Andi, one of our guides, observes the eclipse. (Triton Bay, Papua, Indonesia, March 2016)
Andi, one of our guides, observes the eclipse. (Triton Bay, Papua, Indonesia, March 2016)

When the sun disappears

Dear English-speaking readers, this page is an automatic Google translation from a post originally written in French. My apologies for the weird sentences and the funny mistakes that could have been generated during the process. If you can read French, the original and correct version can be found here:

  Indonesia: Triton Bay - March 2016

This is a rare event that I witnessed between two dives during my last trip to Indonesia. The rendezvous of the Sun with the Moon!

Nasa, Indonesia and me

I knew about it before leaving. I knew I was going to be in an area of the planet where the solar eclipse of March 9, 2016 was going to be observable. A video animation of Nasa is better than a long speech:

I landed at Triton Bay, located in the West Papua region, eastern Indonesia, on March 8, the day before.

Triton Bay is where I put a little red circle, on the map below:

Global path of the total solar eclipse 2016-03-09 over the Indian Ocean, South-East Asia and the Pacific. (Source: Wikipedia / Dr. Wolfgang Strickling)
Global path of the total solar eclipse 2016-03-09 over the Indian Ocean, South-East Asia and the Pacific. (Source: Wikipedia / Dr. Wolfgang Strickling)

It is clear that it is just a bit too "low" compared to the path of the shadow of the Moon on Earth, corresponding to the total eclipse (purple line). So I knew, before leaving, that the eclipse would reach only 90%, where I would be. But it would still be noticeable and observable, in the middle of the morning, around 10h-10h30 ...

Presumably, then, right after my very first dive of the day, pile up during the surface interval!

A strange halo around the sun

And indeed, that day, when we come out of the water, Andi and Edi, my two guides, Lisa, owner of the resort Triton Bay Diversand I immediately notice that the light is not quite as usual. And it is only then that I remember that there is an eclipse today! Besides, it lacked a little brightness, under water, at the end of diving ... Lisa points the finger at the sky, makes me notice a strange halo, like a kind of crown around the sun.

We go back to the boat, we get out of gear and we dock on a small sandy cove, for the surface interval. Lisa fumbles in her stuff and pulls out two green plastic protective masks with an opaque plastic visor, like a cheap welder's mask. "That's all I could find here, she tells me. Better not to fix the sun too long, it is not really suitable, I think. "

Andi, one of our guides, observes the eclipse. (Triton Bay, Papua, Indonesia, March 2016)
Andi, one of the guides, observes the eclipse. (Triton Bay, Papua, Indonesia, March 2016)

Masks go from hand to hand. The boatmen, the guides, Lisa and I, we do not return. They are not so bad, these masks. Through, we can see the black disk of the Moon nibble the white disk of the Sun.

We are nibbling cookies while drinking tea. It's always daytime on our little beach, but we feel that the sun is not as hot as it should be, at this time.

An eclipse during the surface interval, it does not happen every day ... (Triton Bay, Papua, Indonesia, March 2016)
An eclipse during the surface interval, it does not happen every day ... (Triton Bay, Papua, Indonesia, March 2016)
Everyone wants to see the eclipse. (Triton Bay, Papua, Indonesia, March 2016)
Everyone wants to see the eclipse. (Triton Bay, Papua, Indonesia, March 2016)
Between two dives, we make our surface interval on a small deserted beach. (Triton Bay, Papua, Indonesia, March 2016)
Between two dives, we make our surface interval on a small deserted beach. (Triton Bay, Papua, Indonesia, March 2016)
The cloudy sky did not prevent us from observing the eclipse. (Triton Bay, Papua, Indonesia, March 2016)
The cloudy sky did not prevent us from observing the eclipse. (Triton Bay, Papua, Indonesia, March 2016)

The atmosphere is a little strange and there is always this halo around the sun. It is only through the black visor that we really see what happens.

My SLR camera is in its waterproof case, for photos underwater, with the macro lens ... Unusable, so. But I have my little camera in my bag for souvenir photos. Quickly, I'm trying to make an image before it's too late. I stick the lens inside the opaque filter. The result is not famous, but I am happy to have managed to immortalize the moment, before the eclipse ends.

I managed to make an image towards the end of the eclipse. (Triton Bay, Papua, Indonesia, March 2016)
I managed to make an image towards the end of the eclipse. (Triton Bay, Papua, Indonesia, March 2016)

There is something a little magical, to be there, alone in the world on this beach of Papua, in our wet neoprene suits, to watch this cosmic encounter ...

This is the first time I am entitled to an eclipse during a surface interval. 😎

Diving trip to Triton Bay, Papua, Indonesia. March 2016.

  Indonesia: Triton Bay - March 2016

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