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Atlantic Sunrise

When you’re at the beach, watching the sun move out over the water is a great sight to behold.  If you’re on the west coast, the sun sets out over the ocean in the evening.  On the east coast, the sun rises over the ocean in the morning.  I experienced the latter at Virginia Beach on August 12, 2004 while on vacation.  I woke up at 4:00 AM, just in time to watch the sun come up from my balcony on the eighth floor of the Ocean Holiday.  We started out with darkness, and stayed with it until the sun was high in the sky.


At first, there was darkness over the sea, with the beach illuminated by the orange glow of the lampposts along the boardwalk.

At first, there was darkness over the sea, with the beach illuminated by the orange glow of the lampposts along the boardwalk.


Before too long, light was visible!  But only through long-exposure photography.  To the naked eye, the sky was still pitch black.

Before too long, light was visible!  But only through long-exposure photography.  To the naked eye, the sky was still pitch black.


However, soon the first rays of dawn became visible, while the beach was still primarily lit by the lampposts along the boardwalk.

However, soon the first rays of dawn became visible, while the beach was still primarily lit by the lampposts along the boardwalk.

However, soon the first rays of dawn became visible, while the beach was still primarily lit by the lampposts along the boardwalk.


The ocean was fairly calm, with only mild waves breaking on the sand.

The ocean was fairly calm, with only mild waves breaking on the sand.


All the while, a few people were out strolling on the beach.

All the while, a few people were out strolling on the beach.


And there were also a few ships here and there out and about in the early morning doing their thing.

And there were also a few ships here and there out and about in the early morning doing their thing.


And back on the beach, work is underway to smooth out the sand for the next day, making sure the beach surface is even and all the little footprints are all smoothed over.

And back on the beach, work is underway to smooth out the sand for the next day, making sure the beach surface is even and all the little footprints are all smoothed over.


Over the horizon, clouds were out, but these soon dissipated once the sun got up a little higher.

Over the horizon, clouds were out, but these soon dissipated once the sun got up a little higher.

Over the horizon, clouds were out, but these soon dissipated once the sun got up a little higher.


Meanwhile, people are also still strolling along the beach, near where the waves are crashing onto the sand.

Meanwhile, people are also still strolling along the beach, near where the waves are crashing onto the sand.


And as the sun rises higher and the sky reflects a pinkish hue, boats sail some distance offshore.

And as the sun rises higher and the sky reflects a pinkish hue, boats sail some distance offshore.


Isn't the sun's effect on the early morning sky just gorgeous?

Isn’t the sun’s effect on the early morning sky just gorgeous?


Looking down the boardwalk, except for a few folks here and there, the beach is quiet.  The fishing pier is lit up with its own lighting.

Looking down the boardwalk, except for a few folks here and there, the beach is quiet.  The fishing pier is lit up with its own lighting.


And along the boardwalk, people are walking and riding bicycles, while the artificial lighting still glows brightly.

And along the boardwalk, people are walking and riding bicycles, while the artificial lighting still glows brightly.


The crews out smoothing the sand have made some progress, having made a few lines up and down the beach.

The crews out smoothing the sand have made some progress, having made a few lines up and down the beach.


Meanwhile, the sun gets higher and higher, getting closer to becoming visible over the clouds and such.

Meanwhile, the sun gets higher and higher, getting closer to becoming visible over the clouds and such.

Meanwhile, the sun gets higher and higher, getting closer to becoming visible over the clouds and such.


A couple standing at the water's edge looks like a tiny speck in between a big beach and an even bigger ocean.

A couple standing at the water’s edge looks like a tiny speck in between a big beach and an even bigger ocean.


Now, with the sun most of the way up, the sun reflects off the ocean, making the beach appear dark in comparison.

Now, with the sun most of the way up, the sun reflects off the ocean, making the beach appear dark in comparison.


The boardwalk lighting went out in sections.

The boardwalk lighting went out in sections.


The sun is now technically up, but still hidden behind some cloud cover.

The sun is now technically up, but still hidden behind some cloud cover.


All the while, people watch the sunrise from the lifeguard's chair, and the waves continue to break along the beach.

All the while, people watch the sunrise from the lifeguard’s chair, and the waves continue to break along the beach.


The lights are still on at the fishing pier, as the clouds continue to hide the fun from us.

The lights are still on at the fishing pier, as the clouds continue to hide the fun from us.


The sun is almost fully out, with the outline of the sun visible beneath the line of clouds.

The sun is almost fully out, with the outline of the sun visible beneath the line of clouds.


The sun at last rises above the clouds to make itself visible.

The sun at last rises above the clouds to make itself visible.

The sun at last rises above the clouds to make itself visible.  The sun at last rises above the clouds to make itself visible.


The lampposts are now completely out along the boardwalk, as a pedestrian walks past Norwegian Lady Plaza.

The lampposts are now completely out along the boardwalk, as a pedestrian walks past Norwegian Lady Plaza.


A Public Works vehicle travels across the beach, cutting a swath across a loop that the sand-smoother left behind.

A Public Works vehicle travels across the beach, cutting a swath across a loop that the sand-smoother left behind.


Meanwhile, the sand crews are still at work, combing the beach to make it all smooth again.

Meanwhile, the sand crews are still at work, combing the beach to make it all smooth again.


The sun continues to get higher and higher in the sky, casting its warm glow across the Atlantic Ocean.

The sun continues to get higher and higher in the sky, casting its warm glow across the Atlantic Ocean.


The sun is fully up and daylight has arrived, and except for a swath near the middle, the beach has been combed smooth.  The sun is fully up and daylight has arrived, and except for a swath near the middle, the beach has been combed smooth.

The sun is fully up and daylight has arrived, and except for a swath near the middle, the beach has been combed smooth.


With the beach mostly combed and the sun out, people begin to come out of the woodwork, to bask in the sun and play in the ocean.

With the beach mostly combed and the sun out, people begin to come out of the woodwork, to bask in the sun and play in the ocean.


And another day at the beach is underway!

And another day at the beach is underway!

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