Wow ! This knocked our socks off. Pretty obvious as we are all running around in bare feet.
There is a picture gallery after the story; don't miss it.
A small group of friends went up to the Old Pottery at Etty Bay for the eclipse. The first big decision was whether or not to go further north as totality at Etty Bay from an astronomical calculator was only about 16 seconds. After seeing the influx into Cairns we decided to sit tight at Etty Bay despite a higher chance of cloud than some other places.
Below is a diagram the path from the Astronomical Association of Queensland. Innisfail and Etty Bay just make it! The AAQ web site is recommended browsing for good descriptions and educational material.
On E-day we sprung out of bed bright and early like some sort of crazed spring chickens to watch the sunrise. Gulp...oops... rain about and cloud on the horizon with a hint of something out there.
We had a fresh coffee and waited. At 05:34 a few rays squeezed through and buoyed our hopes immensely.
Zooming in to confirm... YES yes sunlight !
Meanwhile, we turned on the box and watched the sunrise further north with a sinking feeling.
05:54 and things are looking interesting but the sun is still hiding behind that big cloud.
OK. Where is the sun? If it is not going to perform for us then why not skylark? Add a bit of levity to the gravity.
I can see it over there.
No you can't, it is over there.
No ..no...it is there. I am stone motherless sober. All that red wine last night has worn off. Trust me.
06:05 Yee ha. Cloud lifting.
06:09 Yes, YES...we have liftoff... get the recycled transit of Venus glasses on.
One pair for the camera and one for me.
06:12 ... a beautiful sight. What an emotional roller coaster.
06:32 ...this is getting serious. No time for mucking around as totality approaches. All eyes on the job.
06:39 there is almost nothing to see through the glasses so this is it. Direct pictures for a short while.
... and darkness fell
but not for long...
pretty soon the moon was moving away and it was time to don the glasses again.
... some are very excited
... and some are just awe struck (very cool)
... moving right along, as the cloud returned to dim the celestial show ...there was the small, earthly, matter of breakfast.
Fresh tropical fruit from Rusty's Market in Cairns, mushrooms, bacon, local Yamagishi farm eggs and such like were waiting in the wings with expert cooks chompin at their respective bits.
...so we all sat down to enjoy the food.
Looking out to sea we noticed a ship and wondered who they were what they saw of the eclipse. The first part of the question was easily answered by the Marine Traffic app on the phone (Android).
It was the RTM Wakmatha a UK flagged vessel and sailing north from Gladstone on its way to Weipa.
Looking at its straight track past Etty Bay, one could surmise that it was on autopilot.
... maybe it was the fresh fruit ? The local cassowary showed up to join the party. Too bad we had eaten it all.
After all this excitement we decided to check the TV to see how other visitors fared in their eclipse endeavours.
We were not disappointed in the slightest by the scattered clouds but were interested to see the event coverage.
Some screen shots follow.
Then this was this serendipitous shot as the camera caught a transition in scene and merged it onto a single frame. Photographers and the Totality they were so focussed on.
Baily's Beads which is an effect caused by sunlight passing through valleys on the moon, and the bright diamond ring at the final point of commencing totality were captured by ABC TV.
If that was not enough excitement for one day, we then had another group of friends who watched the eclipse from a beach north of Cairns join us at Etty Bay for lunch !We had fresh pies from the nearby Mourilyan Bakery, and visitor caught, home baked Barramundi done Greek style. What a treat.
After a long day we hit the sack early. On the following day I woke up very early (04:37) and wandered out to the verandah. It was a magical scene with scattered clouds over a starry sky with the faintest glow of dawn. A couple of trawlers were on the horizon with a bright planet above them to the south east. Out came the trusty phone and the Google Night Sky app which indicated that it was Venus. On the screen capture the sun can be seen below the eastern horizon
Finally here is the picture gallery of the day's events.