Southern Sunrise in South Africa


Is there a moment more inspiring, a time or a place more appropriate for feeling hopeful than at sunrise? There is always the sunrise, no matter what the day before has brought to each of us, and that light brings hope and inspiration with its multicoloured hues. For me there is no better moment for gratitude than at sunrise upon the ocean. It is absolutely incredible to witness and yet so many of us miss sunrise as we slumber in our beds. When the sun begins its steady journey towards the jagged mountain tops each day many are sleeping but I am already at sea, hopeful and waiting on cold winter mornings for the heat of the day to begin. I watch the sky turn into a watercolour painting as the stars fade into the background, dimmed by the beginnings of dawn in the southern hemisphere. I rub my gloved hands together and glance at my watch, knowing there will be a patient wait before the sun rises above the mountains. I can time it to the minute and know where to position myself on the boat for that moment of warmth.

It never ceases to amaze me, as the dawn light begins to show, that every single sunrise is different and equally as spectacular. I never know what to expect and there are days when the ocean and the seal colony where I work are turned orange with diffuse light and flat calm seas. Those days are restful, calm and utterly silent. Then there are days when the bitter wind blows up from the Antarctic and the sky turns a deep, rich pink with thick grey clouds streaked across the sky like charcoal. The scene looks angry with its strength and the power of the elements. There are gentle sunrises when fluffy clouds turn pale pink and delicate oranges and warm golden hues skip across the sky. The light of each sunrise surrounds my watery office in beauty that is far beyond that which humans can create. It is awe inspiring and I cannot help but offer up my thanks to the dawn for giving me another day, another chance to explore this world.

I lean against the cabin of the boat as dawn continues and the horizon glows with brighter light and the beginnings of a blue sky. It won’t be long now until I feel the warmth of the sun, a balm to my soul, when that globe of light finally shows itself above the mountains. I move to the side of the boat to prepare. As I close my eyes and lift my head I hear the wind whipping gently around me and the seals on the colony begin to rise and call to one another. The sun is slowly waking us all. Just a moment longer; the boat rocks below me and the wind continues to blow. Just one moment more and there is a hint of warmth and light through my closed eyes. As the seconds pass and I stand silently, the light intensifies the heat and hope shining upon my cheeks. The world brightens, picks up pace and I open my eyes to see the bay stretched far and wide around me. Another day has truly begun, it is ready to begin and there is no trace of the sunrise. The ocean turns vivid blue and my day at sea truly begins.

About the Author: Kathryn is a passionate marine conservationist, freelance writer and blogger. She is using her voice one day at a time to inspire others to explore, travel and create a better future for the oceans and sharks.

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