Wednesday, July 22, 2009

July 22nd Eclipse Day

carl's best
taken by Carl Jenson in Amakusa, Kumamoto Prefecture

Well, the big day is over and what an event it was, at least for us here in Kumamoto, Kyushu. (article in the Canadian press). As predicted, it was raining in Yakushima (Rik and Jogo's location during the eclipse) and it was beautiful and sunny in Amakusa (the support team's location during the eclipse).
This morning I had a great early morning surfing session at KDD in Reihoku followed by an even better solar eclipse viewing. I was incredibly moved by the images I saw through my black viewing lenses. 感動しました! It was so fun to share the experience with a friend, some other surfers and even a local grandma.
According to an email message I received from Rik this afternoon:
"The eclipse was a write-off as expected though it was interesting how it got dark. i grabbed one picture through the clouds of the partial phase right near the end. thats the most i could do. the news is that except for ogasawara it was all dame(Japanese for a write-off) in this area, tokara, amami, etc."

Rik and Jogo spent part of the day catching up with old friends, Chiba san and Nakahata san and discussing various strategies for the crossing tomorrow. According to Rik everyone seems to have a different opinion as to what is the best plan for the crossing. Whenever contemplating a difficult crossing or situation it is important to pay careful attention to information shared by the locals. As well, if possible, personally observation of the sea perhaps from a mountain or high land can give you a good picture of the prevailing sea and current conditions. In this case, due to the bad weather over the last few days, Rik and Jogo have had a lot of free time to watch and observe as well as gather local information. At present they are planning on moving east to Tanegashima tomorrow afternoon, hopefully on a favorable current. Here is the most recent current measurements according to careful measurements made on the ferry between Kagoshima City and Akuseki Island by the Kagoshima Prefecture's Current Research Development center. 鹿児島県水産技術開発センター

Tanegashima, a long and narrow island is historically famous in Japan as the island where Portuguese merchants first arrived in 1543 quickly introducing guns and Christianity. At present, Tanegashima is reknown for the Tanegashima Space Center (TNSC), supposedly the most beautiful rocket-launch complex in the world.

I'll be following the crossing tomorrow with the help of the spot tracking unit. Here is a look at the current radar footage of the Yakushima area:
radar 090722night



  • I saw the eclipse from southern Tanegashima. Cloudy and rainy unfortunately - after 5 consecutive clear days. The sun was briefly visible thru thinner clouds at about 60-70%.

    Still an exciting experience, anyway!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:54 pm  

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