March 17, 2014 – We are celebrating St. Patrick’s Day in Mulege, we had been scheduled to stay on Santispac however a fierce El Norte blew up and pounded Baja, a good time to be off the beach for sure. We have heard Hwy 1 from Vizcaino to Guerrero Negro was closed due to extremely high winds and poor visibility because of blowing sand. Vehicles were blown off the road and power poles snapped in half, fortunately both tours missed this stretch on tour, one in front, one behind. When we left san Ignacio the wind was up so we made an executive decision to see if these was room at the Hotel Serenidad and there was; good move on our part. We later heard from Bruce & Marian who said the wind created havoc for many on the beach including the sailboats. Everyone has enjoyed the last couple of days, a little touring around and some pool time in very hot weather, 30C plus.
The whale watching in Guerrero Negro was fabulous, everyone saw many whales doing many things and touching whales was routine for this group who were all on one boat. The weather for this was near perfect, the seas a little rolly with a bit of a chop, however once the whales arrived the gang forgot about being in a boat. That afternoon on return we left for San Ignacio, the drive from Guerrero Negro to Vizcaino uneventful as we now know, not the next day. We set up and off we went into town, to my surprise our favourite store on the plaza corner was open. Not for long as the proprietor who is now 80 is closing the store in a month, he is retiring to Mexicali.
Folks were really amazed at this little town and the lagoon, so much water in the middle of the desert. We had dinner at Rice & Beans later and the group agreed the Margaritas were terrific!
Tomorrow morning we are off to Loreto, the birthplace of the Californias.
Did you know?
The Tropic of Cancer, also referred to as the Northern tropic, is the circle of latitude on the Earth that marks the most northerly position at which the Sun may appear directly overhead at its zenith. This event occurs once per year, at the time of the June solstice, when the Northern Hemisphere is tilted toward the Sun to its maximum extent. As of 2014, it lies at 23° 26′ 14.675″ (23° 26′ 16″) north of the Equator. We cross the Tropic of Cancer on Hwy 1 just south of los Barriles and on Hwy 19 just north of Todos Santos on Baja California Sur.
Its Southern Hemisphere counterpart, marking the most southerly position at which the Sun may appear directly overhead, is the Tropic of Capricorn. These tropics are two of the five major degree measures or major circles of latitude that mark maps of the Earth, besides the Arctic and Antarctic Circles and the Equator. The positions of these circles of latitude (other than the Equator) are dictated by the tilt of the Earth’s axis of rotation relative to the plane of its orbit.
The imaginary line is called the Tropic of Cancer because when the Sun reaches the zenith at this latitude, it is entering the tropical sign of Cancer (summer solstice in the northern hemisphere).
When it was named, the Sun was also in the direction of the constellation Cancer (Latin for crab). However, this is no longer true due to the precession of the equinoxes. According to International Astronomical Union boundaries, the Sun now is in Taurus at the June solstice. According to sidereal astrology, which divides the zodiac into 12 equal parts, the Sun is in Gemini at that time. However, according to tropical astrology, which divides the ecliptic in twelve 30° sectors, starting with the vernal equinox, the Sun is always entering Cancer at this time, as the Earth’s axial tilt is most inclined towards the Sun. The word “tropic” itself comes from the Greek tropos, meaning turn, referring to the fact that the sun appears to “turn back” at the solstices.
Carretera 83 (Vía Corta) Zaragoza-Victoria, km 27+800. Of all crossings of the Tropic of Cancer with Mexican federal highways, this is the only place where the latitude is marked with precision and where the annual drift between 2005 and 2010 can be appreciated. The Tropic of Cancer position is not fixed, but varies in a complicated manner over time. It drifts south almost half a second (0.47″) of latitude per year (it was at exactly 23° 27′ in year 1917). See circles of latitude for further information. North of Tropic of Cancer is the subtropics and the North Temperate Zone. The equivalent line of latitude south of the Equator is called the Tropic of Capricorn, and the region between the two, centered on the Equator, is the tropics.
According to the rules of the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale, for a flight to compete for a round-the-world speed record, it must cover a distance no less than the length of the Tropic of Cancer, cross all meridians, and end on the same airfield where it started.
To calculate the length of the Tropic:
- At present, the radius of the circle is 6378 km x cos(23° 26′ 16″) which results in 5851.77 km
- Then 3.1416 x 2 x 5851.77 which amounts to 36 768.
- Therefore, assuming the Earth to be a perfect sphere, the length of the circumference at the parallel of the Tropics would be 36 768 km
For an ordinary circumnavigation the rules are somewhat relaxed and the distance is set to a rounded value of at least 37 000 kilometers. The Tropic of Cancer is a line of latitude circling the Earth at approximately 23.5° north of the equator. It is the northernmost point on Earth where the sun’s rays can appear directly overhead at local noon. It is also one of the five major degree measures or circles of latitude dividing the Earth (the others are the Tropic of Capricorn, the equator, the Arctic Circle and the Antarctic Circle). The Tropic of Cancer is significant to Earth’s geography because in addition to being the northernmost point where the sun’s rays are directly overhead, it also marks the northern boundary of tropics, which is the region that extends from the equator north to the Tropic of Cancer and south to the Tropic of Capricorn. Some of the Earth’s largest countries and/or cities are at or near the Tropic of Cancer. For example, the line passes through United States’ state of Hawaii, portions of Central America, northern Africa and the Sahara Desert and is near Kolkata, India. It should also be noted that because of the greater amount of land in the Northern Hemisphere the Tropic of Cancer passes through more cities than the equivalent Tropic of Capricorn in the Southern Hemisphere.
Naming of the Tropic of Cancer
At the June or summer solstice (around June 21) when the Tropic of Cancer was named, the sun was pointed in the direction of the constellation Cancer, thus giving the new line of latitude the name the Tropic of Cancer. However, because this name was assigned over 2,000 years ago, the sun is no longer in the constellation Cancer. It is instead located in the constellation Taurus today. For most references though, it is easiest to understand the Tropic of Cancer with its latitudinal location of 23.5°N.
Significance of the Tropic of Cancer
In addition to being used to divide the Earth into different parts for navigation and marking the northern boundary of the tropics, the Tropic of Cancer is also significant to the Earth’s amount of solar insolation and the creation of seasons. Solar insolation is the amount of incoming solar radiation on the Earth. It varies over the Earth’s surface based on the amount of direct sunlight hitting the equator and tropics and spreads north or south from there. Solar insolation is most at the subsolar point (the point on Earth that is directly beneath the Sun and where the rays hit at 90 degrees to the surface) which migrates annually between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn because of the Earth’s axial tilt. When the subsolar point is at the Tropic of Cancer, it is during the June solstice and this is when the northern hemisphere receives the most solar insolation.
During the June solstice because the amount of solar insolation is greatest at the Tropic of Cancer, the areas north of the tropic in the northern hemisphere also receive the most solar energy which keeps it warmest and creates summer. In addition, this is also when the areas at latitudes higher than the Arctic Circle receive 24 hours of daylight and no darkness. By contrast the Antarctic Circle receives 24 hours of darkness and lower latitudes have their winter season because of low solar insolation, less solar energy and lower temperatures.