Monday, 3 December 2012

Total solar eclipse

14 November 2012

For more than three years Simon has been planning a holiday to Cairns to be there for Wednesday 14 November 2012 to witness the total solar eclipse.

After an amazing night eating roast lamb and vegies in the hospitality of another handbuilt home, this one overlooking the lights of Cairns, we got up the next morning feeling excited about the prospect of seeing the eclipse.

We found a perfect, quiet spot for viewing it overlooking a cane field just of  the town of Yorkeys Knob. The beach was already packed an hour before totality was expected.

We sat in the car with our glasses on (as it was spitting) and Simon was figuring we’d not get to see it as it was too cloudy.  I kept hoping that what happened to us in Ireland would happen here. 

Years ago we were on the west coast of Ireland in a passage tomb to witness a summer solstice sunset alignment (where the light shines through the tomb and lights up the back alter).  It had been pouring with rain all afternoon but just minutes before the sun set, the cloud lifted from off the horizon and we saw the alignment.

Well the same thing happened again!

Just minutes before totality, the cloud cleared and we could see the final minutes of the moon coming in front of the sun and then experienced totality.

Nothing could prepare us for what we saw or how we felt.  It was amazing!  And so exciting!  I let out a squeal of excitement, shortly followed by dozens of others around us, I think even Simon started whooping and hollering!  It really was that exciting.

The clouds stayed away from our view of the sun for the next 20 minutes or so, so we continued to watch the moon move across the sun. 

Our trip north was so much more than we had hoped.  So glad we did it.

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