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AUGUST 11, 1999

The eclipse of August 11, 1999 was another great experience. The track of this eclipse began in the Atlantic a few hundred miles east of Boston, MA, swept northeast across the ocean to arch down to Cornwall, across Europe to the Black Sea, Turkey, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan and India, ending in the Bay of Bengal. This was of the same Saros series as the the eclipse of 1963 which we observed in Plessisville, Quebec. Eclipse tracks are highly varied, but all eclipses start in the west at dawn and end in the east at sunset, usually nearly half way around the world from the start. The elevation of the sun and moon at eclipse is highest near the center of the track, near local solar noon. The latter differs from local clock time according to the customs of the location.
We were aboard MV "Marco Polo". Our position on the track in the Black Sea off the coast of Bulgaria (43d06m N 29d41m E at 11:13UT) gave a very high elevation at totality, which lasted a little more than 2 minutes, and was near maximum duration. The weather on eclipse day was nearly perfect, with not a cloud in the sky, and very light haze. The sea was unbelievably calm, almost glassy.

We called at Odessa, Ukrania, the day before eclipse, and then sailed to our eclipse observing position, about 75 nautical miles east of Varna, Bulgaria. Marco Polo was filled with expert eclipse observers, and the word must have got around, for half a dozen or more ships gathered within sight of us:
Ships at the Eclipse Site
Ships at the Eclipse Site
Ships at the Eclipse Site
The ship in the background looks like a small warship
Ships at the Eclipse Site
Ships at the Eclipse Site
The eclipse continues on the next page.
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My Other Total Solar Eclipses (1932-1998)


e-mail: Gerry Foley

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