Wednesday, November Eclipse 14, 2012
1:30am Group 1 boarded our chartered vessel, Ocean Freedom, and sailed across rocky seas to Green Island. Early start to get a good spot for photographers and join the 68 guests from our group already staying on Green Island.
Arrived: 2:30am. We were met by Daniel, Julie, Sue and Matt at the Pier and were led through the dark rain forrest to our viewing site on the beach. The dark and clear Southern Hemisphere sky rewarded us with the Southern Cross, Magellanic Cloud, and an organza ribbon of Milky Way.
Tensions mounted as the Eastern horizon began to pink heralding the Sun’s arrival. Cameras and telescopes poised and thankfully the clouds were blown away by the wind. Group II arrived just prior to First Contact.
5:45am. First bite at the top end and the blood is pumping. It’s like waiting for the Rock Star to arrive.
6:38am. Diamond Ring. Screams, moans, oohs and ahhs. Then silence and we watch. The experience is as much where it happens as it is we are what is happening. We are bonded and sealed by eclipse addiction. Dr. William Sheehan tells us that eclipses give our brain a rush of dopamine. Sublime and an incomparable feeling of pleasure and fear.
6:40am. Diamond Ring. Is that all there is? Too short, two minutes ++ seemed like two seconds.
7:40am. And the shadow moved onward till November 2013 in Gabon.
Back across, the ocean is much calmer now. The eclipse has it’s own weather pattern. Ours was a stunner.
Napped for two hours then headed to Hartley’s Crocodile Reserve for our Eclipse celebration. Champagne and passed Hors d’ouveres greeted the group before dividing the group for cruise among the crocodiles and feeding presentation. Sean could be the next standup comic as he entertained us with predator lore.
Lavish dinner on white linen set, long tables was the perfect ending to an absolutely perfect eclipse day.
Happy Melita …all is well….
Stargaze Team: Claudia, Daniel, Julie & Melita
Totality Photo: Les Anderson
Complete eclipse photo: Kirk Palmer