Just received my geektastic eclipse globe! It illustrates the path of every solar eclipse during the twentyfirst century—from 2001 to 2100—including 68 TSEs and seven annulars.
“This globe is ideal because the distortions inherent in any flat map of Earth are eliminated,” states the text at Great American Eclipse, where you can order one. “Moreover, a globe accurately represents the true areal extent of totality’s path across Earth’s surface. The base map gives the physiographic view of Earth. Color tints distinguish arid regions from humid areas; lighter tints and shading depict mountainous areas. The transparent yellow paths crossing the oceans and continents mark the areas within which a total solar eclipse can be observed. Thin red lines in the centers of these paths denote where the longest local duration of totality can be enjoyed. A small red-rimmed yellow circle near the midpoint of each eclipse path shows the point of greatest eclipse.”
Useful! Pretty! Twelve inches. Comes with a clear plastic base.
Wednesday, July 3, 2019. The pall aboard the PG created by the totality shutout exacerbated the already low spirits from the ongoing bad weather at sea and the Pitcairn fail. Disgruntlement circulated among actual professional astronomers and hardcore umbraphiles on the guest list, and they fomented unrest to whomever would listen around the pool and in the buffet lines. (These are the same individuals that found fault with niggling details in the science lectures and had actual conflicting opinions that they loudly voiced about Fillipenko’s dark matter statistics.) There was a way, they claim, to have seen totality, but I think their Monday morning quarterback plans would have compromised the itinerary and put the remaining island destinations at risk.
The rest of us got over it quickly; as we have learned from Jimmy Buffet, there’s nothing like booze in the blender to help you forget. (As one practical individual observed, pina colada in hand: “The casino on these eclipse cruises is usually poorly attended. Because this whole thing is gamble enough.”) In retrospect, of course I would have liked to witness my eighth total solar eclipse, but the experience was priceless. The emotional highs and lows ranged from elation (“we’re heading to clear skies, it’s a sure thing!”) to the sickening realization that the eclipse we paid thousands of dollars to see would not be seen. It wasn’t for the lack of trying, though—see the photo below of the Paul Gauguin’s Spirograph-like path in search of clear skies.
We returned to life at sea as we sailed back to the Society Islands—touring the galley and bridge, playing trivia in the piano bar, solving the jigsaw puzzle. I spent time in my stateroom, drawing—the shelf below my porthole windows became a mini studio. Independence Day came and went without undue observation, partly because the planned ice cream social was cancelled due to rain, but mostly because the staff dropped the ice cream on the deck because the ship was pitching in the rough sea. This was not a trip for those prone to motion sickness.
I shifted my expectations to the sun and sand and snorkeling that would hopefully come soon.