This weekend I discovered an amazing coincidence in our planned route for next year for Tahina! It all started with a post by Stefan Geens at Ogle Earth about his plan to move to Shanghai this year – in part because there’s a total solar eclipse passing right over that city this summer. After sending him a congratulation, it occurred to me to check for other upcoming solar eclipses to see if any would happen during our five year circumnavigation.
So, I went to a site I’m familiar with by Xavier Jubier which provides maps and data on upcoming eclipses (even with Google Earth). Imagine my complete surprise to find out there is a total eclipse occurring in the South Pacific next summer! On July 11, 2010 the path of totality will pass just a short distance away from Tahiti (see detailed path in Google Earth , or Google Maps). A little further investigation on typical arrival times for passages to Tahiti showed it very likely we would be there next summer by late-June early-July!
The path of totality will pass about 30 miles south of the island of Tahiti. But, we could sail a couple of days east to some atolls for a view from solid ground (a stable platform for photographs of the eclipse). Not only that, but July is typically the dry season in the area which increases the chance for good weather for the event. OMG! This is great! A total eclipse of the sun is truly an amazing event to watch. Watching one from an atoll in the south pacific will be really awesome!