Our Astro 9 students and I convened at the bluff at Pleasure Point, hoping for the best. The jet stream had brought down a cold front and the eye of the low pressure system was crossing over Santa Cruz right as the eclipse was due to start. There were a few no-shows, but then the weather really looked bad. Rain early in the day had given way to mid-level stratus and scattered thunderstorms. Sunset was beautiful though, as a clear area opened in the west. The moon peeked a bit through the clouds as twilight deepened, but the entire first half of the eclipse was basically clouded out.
Then, as totality was beginning and the last bit of twilight was ending, the moon shown faintly through the thinning stratus. The 30 second exposure at left allowed the surf to flow into a soft blur lit by the lights of the city.
Some of crew; Erik, me, Michael & friend, and Chris. Matt and Brett also were there briefly.
A couple of former students also happened by; one a surfer enjoying the first real waves in months.
But my favorite was little Claire; an 8 year old with boundless enthusiasm and good cheer who brought a smile to everyone there.
She parked herself in front of our big binoculars and was thrilled to see all the pretty colors of the eclipse.
Just for fun, I took the picture at left and ran it through Photoshop's artistic filters, finishing with the watercolor filter.
A long exposure just after the end of the total eclipse phase. The thin stratus clouds and long 4 second exposure produced the soft halo effect.
Nancee is helping herself to the hot chocolate I made on the Coleman stove. The temperature dropped quite a bit as soon as it cleared up around mid eclipse.
Chris picks through his prodigous gear box for the right equipment. He shot at prime focus through his 10" f/5 Newtonian. And at right, I'm working on the oak mounting bracket which was not beefy enough to handle the big cameras and the Orion ShortTube refractor.
Michael lines up for the perfect frame composition.
Hopefully Erik will be able to contribute some of his awesome shots here before long.