The Eclipse - a day early!
The total solar eclipse was on the 22nd July
- for the rest of the world! The moon's
dark umbral shadow crossed India, Bhutan,
China and the northern Pacific ocean but
when it reached us at the end of its track,
just east of the International Date Line,
it was the 21st!
Our day started with a beautiful clear blue
sky and the keen photographers were out on
deck securing their position and setting
up their tripods and cameras. By lunchtime
we had reached our intended viewing spot
and a few wispy clouds joined the enthusiasts.
We had a clear view of first contact but
the clouds were starting to appear more frequently
so Captain Rajiko manoevered the ship (probably
under the guidance of the astronomers onboard)
to maximise our viewing. There was a mad
frenzy as the enthusiast photographers quickly
switched position from the starboard to the
port side of the ship.
Then we saw it - the spectacular 'diamond
ring' at the onset of totality in a clear
blue sky. We watched the approaching clouds
with anticipation and at the point of totality
they appeared as 'opening arms' below
the black sun. There were no clear red prominences,
however, one was observed in photos after
the event. As the total eclipse passed over
we observed another spectacular diamond ring.
We had hoped to see the partially eclipsed
sun at sunset so it was a great disappointment
that the cloud had continued to thicken.
Whilst the sunset was blocked by cloud, there
were some amazing red clouds on the opposite