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Passengers' Comments & Letters

A Salute To Eclipse '72
Mrs. John E. Dawson

All aboard cruise ship Olympia
To see the 'Eclipse total'
A pilgrimage for Science
Tre's Educational

On board were men of knowledge
With telescopes in hand
Full of scientific data
That Dr. Sigler planned

For the amateur astronomer
Drs. Hess, Carr, Hamilton and Hall
Opened up the celestial heavens
To the joy of one and all

While standing on the "Fantail"
In the dawn might seem absurd
Many gathered there to learn and share
Mr. Robinson's friend "the bird"

For those amateur photographers
Mr. Little gave advice
So the many Eclipse pictures
Would be clear, neat and precise

While standing near the "Bow-sprit"
With plastic bags in tow
Dr. Schaefer caught air that came from where
The polluted breezes blow

The celebrity, Scott Carpenter
Pioneering sea and air
Gave a run down of his courageous acts
While longer grew his hair

We salute Drs. Brooks and Chamberlain
Navigators of whom we'll brag
Their rendezvous with ECLIPSE '72
Helped the crew to raise " the flag"

We thank our cruise director
We salute the Captain too
We're indebted to the many hands
That compile Olympia's crew

And though the Eclipse is over
And "totality"was won
We look forward to future learnings
'Neath the everlasting "Sun"

--Mrs. John E. Dawson

…the cruise ship became a huge laboratory that had a stimulating effect on all passengers…
--F. Bramwell

…I simply absorbed the spirit of many enthusiastic and knowledgeable people —staff and fellow passengers.
--L Spiegler

…The stimulation from the eclipse staff and fellow passengers aboard ship provided the best and hardest working vacation I ever took! And the "work"was such marvelous fun!
--M. Becker

It will live forever in our memories…
--D. Attaway

One of the greatest adventures of my life…
--Rev O. H.

"I've matured in such a special way"…
--Gred D. (16 years old)

We shall never be the same the rest of our lives
--Sherman S.

One of the most interesting aspects of the cruise was the education and experiences it provided for children as well as adults. Since it has been estimated that any one person's chances of witnessing a totally eclipsed sun are one in 25,000, the children who viewed the solar eclipse aboard the Olympia felt very special.
--Elsie Murray,Teacher.

[Phil Sigler}]
[Scott etc.]
[George Pedas et al]
[Penny Nicol]
[Scott Carpenter]

Katherine D. Taft
Director, National Science Teachers Association
Highland Park, Illinois

Eclipse Cruises, Inc.,
PO Box 1972
Englewood, New Jersey

Dear Eclipse '72 cruise organizers,

Eclipse '72 was not just a predictable solar phenomemon peculiar to the microcosm known as the T.S.S. Olympia but was an exciting and stimulating experience.

Many reactions to the experience can be classified into three areas. First the very personal thrills of being able to actually see the overwhelming beauty of the magnificent corona, the flame of the prominences and the truly startling beauty of the diamond ring burst of light. Second, the opportunity to learn in a totally new field, Astro-Photography, and to increase my knowledge in fields with which I am familiar. Third, to find, at last, manifestation of a truly interdisciplinary, outside the four walls of a school, educational experience. Many educators have longed for this, some have made efforts to implement such an experience but rarely, if ever, has it been achieved until the Eclipse '72 cruise.

Intellectually, I knew what caused a solar eclipse…but only the actual total immersion of all my senses in the phenomenon could bring about my knowing it in the truly philosophical meaning of the words, to know.

A truly interdisciplinary learning experience is a most difficult objective for any one teacher or team of teachers to achieve, but Eclipse '72 did meet this goal. My admiration for the combined skills of astronomers, navigators, oceanographers, and meteorologists. It was thrilling to me to see all of these disciplines used so beautifully to culminate in our viewing the magnificent spectacle of the solar eclipse.

Many of us are grasping towards a merger of the humanities and the sciences in our educational work with students or our own scholastic endeavors. This magnificent example of open-ended education in a total immersion situation is an inspiration to me. The role of the humanist, Dr. Sigler, in dreaming "the impossible dream" may well become one of the definitive breakthroughs in the educational process. I hope I can direct my teaching in at least some measure to achieving part of this goal, at least, now I know it can be done. Thank you for the most inspiring experience of my life!
--Katherine D. Taft

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

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