Location: 25° 1′ S, 177° 9′ E (as of 1000 local)
Today is the day before the total eclipse and things are a little quiet on the ship. People are discussing tomorrow’s phenomena, but with caution in their voice. Everyone is hoping the weather is good for tomorrow morning.
You can tell the veteran eclipse chasers from the newbies and casual observers. Today a dozen people were test running their equipment. We were two of the people testing out our photography gear. But looking around the ship at some of the “professionals”, we are outgunned. One person has a telescope stand that auto-tracks the sun and can adjust for the movement of the ship!
Nature had another nice show for us today though. An underwater volcano erupted “nearby” and lots of pumice rose to the surface. We sailed through some of this on our way to the eclipse location. A month ago, an underwater volcano just NW of New Zealand had a massive eruption which generated an “island” of pumice about 200 square miles in area and 0.75 inches thick. The kiwi Navy spotted it by accident. We don’t know if this is pumice from the same volcano, or another volcano also in this corner of the ring of fire. Either way, pumice creating underwater volcanic eruptions are very rare and we got to see the results of one today. We seem to be having all the luck with rare geologic events on this trip!
Tonight we saw a singer, Jackie Love. She was very talented and we will get to see her again in a few nights as part of a variety show with other performers.
Tomorrow we wake up before dawn to claim our little corner of the ship for the eclipse. We hit the eclipse center line at 700 in the morning and begin following east along that line to get the best view. We expect first contact to occur at around 9:11 (ship time), with totality occurring from 10:21.02-10:24.28 (ship time). The actual time is dependent on ship position.
Word drops: 2
Pictures taken so far: 2925
Number of times Ryan checked the weather forecast for Norfolk Island (nearest weather station to eclipse location) this trip (today): 13 (3)
PS… The eclipse was amazing! PERFECT weather (thanks Harry)! Will post more later.