Today I broke a promise that I made to myself on the 3rd of December 2002.
On that Tuesday almost 10 years ago I sat with my housemate and worked out whether if we got in the car and drove flat out would we make it to Ceduna, South Australia in time to see the total solar eclipse taking place the following day. It was a logistical nightmare that would have included calling in sick from interstate and 17 hours of driving. We decided that it just too hard and instead went out looking for a new car for my housemate.
That day, in part, set in motion a plan which began in July of the following year and saw us travel around Australia for a year and a half. So it wasn’t a total loss.
|The Troopy that was bought that day. The ultimate impulse buy!|
But that day I promised myself that I would see a solar eclipse, if not overseas, the next one to cross to top of Australia in 2012. 2012 seemed such a long way away.
It wasn’t until the media coverage began that I realised that I would be missing the 2012 eclipse. It dawned on me what a bitter disappointment I was to my early 20’s self, not to mention the distress my present day self was feeling.
|23 year old me looking very unimpressed!|
As a consolation I managed to appropriate a welding mask so that I could view the partial shading of the sun from my front porch in Geelong. It was an underwhelming experience in comparison to the impact the total obstruction of the sun had on the crowded gathered on the beaches of Queensland as shown on TV this morning. I could see the crescent shape of the moon through the mask but now as I write this paranoia has taken over and I fear that I have, despite my precautions, damaged my left eye.
|One of our many campsites – Fraser Island, Queensland|
The next total eclipse is on the 3rd of November 2013 and will be visible across the Atlantic Ocean. The next total solar eclipse to pass over the continent of Australia is not until the 22nd of July 2028, surely enough time to get my shit together.
|Wave Rock, Western Australia|
If you want to suffer the same degree of disappointment that I’m currently enduring check out where past eclipses have been and where future ones can be viewed on the link below.