Thursday, April 29, 2010

North is South

09* 54.4' South
139* 06.2' West
April 29, 2010
Tahuata, Marquesas, French Polynesia

I have been known to lose my bearings when waterways do not run north and south (I have lived most of life between Lake Washington and Puget Sound, near the coast of the Pacific Ocean), or rivers that are supposed to run east and west suddenly take a jog to the north (I still don't get the quadrants of Portland). It seems funny to me watching the sunrise out of the ocean from the dock in Annapolis (the sun is supposed to SET in the ocean). Imagine how disoriented I felt when I first visited the east coast of Australia - the sun was coming up out of the ocean and going around the opposite part of the sky.
Well, I am here to say that it has happened again! The other day, here in Tahuata, I did a couple of loads of laundry and baked some potatoes in my solar oven. We are anchored in a bay along the west coast of an island that runs roughly north and south - so far so good, this orientation is working for me. So, being the domestic engineer that I am with an area of expertise in laundry drying, I hung out all my clean laundry along the south side of the boat for maximum sun exposure. I pointed my solar oven in a roughly southerly direction on the bow so that I would not have to keep moving it all day. Luckily, I did go and check on things mid-morning and I noticed that my shadow (which I also use to help position the oven) was falling in the exact opposite direction relative to how I had set up the oven. Then, it hit me! I am in the Southern Hemisphere and the sun moves across the NORTH part of sky. Yikes! By that time, it was almost noon and the laundry was almost dry even on the shadier side of the boat, but I have made the shift in thinking.

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Seven C's said...

Lol! I had not even thought of that! That would be confusing!
I understand the disorientation - we had the same problem in Xcalak - the sun rising out of the ocean. But it sure was beautiful. And the giant orange full moon rising out of the ocean was amazing!

Kat said...

Yes, we were confused at first when real estate ads in Australia kept going on about "north facing properties", but now of course it makes sense.

Jan said...

PJ an Brad: For the what it's worth department, I love your blogs. Keep them coming. Safe travels. Jan