about south river federation

by: Jaclyn Fisher

This past weekend, Sarah and I were the Federation's "eyes on the sky" for the 2017 Solar Eclipse, making the long trek down to Columbia, South Carolina to view the eclipse in its totality.

We headed down south late Sunday afternoon, stopping to camp in North Carolina, before continuing to the “East Coast Eclipse Capital” early Monday morning.

After 8 total hours of driving, we hunkered down lakeside at Sesquicentennial State Park alongside thousands of other eager viewers, waiting for the spectacle to begin.

 

eclipseglasses2At around 1:15pm the moon took the first bite of the sun, and from that point on we were instantly captivated. With our eclipse viewing glasses glued to our faces, we relaxed and watched as the moon’s shadow crept further and further across the sun. Cloud cover not only gave us relief from the Carolina heat, but allowed us to take pictures of the growing partial eclipse.

However, as the moment of totality crept closer and closer, the cloud cover grew, as did the tension of the crowd. With five minutes until totality, the eclipse was covered by large fluffy clouds, usually a god send on a 90+ degree day. But with many people, like us, travelling a great distance to see something that might be hidden by the clouds, they were unwelcome. Luckily, just a minute or two until totality was set to begin the large cloud moved, revealing just a sliver of sun left. A bright flash of light indicated the beginning of totality, and the moon covered the sun completely. Suddenly, we had been plunged into night. The shadow of the moon was surrounded by a thin ring of light. The eclipse was one of the most beautiful things I had ever seen. In 2 minutes and 36 seconds it was over, but it felt like just a few seconds. As soon as the sun peeked back out from behind the moon, another cloud swept back in. I don’t think I have ever witnessed such good timing in my life.

It took us around 10 hours to get back to Maryland, which means in total we spent 18 hours driving for 2 minutes and 36 seconds – but both Sarah and I agree it was “totality” worth it!

     totality2    behindtheclouds

Eclipse Photos courtesy of Sarah Giordano.