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Day 4 – We Were Eclipsed!

Today, we get to see a total solar eclipse.  We hope Colleen also gets to see it.

We must have outdone ourselves because we slept until 6:30 am this morning.  The ocean sounds were muted because we were sneaking up on the eclipse location the Captain had selected, and we did not want to overshoot it.

Our to do list: eat, pool, eat, drink, sleep, repeat.

We had our morning coffee in the suite and then headed to the gym so Mary could grunt and groan through the yoga class, and I could merrily ride the bike down a desert path.

Where can I find horse liniment on the ship??

We were done at 9:30 am, just in time to return to the room, where a balcony breakfast was served.  Oh my, my calorie counter went berserk!  As we walked back to the room, I heard Mary say under her breath: ache, agony, burn, cramp, discomfort, injury, irritation, misery, soreness, spasm, strain, tenderness, torment, trouble, and twinge.

So, the 2024 eclipse is about to start! The Captain found the exact spot in the middle of the ocean to witness the Moon blocking the Sun. We turned the ship around and pointed it to maximize the viewing and minimize the ocean’s need to rock and roll us.

Our suite was 90 feet above sea level!  We were lined up North To South within one degree!

The countdown began, and we were in the perfect position. Our suite was aimed north with the Sun directly overhead. Most people were out on the decks all over the ship; we sat in the comfort of our room on the balcony, sipped champagne, and observed the event.

Seas the day!

Blocking the Sun took about half an hour as the Moon moved slowly.  We had our special glasses from Amazon, which worked very well.  They were well constructed and not the flopped cardboard ones that fall off you nose.

The eclipse is about to begin!

The temperature dropped 20+ degrees as the Moon passed between the Earth and the Sun.  It was light out until the last few minutes, and then came the darkness.  It was an eerie feeling to know it was noon but the Sun was gone.

Glasses on!  We call her Hollywood Mary.

We could hear the announcements that were being made over the PA.  We looked straight up and had the best view in the house!

What do you call a cruise full of college graduates? A Scholar-ship!

With this outfit, I could also be a bird watcher.

It was starting to get dark, and our suite lights came on. It looked just like 7:30 pm and it got even darker.

The weather could not have been better: calm seas and minimal ship motion.

Look carefully at the following picture.  The tiny white specs are planets and stars visible at noon on a sunny day.  The spot to the right of the moon-sun is Jupiter.

The ancients must have been scared out of their minds when this occurred.

Did You Know The fear of the moon is called selenophobia, which is also known as lunaphobia. It’s an intense fear of the moon or moonlight that can cause anxiety, distress, or panic attacks. People with selenophobia may avoid looking at the moon or going out at night.

With the use of glasses over the iPhone, we got:

100% blockage of the Sun.

The final moments before totality include displays of light known as Baily’s Beads and the Diamond Ring, caused by the Moon’s pock-marked surface.

The Diamond Effect sd the Moon just slighty moves away.

Indeed, a diamond, albeit rather large!!

The lucky passengers on our side of the ship on certain balconies had it easy!

Everyone had their cameras out.

After the event, we got busy!  We packed up, departed our cabin for the 18th floor, and had time to relax.   The to read and relax prior to our next scheduled event.

If dolphins didn’t live in the ocean and lived on land instead, which country would they live in?  Duh, Finland.

What does a dolphin ask when he doesn’t understand?  “Can you be more Pacific?”

Mary visited the fish on our way to the 18th-floor retreat.

We had three hours to relax, and we took advantage of it.  Mary shows off her new talent, needlepoint.  I set up the music to play a mix of  DooWop and 1960s folk!  My adventure book is getting exciting.

What is frogging in needlepoint? Frog / Frogging – when you’ve made a mistake and have to cut out and remove/rip out some of your stitches – comes from the sound frogs make ‘ribbit ribbit’ sounding like ‘rip it.

Mary worked on her needlepoint while I read my latest Clive Cussler adventure book.

The Skywalker Lounge gets very active at night, but it’s our retreat away from everything during the day.  The trough is three floors down, and we can order our drinks via the iPhone Medallion App.

We pretty much had the room to ourselves!

It was 4:30 p.m., and we walked to the front of the ship, into the spa, and enjoyed a pedicure. I was so relaxed that I almost fell out of my chair.

Nail time!

Contrary to popular belief, I did NOT have nail polish!!

We took advantage of Michaerlangelo’s General Manager and ate dinner at 5:15 pm.  He saw us in the non-reservation line and took us to a widow table in the corner of the room, where it was quiet.

Mary was again a good girl and had a salad and stroganoff.  I, on the other hand, went for French onion soup, a Caesar salad, and surf and turf!  With our friend, we killed off a bottle of vino!

Dining in luxury as the world goes by!  Life is good.

Dinner in Michaelangelo Restaurant.

Our friend lost his wife in November, but they had planned this trip together. Despite the circumstances, he decided to go anyway. He turned out to be quite interesting, and we shared many stories. He’s an engineer and a pilot.

Our new friend joined us for dinner.

Dinner was not over until 7:30 pm, and we were pooped out from the long day, so we went to our room and crashed.

I was in bed, and Mary asked if I could get another towel.  Sure, I said, as the housekeeper usually had the cart close to our room.  I stepped out in my all-together (not expecting to see anyone) to grab a towel, and the gentleman across the hall came out.  We were both shocked.  Mary fell over laughing and called me “The Streaker” the rest of the evening.

About Paul

Just an old retired guy trying to finish out my last years on this planet. I lost my best friend and wife in early 2020. I was blessed again by reconnecting with Dr. Mary Côté, a long-time friend. Mary and I got married July 28th, 2021, and are enjoying life together and plan to spend the rest of our lives being a blessing to our friends and family.
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