November 14th 2012 near Cairns in Australia.
‘WOW’ what a truly amazing experience it was to witness my first total eclipse of the Sun. My husband Graham who is not into astronomy at all was just blown away by it all too…
It all nearly did not happen because for 50 minutes of the eclipse we had clouds continually rolling down from the mountains behind us and out into the sea.
Our setting at Ellis Beach was just perfect, a beautiful sweeping beach with overhanging coconut trees and the expected sun rising between a pretty shaped double island out at sea and the headland…very picturesque indeed.
But in reality what was happening was a rising king tide that would come right up to the coconut trees and huge amounts of clouds rolling over the mountain and down into the sea just where the Sun was to rise...very nerve wrecking indeed!
I had my telescope set up on a tiny patch of sand that had survived the last high tide hoping it would hold out long enough until the eclipse had ended before it would all end up being washed into the sea, taking my telescope and me with it!
I was with fellow members from SAS and a few of them just could not stand the pressure of waiting any more for the clouds to clear, so they packed up and headed for the hills…but I stayed put and decided what ever would be…would be.
As it turned out 10 minutes before totality there was a slight parting in the clouds and Yippee, it started to happen and unfold to the utter delight and thrill of everybody on the beach.
A remarkable thing happened when the Sun first broke through the clouds and we first saw the eclipsed Sun, a kookaburra sang his song in a tree behind us…he stole that moment and it will always be in my memory. He knew something was happening as they only sing to herald the rising sun at dawn and sunset at night…that was just so surreal and truly beautiful.
I was also mesmerised and distracted by the strange light that come upon us just before totality and actually took my eyes away from the telescope to look around, it was so very bright and of a clear yellow hue, then this rush of air come from over the hills…I was truly in tuned to all these things happening around me and then the light got dimmer and dimmer on the shimmering water and Pow!!! There was totality…everybody was awed. In these moments I forgot to take the solar filters off the telescope, but I took the time to just look at the magnificent spectacle before me, then got to work taking some images with only a few seconds left of totality, how quickly 2 minutes goes…what an awesome experience!!!!
I now know why so many people chase these eclipses all over the world, what a wondrous sight to see, and you really have to see one as nothing else compares or captures the atmosphere of this most remarkable spectacle.
Please find below a college of some my images taken of this most awesome celestial event.
Whatever you do in your life, please try and see a Total Eclipse of the Sun!
It’s just so awe inspiring :-)