ONE DAY TO GO (March 8th)

Clouds took over the morning sky today. There was minimal breeze so they were barely moving. During the night, a couple of team members got up to check for stars in order to focus the equipment but no such luck. Maybe tonight. At eclipse time, there was no Sun to be observed. We can’t help but worry about the weather tomorrow. We wonder what the weather is like at the two other sites (Maba and Buli). We weren’t as talkative as we usually are during breakfast and during equipment testing time. We carried on as planned, testing the software, the filters, the telescopes and the cameras. We know the island will start to get crowded this evening and before the eclipse tomorrow, so we roped off the area around our tents in order to give us space to work and protect the equipment. Duncan, Shadia and I tested our cameras and GoPros choosing various spots and angles within the enclosure to capture the eclipse, the people, the landscape and the shadows.

In the midst of the worry and the frustration, we took time to celebrate Judd’s birthday with lunch, a gift (a gorgeous flower bouquet handmade with seashells by one of the staff members), a card with an eclipse and Plun Island on it hand-drawn by Naty, and a delicious cake made by the staff.

With a chance of clouds tomorrow morning and knowing we will not sleep tonight, we all count the hours until the eclipse. Taking flat images, calibrating the spectrometer, aligning the telescopes and cameras and watching the tourists crowd the island we reach the night hours, hopeful that rain will come and the clouds will dissipate by morning.

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