Sunset Is Tuesday, But Sunrise Is Thursday
Photographs copyright: DAVID McMAHON
Because there is a time difference of seventeen hours between Melbourne, where I live, and Canada's northern reaches, where I spent the last week at the invitation of Yukon Tourism, the subtlety of the International Date Line can play tricks with us.
So when I flew to Canada midway through last week, I watched dawn break aboard a Qantas flight from Melbourne to Sydney. Then, about fifteen hours later, I watched dawn break on the same day, just before I landed in Vancouver.
But while we gain a day flying to Canada, we lose a whole day on the way back to Australia. Stay with me through this one and I'll explain how.
I photographed the sunset on Tuesday, 2nd September, halfway through my Air Canada Jazz flight AC 8448 from Whitehorse to Vancouver. Then I photographed the sun coming up the next morning, at cruising altitude aboard my Air Canada flight AC 033 from Vancouver to Sydney.
But the sunrise was the start of Thursday, 4 September. Yup, that's right. When you fly from Canada (or the US) to Australia, you lose an entire day. Gone. Disappeared. Never happened.
For the two sunset shots at the top of this post, I was actually sitting on the left of the aircraft, when I noticed the colours spreading across the sky to my right. Luckily there were a few spare seats aboard the flight, so I was able to get my camera and move to a window seat on the other side.
At around the same time, we hit a patch of turbulence and as I was trying to hold my camera steady, the "fasten seatbelt" sign came on, so my photo session came to an abrupt halt.
The next morning (above) I was sitting on the right of the Air Canada Boeing 777 non-stop from Vancouver to Sydney, so I was able to take as many shots as I wanted, as the sun rose above the Australian outback.
But I still can't account for that missing day between sunset and sunrise!
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