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The Sun Puts on a Show

During our recent trip to Tahiti, few cruisers we spoke to were keeping up with the mind-numbing headlines back home. But they all seemed to know about the imminent solar eclipse which would be best viewed from French Polynesia — and elsewhere along a narrow track stretching from the Cook Islands to southern Patagonia.

In ancient times an eclipse would probably send frightened islanders running for cover. These days, it’s a cause for celebration.

© 2010 Karine Blanchard

Apparently one of the truly primo spots to observe the eerie effects was in the Tuamotus. Several boatloads of cruisers and some local charter companies bashed 300 miles there from Tahiti to take in the July 11 show as the moon’s shadow ominously swept in front of the sun, temporarily darkening the normally brilliant skies.

Islanders and vacationers witnessed the phenomenon together.

© Karine Blanchard

The next total solar eclipse will occur in November 2012 and will be visible from northern Australia and the South Pacific.

The moon perfectly blocking the sun’s light? What are the odds?

© Karine Blanchard

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