Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Time Zone

The British Virgin Islands are in the Atlantic Standard Time Zone. That's one hour ahead of Eastern Time for those of you in the States; four hours behind Greenwich Mean Time for those you in Europe. At least, that's the case for half of the year.

Unlike most of the rest of the world, the British Virgin Islands do not observe Daylight Savings Time. As a result, in April, when everyone else is "springing forward", we're staying on the same clock. Not observing Daylight Savings Time is not so bad in itself. You don't have to worry about changing the clocks twice a year or being late (or early) to church. What I miss most about Daylight Savings Time is the resultant long summer evenings.

The sunrise and sunset times in the BVI are pretty standard during the winter months, with the sun breaking the horizon around 6:30am, and finding its way below the water again by 5:30 or so on the shortest days. In fact, that sunset time is much later for us in winter than it is for many locales further from the equator, which keeps me much happier in winter.

In summer though, in summer, when my favorite thing to do is sit on the porch in the coolness of the evening and watch the last lingering rays of a sunset at 8:30 or nearly 9:00 pm, I miss Daylight Savings Time. See, without DST, the sunset doesn't linger quite as long. Right now, as we're approaching summer solstice and the longest day of the year, the sun is setting just before 7:30, leaving several long hours afterward of mosquito-ridden dark in which I am unable to fully enjoy my porch.

And so in summer I find myself cursing both the time zone and the lack of DST in the BVI, both of which I consider responsible for the rays of light coming through my bedroom window at 4:30 in the morning.

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