Total Solar Eclipse of 2010 July 11
Tuamotu Archipelago, Patagonia or Eclipse Flight
After leaving for French Polynesia in early July, I welcomed the eclipse chasers of my international group on July 7th in Papeete. On July 9th morning, we boarded our private charter flight to the Tatakoto atoll, located nearly 1,300 kilometers east of Papeete in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. We then stayed for the next few days in local houses in the Tumukuru village. The two days prior the eclipse were mostly dedicated to setup our viewing site on an isolated motu, to explore the atoll and its natural wonders and to observe the starry night sky. On July 10th afternoon, part of the group went by boat to the Tahunatara motu and spent the night there to be ready for the eclipse. And on July 11th morning we were greeted by 4 minutes and 28 seconds of totality in between rainstorms. Our return in Papeete occurred on July 12th early afternoon. My "Eclipse-City" associates took care of the groups in argentinean Patagonia where they observed the black sun from an El Calafate overlook. Our special eclipse flight over the Southern Pacific Ocean was cancelled due to technical problems, but all the passengers got to view the marvelous spectacle from El Calafate with the ground group.