Solar Eclipse Observing and Photography - Joseph Cali



Wednesday/Thursday 26th/27th June, 2019.
AND THE WEATHER IS.................
Looking as good as can be expected.  Forecasts this far out are never accurate. I look for a couple of trends. A few days ago, the predictions were flipping between cloud and clear in the same model day to day and different models (GFS /  ECFWM) were indicating complete opposites on the same day. The past two days, GFS is indicating consistently clear and the ECFWM is now also indicating clear.  Even better is a long clear patch of a couple of days clear weather both before and after the eclipse.  If a cloudy weather pattern come in faster or slower than predicted, we are not threading the needle for a brief clear patch. We have wriggle room. 

ECFWM model via http://yr.no

Meanwhile in Chile....

On the road to Las Quijadas, RN142 north approaching the intersection with RN20
I think I'm in the right place .......

Or am I?? I came to see a total eclipse, not an annular with weird outward facing crescents.  How is that even possible??? 
Am I in an alternate universe? 

The three police/customs checks over the next 2 km confirmed my alternate universe theory, or maybe this is the intersection of three provinces. Naah, must be an alternate universe.

Arrived at Las Quijadas NP. Aaarggh, they close at sunset.  Clouds in the sky, closed at sunset.  I think the gods are trying to send me a message.  No nightscapes here, at least not without the help of photoshop ;-)

I had a chat to the ranger, confirmed the 1830 close and then I set out to do a couple of  the short <2km trails in the park.

Thoughts drifted back to my mate Bengt, he loved a good landscape as much as I do. His expression would have been something like this.

     I had a quiet word to him, told him I hoped he was seeing this from wherever he is.  And then the weirdest coincidence occurred. I bumped my lens, dislodged the lenscap and it fell off my camera onto the ground. This may not seem unusual to the casual reader but my lenscap hardly ever dislodges. But Bengt's lenscap would come off on a regular basis, couple of times a day guaranteed. 

Once, I decended from a treetops skywalk to a creek below us in the Daintree NP while Bengt waited above to mark the spot where his lenscap fell.  While down there, I found his Nikon lenscap and two other identical Nikon lenscaps which I collected for his camera as spares.

Coincidence, certainly! But I'll let my imagination tell me it is him sending me a message that he's here in spirit!

The park is an important conservation area for small birds that live in this arid region.

If you are interested in birds...
CLICK HERE  to open a gallery of 12 more bird photos in a new window.  The one on the left is a comesbo male, the right is a comesbo female. Still working on the ID's and translations.

Drivimg out I saw spectaclular laminar cloud formations over the Andes as the sun was setting.   Mixed blessing, because I was  driving straight into it.

Spent a cold night car camping near the town of Encon. I slept in the car.  Unfortunately, no hotels in the area, and after a long day and still jetlagged (woke at 330am), I was too tired to drive the 150km to the nearest hotel.  I had prepared for this and had food, warm clothes and the car seats folded right back almost flat.  I was relatively comfortable. 

That's the news for today....and now for the weather.............
Five days to go until totality.  The clear gap is closing but still a couple of days clear weather predicted centred on totality. 
Both GFS and ECFWM models are still in agreement and stable day to day.

Eclipse is Tuesday 17:40hrs. We will be a little south of San Jose de Jachal.

Some people really like to make a statement with their driveways.
Friday 28th June, 2019.

Collected Terry from Merdoza airport this morning.  We had some housekeeping errands in the city, register Terry as a driver of the rental, tried to sort out a problem with the mobile phone package he bought.  Then we drove a couple of hours to San Juan.  On the way we passed throgh this town and I just had to stop and get a picture

We made good time to San Juan and just kept driving towards our probable eclipse viewing site.
On RN40, about 60km north of San Juan, we came upon another sign.

Yes that is a 500mm square concrete pillar that they've put in to hold the eclipse sign.  It's going to be here long after the eclipse. 

It's a spectacular drive up and on arrival, the site exceeded our expectations, it is a stunning landscape.

All for now..............


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