We did it – we kept the tradition alive! We studied the weather forecast last night which indicated rain starting mid-morning so we decided to take a chance. We loaded the boats on the car and packed all the gear in the evening, ready for a quick get-away in the morning. We were determined to keep our promise to Art and to keep the tradition alive. Are we ever glad we did!
There are different phases to sunrise and we figured we needed to be on the water by Nautical Twilight where it’s still dark and the sun is about 12 degrees below the horizon (6:30 am) because at Civic twilight things are generally visible without light. We wanted to see the progression until sunrise (7:30 am).
And progression is what we saw. Starting out in the dark was a bit scary. We left at low tide and paddled along a coastline we had not yet paddled, so we didn’t know where all the rocks and gotchas would be. In Meech Lake, once you are off shore you really can’t go bump in the dark. So we stayed offshore quite a bit and lived to tell the tale.
There was already some color in the sky, even if it was quite dark. Over the shore by our house it looked a bit threatening with clouds so we were not sure if the weatherman was going to be correct but luck was with us.
We could hear the shore birds and saw many herons looking for breakfast along the shore. We slowly paddled, loving the windless water, and watching the progression of the sun.
The changes were magical. Initially it was a band of oranges and pinks above Thetis Island.
Then as the sun got closer to the horizon, the colour intensified and coloured the surrounding clouds, which was also reflected in the water. The changing color and moods did truly inspire awe and I couldn’t seem to put my camera away.
Just before the sun sun rose above the horizon, we had a period of soft pink in the sky and on the water. It was amazing.
The sun rose above the island and then the color dissipated fairly quickly and gave way to the thickening cloud cover.
We paddled back to the beach, loaded the car and enjoyed a breakfast at one of the few establishments that are open in Ladysmith on a Sunday. It was not the Biscotti in Chelsea, but it was yummy and we now have a Ladysmith tradition. Once home and the gear put away the rain started. We timed it well!
Such a glorious way to spend Thanksgiving morning and to reflect on how lucky we really are that we can do something like this. Hopefully we get to repeat the experience many more times. Bill thinks we should do it for the summer solstice and winter solstice. The first will be VERY early, the second could be quite cool. Stay tuned!
I took way too many pictures and it was difficult to choose which ones to include here. This one is our absolute favourite. It captures not only the spectacle but the feeling we had. For more, see this photo album.