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eclipse watchers


On Thursday February 26, 1998 a total eclipse of the sun was observed at sea from the decks of the luxury liner Stella Solaris.

At 12 ° North latitude 69 ° West longitude the Voyage to Darkness passengers intercepted the last solar eclipse visible in the Western Hemisphere until the year 2017. Eclipse duration was 3 minutes and 42 seconds with the sun's altitude above the horizon at 61 °.

The following eclipse photographs were taken by George Keene, Voyage to Darkness astrophotographer, aboard the Caribbean Eclipse '98 cruise. All photographs were taken on Kodak Ektachrome Elite II Film ISO 400, using a 4-inch f/9 Jaegers lens.

[1/1000th second into eclipse]width=108 height=108
1/1000th second; Second Contact; Three Bailey's Beads shine through lunar valleys at upper left, red hydrogen chromosphere and one large prominence at top. Moon moving from lower right to upper left.
[1/30 second into eclipse]
1/30th second; Middle Corona; the solar magnetic field causes polar "spikes" in the corona at lower left and upper right.
[1/4 second into eclipse]
1/4th second; Unusually sharp long exposure from shipboard shows long coronal streamers extending from the solar equator (upper left and lower right).
[1/500 second into eclipse]
1/500th second; Exposed at third contact, this view shows the diamond ring effect and the solar limb decorated with many small red hydrogen prominences.


Eclipse Statistics — Caribbean'98 Voyage to Darkness

[Eclipse Flag (transparent)]

The eclipse flag has proudly flown from the masts of ships of
all Voyage to Darkness solar eclipse expeditions.

  • First contact (beginning of the eclipse) occurred at 12:40pm Atlantic Standard Time (GMT -4), and the 630 passengers experienced solar eclipse totality at precisely 2:11:50.

  • It ended at exactly 2:15:32 for a total period of totality of 3 minutes, 42 seconds (0:03:42).

  • Fourth contact (end of the eclipse) occurred at 3:40pm.
  • At totality the sun's altitude above the horizon was 61°, 21' and its azimuth 223°, 12'.

  • The position of the STELLA SOLARIS at totality was latitude 12° 35.8' north, longitude 69°, 3.0' west, placing the eclipse chasers approximately 15 miles north-northeast of Curação, Netherland Antilles on the eclipse baseline in about 1200 fathoms (7200) feet) of water.

  • The air temperature was 88°F/32°C.

  • The sea water temperature was 88°F/25°C.

  • Magnetic compass variation was 4°, 45' west.
[Stella Solaris]  

Caribbean Eclipse Cruise '98--Cruise Path Map
Caribbean Cruise'98 Map
Total Miles Traveled: 3096

[Caribbean Eclipse Cruise brochure]
[Ted Signature]

Dear Fellow Traveller,

We take pride in welcoming you on our Caribbean Eclipse '98 Cruise aboard the Stella Solaris.

This extraordinary voyage provides the best in travel — an exciting destination for an equally exciting event.

Past travellers on my Voyage to Darkness cruises are well aware of the spectacle provided by a total eclipse of the sun. On February 26, 1998, we will once again rendezvous with totality and share this unique experience.

Caribbean Eclipse '98 was designed to offer you a special opportunity to become involved in stimulating educational, cultural and scientific activities while enjoying the social and recreational pleasures of elegant cruising.

Caribbean Eclipse '98 features a distinguished team of international authorities and scholars, noted journalists, astronomers and educators, a renowned meteorologist and an expert photographer. They will provide you with lectures, seminars, round-table discussions, slide presentations and one-on-one discussions prior to the great event.

You will be able to witness first hand the work that goes on behind the scenes as a BBC television production crew tapes a special edition of The Sky at Night, featuring our lecturer, Patrick Moore.

As the sun sets on the Stella Solaris each evening, passengers can join our astronomers on deck to search for the elusive green flash. You can revel in the beauty and harmony of the universe and witness the starry grandeur that graces the skies from the unequaled vantage point of a ship at sea.

We welcome you aboard the Stella Solaris to share with us the camaraderie of friends and adventurers with like interests, the excitement of an exquisite cruise, the dramatic splendor of a total eclipse of the sun and the thrill of experiencing exciting destinations in the Caribbean.


Ted Pedas


Feb. 23 (Mon)Port Everglades, Floridaembark2:00pm
Feb. 24 (Tue)Cruising northern Caribbean  
Feb. 25 (Wed)Cruising southern Caribbean   
Feb. 26 (Thu)Curaçao 7:00pm Midnight
Feb. 27 (Fri)Aruba, Netherlands Antilles 7:00am 8:00pm
Feb. 28 (Sat)Cruising southern Caribbean   
Mar. 1 (Sun)Ocho Rios, Jamaica 7:00am 1:00pm
Mar. 2 (Mon)Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands 7:00am 1:00pm
Mar. 3 (Tue)Cozumel, Mexico 9:00am 2:00pm
Mar. 4 (Wed)Cruising the Gulf of Mexico   
Mar. 5 (Thu)Galvaston, Texas 9:00am  


Read About Our Caribbean Eclipse '98 Experience

[Caribbean Eclipse Cruise brochure]

E-mail:   Ted Pedas mpedas@ix.netcom.com