-deep (no, not literally) in paperwork and I would much, much rather be back here:

The good news is that it’s not going to be another three months before we’re back there. But I think that the old adage that “absence makes the heart grow fonder” fits completely here. We didn’t realise quite how much we had missed it until we got back there.

Even over the busy Easter weekend, the peace and quiet was wonderful. The kids stepped away from their technology and drew, did puzzles, carved sticks and made rope swings.

And us – we just chilled. Took photos, had naps, walked the beagle, sat on the beach.

It was a great long weekend. Just not long enough.

STATS: June and the shortest day – Cape Town

We’re into June (cue comments of “where does the time go?” etc.) and Cape Town (last time I checked) is located deep (about 33 degrees deep) in the Southern Hemisphere.
The relevance of those temporal and geographical observations is that June contains our shortest day. And this year, much the same as every other year, June 21st has won through once again. [polite applause]

Note: I’m writing this on the morning of June 1st, but as I don’t know when you’ll read it, some of the tenses might be a bit off. What a tense situation (lol, geddit?) that may would have will been!

Today, June 1st, in Cape Town the sun rose at 0743, will reach its meridian at 1244, and set at 1745, giving a daylength of 10 hours, 02 minutes and 08 seconds.
Today is 52 seconds shorter than yesterday. I know you’ll notice/have noticed.

On June 21st, in Cape Town, the sun will rise at 0751, reach its meridian at 1248 (33 degrees (who knew?) above the horizon), and set at 1744, giving a daylength of 9 hours, 53 minutes and 32 seconds.
That’s more than a second shorter than June 20th was and a whole 2 seconds shorter than June 22nd will be.

BUT…

The days only get longer because the sun sets later. The sunrise continues to be at 0751 until June 24th and then gets even later (0752) until 5th July. However, this delay is offset by the later sunset to the extent that by July 8th, we’re back to a daylength of over 10 hours.

On June 21st, the sun will be 152.034 million kilometres from Cape Town, and while than might seem quite a long way away, we’re going to drift even further away until (again, obviously) the 5th July when we will be 152.092 million kilometres away. That might not sound like a big difference, but that’s an extra 580,000 km, meaning that the sunlight will take an extra 1.935 seconds to reach us on July 5th as it does/did/will have did on June 21st. I know you’ll notice/have noticed/have will did taked note.

For comparison, Cape Town’s longest day is December 21st.
On December 21st, in Cape Town, the sun will rise at 0531 (2 hours and 20 minutes earlier than June 21st), reach its meridian at 1244 (80 degrees above the horizon), and set at 1957 (2 hours and 23 minutes later than June 21st), giving a daylength of 14 hours, 25 minutes and 05 seconds (4 hours, 32 minutes and 27 seconds longer than June 21st.)

As for Cape Town’s latest sunset this year: you missed it (or maybe you didn’t, but it’s gone already) it was 2001 on January 6th. The sun that day was “just” 147.101 million kilometres away. Light from the sun took 16.648 fewer seconds to reach us on January 6th than it will on July 5th. And light goes fast, hey?

Quite Astonishing Sunset

Suiderstrand, this evening. Seriously (and I have given this some thought), the most amazing sunset I think I have ever seen.

This is the Instagram upload (but #nofilter, ok?) because I don’t have bandwidth and service to upload the “proper” pictures from out here in die bos.  I’ll tag a link to them when I get back to Cape Town, so come back tomorrow evening.

UPDATE: Here they are.

This evening, though?
Quite astonishing.

Saturday excuses

Often, when we’re heading down to Agulhas, I prepare posts in advance so that if I forget to blog, I’m covered. Sadly, I forgot to do that this time around (thanks to my four day weekend), so I have had to remember to post this.

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I’ve had a chilled day with an excellent lunch at the Black Oystercatcher before heading back to Struisbaai and watching the local fishing fleet coming in. And that above is last night’s sunset. Hashtag no filter.

Tomorrow promises more relaxation and a walk along the beach before a long meander home on Monday.

Fire Sunset

A large veldfire in Rondevlei Nature Reserve this evening made for a superb sunset over Cape Town.

In this hastily-snapped phone pic from our bedroom window, you’d be forgiven for thinking you were looking at the fire itself. But no. That smoke is coming in from the left of shot, and all the orange you see is setting sun.

We left the firefighters to their valuable work and headed off for a very decent meal at The Avenue, which, once again, comprehensively failed to disappoint.