My plans to retrace Captain Cook's unfinished voyage have been postponed a year while I work on the next Marine Diesel Basics book and get my new boat SV Oceandrifter ready for sea.
I haven’t been this far north, and in Canada. at this time of the year for almost a decade, so forgive me for wanting to celebrate the rising of the sun this morning, December 21st, 2011 at 8.37 am local time in Alberta, western Canada.
It’s been quite a shock to see – and feel – how late in the morning daylight arrives, how early the sun sets, and how short are the days in between. I have found myself waking later and feeling very sleepy until mid morning. And 6pm has felt like night time, even though the same time in summer would feel almost like mid afternoon.
So I’m especially thankful that today is the winter solstice; oday and tomorrow are the shortest days of the year in the northern hemisphere. The sun will rise a bare 15.6 degrees above the horizon today before descending and setting at 4.31 pm local time here.
What I’ve never known about before is how the earth’s distance from the sun immediately begins to decrease as the day’s begin to lengthen. Today, we are 147,169,000,000 kilometres from the sun. By New Year’s Day we’ll be 10,000 kilometres closer. That may not make us warmer (especially here in Canada) but the days will be 6 minutes and 6 seconds longer (according to dateandtime.com).