Seeing Things


The article last month got you all talking below are some of the responses we received

Re the article by Rose Jones in your June edition, I have seen Africa countless times in the years I have lived here, but I believe we are seeing the Rif and not the Atlas mountains. I cannot prove it with any mathematical calculation but I know what we have seen many, many times. We are about 5kms inland from El Morche, possibly about 500m high, but have seen them from our friends' house which is near Torrox pueblo also. We can clearly see Gibraltar from here, and to the left of that are two large mounds of (Moroccan) land, then further along to the east there are numerous peaks which I have also photographed. It is certainly possible to see them - it is not a figment of our imagination or some kind of 'reflection'.

Rose Jones is absolutely correct in the June issue concerning the visibility of Morocco. I would like to enclose photos I have taken from my house in the campo of Cómpeta of North Africa on 2 different occasions last year What you see are not clouds unless EXACTLY the same clouds are visible on every occasion - both of these photos are identical showing the mountains as they exist. I agree that these mountains would not be seen from sea-level but given the altitude of our house (about 1575 feet) and the similar altitude of Canillas (even despite being a minute distance further away from Africa) then Africa is easily visible. We have even seen it all day on
a few very clear days over the winter, but generally if it is going to be visible then it is seen round about sunset in winter, when the sun has set here (or is close to doing so) but has not yet set on the African mountains.
So, Rose, congratulations on being right and let your knowledgeable friends stew in their own embarrassment.
Best wishes

Regardless of what the tables say about height of eye and distance you only have to come to Torrox
pueblo to see that the geometry is not strictly true. We are behind the red church in the village and some days the horizon of the Mediterranean is barely visible from our terrace. Other days the horizon is so high you would think that the sea would flood the valley. It’s all to do with light passing over ocean and land which seem to distort the rays of light so one can "see" past the logical horizon In the gulf of Georgia on a clear day in the fall we would see the ferries, about 20 miles away. With our height above the sea we should only be able to see the upper deck, if that. With the refraction and mirage effect we could see the whole of the ship underneath there seemed there was a strip of sky so the whole thing was suspended above the water. So yes, as sailor who has seen this kind of thing many times I would say that given the right time of day, clear weather and whatever the hell else makes it happen you can see the mountains.
Hope this helps

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