Posted by: Cap'n Fuzzy | March 22, 2016

Is it Spring Yet?

I must be the tantalizing hints that winter is finally coming to an end. The days are noticeably longer, we have officially “sprung forward” to daylight savings time and we have just passed the spring equinox.  For a few days the length of our day and night are similar to equatorial areas of the globe.  I mention it because it was one of those astonishing realizations that still makes me shake my head.  Growing up in a temperate latitude I took for granted that warm weather meant longer days.  Watching old movies like Casablanca or even more modern ones like Romancing the Stone which feature scenes of eating outdoors in the dark, everything lit up festively.  Without any conscious thought my brain made the assumption that they were eating very late at night, as it would have to be in Canada, on a warm summer evening.

When I first went to Singapore and Malaysia it finally struck me that near the equator the transition from day to night is within a few minutes of 6 am or pm and that once the sun has set it gets dark, fast.  In contrast, I lived in the Canadian arctic for several years where a good portion of the year it never fully gets dark, and above 60 degrees, the Arctic Circle, the sun can be above the horizon 24 hours a day for a period depending on how far north you are. The twilight transition during most of the year is much less abrupt and can last for hours.

I much prefer the tropical 12 hr day and night.  Yes it is hot during the day in many tropical areas but as soon as the sun is below the horizon it cools.  It is very pleasant to sit outside in the long evening, having something to eat, perhaps listening to music. Small harbours and marinas are nice because the lights on the docks and the boats reflect across the water. Voices in conversation and music carries across the quiet water.  We spent many tranquil evenings reclining in the cockpit of HC37 at Marina Mazatlan, sipping a last drink before turning in.

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