This photo, dated 3rd May 2007, downloaded from Flickr
was taken here - Isla do Faro (google maps street view)
We note the heavily overcast sky. We also note the almost total lack of shadow.
The conditions and temperature may reasonably be deduced from the clothing and the body language and stance of the girl.
We also see a small patch of blue sky, and are entitled to ask where this was.
The direction of the photo may be easily deduced, by taking the shoulder of the girl, the beach, the walkway, the concrete wall, the lamp post with the distinctive globe shape and the windows of the hotel in the middle distance as markers.
This then takes us here, and we can reasonably include the clouds
Once again the pattern is clear. Open sky over the sea, heavy cloud over the land.
We could also, perhaps frivolously, fill in the details of their day. They planned a trip to the island, woke up to a cloudy day, and dressed appropriately.
They crossed the causeway, but it was so cold and windy that they did not even get far beyond the car park, before taken the obligatory photo, and immediately adjourning for a hot drink in a local cafeteria.
Later that evening, just before sunset (which was at 2022) they had a romantic stroll along the beach and he took another photo of his girlfriend
Let us now turn to the photo of the rock on the beach.
Some have argued that since it shows patches of blue sky, it is capable of negating all the other evidence of the weather conditions in the South of Portugal for the period under consideration.
The photo dated 3rd May 2007, was taken from Flickr
An educated guess from a local resident and a search on google maps shows that it is here. Praia Dona Ana, Lagos
and on that same page it is included among the visitors’ photos
We can then calculate the direction in which the photo was taken
First we find the rocks in question through google maps
then apply compass points
giving us this
which when applied to a larger map gives us this
And once again the weather pattern is clear.
We look back at the photo, and roughly place the patches of blue sky, and the observable overcast, and find there is no surprise.
Over the sea there are patches of open sky.
Over the land - total cloud cover
The distance from Praia Dona Ana to the children’s pool at the Ocean Club in Praia da Luz is
5.59 km (3.47 miles, or 6110 yards)
At the Ocean Club children's pool we are told the weather was like this
- bright sun, sharp shadows, hot, sweaty, flat calm, in fact the sort of weather which merits shorts and T shirts and sleeveless sun tops, and sun hats, and sitting with one’s feet in a very cold pool . . .
whereas less than three and a half miles away the weather was like this
What may we deduce ?
We observe that apart from the girl who took the photo, the beach is EMPTY
This little beach should look like this
In the area covered by the 3/5/7 photo there are no fewer than 42 people shown
So we apply logic, we note that Thursday 3rd May was in the fortnight including Portuguese Freedom Day Bank Holiday on 25th April, Labour day on 1st May, and Mothers’ Day on 6th May.
The season to celebrate and have family outings to the beach
The Praia Dona Ana is on the edge of a heavily built up residential area at the edge of Lagos
But the beach is deserted.
May we at least ‘purport the theory’ that the reason for this state of affairs was that . . .
The weather was cold and windy, as everyone else says, and as all the official weather reports along the coast say, and as the World Windsurfing Championship reported, and as local residents recorded in their diaries, and as all the photos in the public domain demonstrate ?
The possibility that the Last /Pool Photo was taken at lunchtime on Thursday 3rd May 2007 becomes ever more vanishingly small.
Balance of probabilities ?
or are we yet at
Beyond a reasonable doubt ?