expedition to Tikahana Motu & Tatakoto Atoll, French Polynesia
July 3rd-July 18th,
: John Beattie
Love Bill Speare
Cali's animation of totality from diamond ring to diamond ring
Nine" with our host Madeleine Voirin at the airport just
Back row (standing)
Bill Speare, Michelle Bales, Madeleine Voirin, Emily Love, Bob
Row (sitting) : Larry Stevens, Geoff Sims, Matthew Poulton, Joe
row(reclining) : Bengt Alfredsson
on flash report sent to SEML on July 14th)
This page contains a general report about the activities of our group. Also hosted on this
site are the individual reports or results from each of the participants. By following these
links you will access comprehensive reports in the form of photos, videos, slide shows and
written reports or accounts.
Joe Cali Bengt Alfredsson
Pine Larry Stevens &
Alone at Last! "
Geoff Sims' stunning wide field totality
Joe Cali is the lone figure sitting on the sand spit behind his
Crystal clear azure waters of a stunning coral lagoon to his
mother natures great spectacle front and centre.
We arrived on Tatakoto on July 6th, 5 days ahead
Many of us had taken a few days on Tahiti
or Moorea to
relax and get over jet lag or fatigue
before moving on to Tatakoto.
From the beginning we engaged with the locals on
many levels. We
brought with us, enough eclipse glasses
and eye safety educational
pamphlets (written in French) for every
member of the local population.
This gesture went over very well and quickly
endeared us to the local
On Saturday July 10, we surveyed two motus.
Motus are small islands
along the south of Tatakoto lagoon.
These motus are privately owned
however the two we surveyed belonged to
our wonderful host Madeleine
Voirin who kindly gave us permission to
use them. We chose to observe
from the lagoon side of Tikahana Motu.
along south of Atoll : photo Joe Cali
Tikahana was much larger than the first motu we surveyed and
had plenty of coconut trees to shield us
from the strong prevailing southerly winds. There was a
shed with a large awning for shelter from the rain and a pit
toilet set back among the coconut trees. On our return
on the afternoon of July 10th, we took the boats almost
straight across the lagoon 15 mins and were met by a vehicle
rather than taking the boats all the way back to town
down the lagoon - an 80 minute boat trip.
team members had different goals so following the scouting trip,
the group decided to divide up on eclipse day.
Geoff, Emily , Bengt, Bill, Matthew and I decided we would go
to the motu. Bob Pine wanted to stay in town to experience
it with the locals. Larry had a slightly bigger EQ mount and
didn't want to carry it in the boat so he and Michelle chose
stay to the north side of the island on the ocean beach
about 2.7km north east of our location.
left Tumukuru at 4am on eclipse morning. Madeleine Voirin drove
us and our boatmen up to the mooring. She took Larry and
Michelle to the north beach and Dan McGlaun who hitched a ride
to the east end of the main island. As we waited for first light,
it began to rain.
Emily Love tries to stay dry Photo : Bengt Alfredsson ......................................... Waiting in the rain . Photo : Geoff Sims
As soon as it was light enough to see, we crossed the lagoon.
It was still raining a little. The weather played games with
two brief rain showers and lots of cloud as we set up.
Location of Joe's scope on the sand spit in front of the shed
: 17° 20' 47.5" S 138° 21'
was further up the beach about 120 metres west of Joe : 17°20'49.80"S
about 30-40m south east of Joe. Larry and Michelle were
2.75km north of this location and
Bob was back in the town of Tumukuru (see larger scale map above).
But it did clear at the critical time and save two brief
periods of thin transparent cloud, we saw a spectacular
unobstructed eclipse and have captured some great video
and still images. Larry and Michele on the north side of the
island and Bob
in town had similar experiences and we will send detailed
reports and make imagery available in due course.
of prominences were observed in photos and I observed them through
my refractor but we think that a particularly bright
inner corona made them more difficult to detect with the naked
eye than other eclipses. The diamond rings were especially
the emerging diamond ring was small and sharp and lasted for
perhaps 5-6 seconds. Right at second contact, some thin
across partly dimming but not obscuring our view of the eclipse.
The photographers fired shutters anyway. After the eclipse
discovered that four of us had recorded shadow bands projected
onto this low cloud. A first in eclipse photography.
totality we donned eclipse glasses and floated on our backs in
the crystal clear waters of the coral lagoon watching partial
then we enjoyed some snorkeling along the reef. You really couldn’t
want for more.
above : © 2010
Left : Our
boatmen Christian and Michel enjoy the partial phases through
Right: Geoff and
Emily watch the closing stages of the eclipse.
©2010 Bengt Alfredsson
Left: Is this the coolest eclipse chasing photo ever? Bengt enjoys
the partial eclipse after 3rd contact.
Right : Who invited Lurch from the Addams family? Actually,
it's Matthew Poulton, Brittish eclipse chaser who now lives and
works in France.
private expedition was organized by John Beattie and all group
members wish to publically thank John for the exceptional job
did. We also wish to thank our incredible host Madeleine Vorin
who bent over backwards to help us enjoy our stay. One
of our group
members, Matthew Poulton speaks fluent French and spent the week
translating for us and on occasions translating correspondence
tour administrators for
the Tatakoto administration. Without his assistance our
eye safety project would not have been nearly as successful.
Finally a big thank you to the beautiful people of Tatakoto who
have made us feel so welcome during our week long stay.
Mauruuru Tatakoto! We will always remember you.
regards from : -
Joe Cali Bengt Alfredsson Matthew Poulton
Geoff Sims Emily Love Bob Pine
Larry Stevens Michelle Bales Bill
Wait, there is so much more.............
This was an incredible place to observe an eclipse. To get the
complete picture, please take the time
to "see it" through the eyes of each member of the
team. We have all presented different aspects
of the eclipse, recorded in different media from video to film
to written verse.
Follow the links below to see images, videos and/or written reports
by the individual team members.
Links to individual observer's reports and photographs
TSE2010 Home Page
report as sent to SEML on July 14th.
ARE LOOKING AT THIS PAGE.
- Images from 70mm f6.2 APO refractor;
time lapse of totality using a still camera presented as a flash
wide field time-lapse
of observations on Tikahana Motu;
shadow bands projected on clouds;
of pictures from the eclipse and Tatakoto
Nikkor 180mm f2.8 APO telephoto;
of general pictures from a great week on Tatakoto.
90mm f11 Maksutov.
under construction - no content yet)
of pictures of the atoll, its landscape and people and our group
enjoying a fantastic week on Tatakoto
field (21mm) and close up(500mm) stills;
two really well-edited
movies : -
- one of
- one covering
the eclipse and the other gives a great overview of our whole
week on Tatakoto.
of her first total eclipse.
recounting his impressions of his 27th totality.
of the eclipse from the almost deserted town of Tumukuru ( the
town on Tatakoto).