The End. I thought I would begin with that. As most Long Islanders know, “The End” is another name for Montauk Point, the eastern-most tip of the island we call home. Not only is the area a surfing mecca, a fishing mecca, and well-known for viewing a broad variety of wildlife, but for many people, Montauk has a certain spirituality about it. So much so, that many people refer to Montauk as “my happy place.” Because of all this, and because Montauk faces east, this is an extremely popular destination for sunrise on New Year’s Day. What better way to start the year? In bed, you say?
Well, never fear. Mid-January sunrises are the latest of the year, occurring around 7:15 in Montauk, so any day this month is great for heading east for your Montauk sunrise fix. I have made it my personal tradition to head out there January 2nd, when I’m a little more rested, and the crowds have thinned.
This year, my local forecast called for clouds moving in by sunrise. Knowing that clouds almost always move west to east, I thought that I might just have a chance of catching some light at the point. The clouds and I arrived at about the same time. As I pulled into the parking lot, the sky was just starting to light up, providing a beautiful backdrop for the lighthouse. A sliver of clear sky remained at the horizon, allowing the sun to make a glorious appearance before the gloom completely took over. Clouds and rain hung around for the rest of the day, but this day had a sublime beginning at The End.