Now that basketball season is over, I took a rest from going to Charlotte each weekend. I’m here by myself this weekend. After reading Alan’s post, Boardwalk, I decided that I’d go to the beach this morning. I consulted my handy, dandy, sunrise/sunset calendar, saw that sunrise was at 7:14, with twilight at 6:50 AM. I set my alarm for 5:00 AM and went to sleep.
When I awoke at 5:00, I did a foggy mental calculation telling me that I could sleep 30 more minutes and still have time to get to where I was going and catch the good light. I got up at 5:30 AM, and was out of the door at about 5:40, or so. The GPS estimated that I would get to the beach at 6:30. Perfect timing. That would allow me the time for the 10 minute walk to the part of the beach that I wanted and then twilight would start, followed shortly by sunrise.
As I drove towards the beach, eastward, when nearing downtown, some 20 minutes away from the beach, I noticed that the sky was growing appreciably lighter on the horizon. I tried to tell myself that that was NOT civil twilight, but it was a bit too bright for nautical twilight. Denial is your friend! It kept getting lighter and lighter and I kept getting more and more anxious! Could I have read it wrong. I never had before!
About 10 minutes from the beach, I was rolling along a road that was bordered by marshes. There were some beautiful colors, indigo, orange, and yellow. I wanted to stop and shoot, but I had a mission to make it to the beach, before twilight began. My denial was in full swing because it was quite a bit into twilight already. What had happened?!
When I arrived at the beach, there was no problem walking, as it was quite bright outside. Full-on civil twilight. I got to the beach, set up my tripod, and saw where the sun was to rise. It was obvious because the rays were already leaking above the horizon. Hmmmm. The sunrise is 24 minutes early. I must not be on Earth!
At about 6:49 AM, there she came in her full glory over the horizon. I was still mystified, wondering what could have gone wrong. I was not delusional enough to think that this was a celestial anomaly that I was witnessing, but I did wonder where I went wrong.
Making the best of it, I noticed the warm glow on the rocks in front of me and decided to photograph them. It was nice to have the sun out anyway because it was cold and windy, about 34 degrees with a wind chill of 26. The sun was a welcome sight and feeling!
I stayed around there for about 90 minutes, then headed back home, wondering all the way … what went wrong? When I got home, the first thing that I did was check the sunrise/sunset calendar. Then, it hit me. I had forgotten about this “helpful” little thing that it does. When you get to within about 5 days of the end of the month, it automatically selects the next month for you. So, without paying attention to the selection or the header at the top, I looked at the last Saturday of the month, which happened to be March, and grabbed the sunrise time for then and, you guessed it, sunrise is at 7:14 AM on MARCH 27, 2010!
Oh well. Now I know. No harm. No foul. I still enjoyed the outing.