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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Happy Yule, and Seattle Astronomy

The big seas on the Strait yesterday meant that I was stuck in Victoria, which as far as such things go is a pretty good place to be stuck. Around 11pm the eclipse was about 70%, visible only occasionally through the breaks in the clouds. We got a small bit of a weather window about that time, so we lit off the main engines, threw off our mooring lines and made a run for the border. We still had maybe 35 knots of wind and steep seas up to about 6', but much, much better than what we'd had on the northbound leg yesterday morning. By the time the eclipse was total it was only occasionally visible as a somewhat lighter patch in the dark clouds. By the time we got to Point Wilson it was raining, which continued through the night. We did get one very brief peek at the moon as it was coming out of the eclipse, but that was about it. My wife, who was here in Seattle, was leading a low-tide beach walk, and they were able to watch the eclipse for a longer time before the rain socked in.

I went out this afternoon to see the sun as it kissed the Tropic of Capricorn today around 3:38pm local, but the sky was remarkably uniformly gray. Usually you can at least guess form the shadows or a lighter patch of the sky where the sun might be, but today was not such a day. Tomorrow morning we'll get up to watch the sunrise of the longest night from the Admiral overlook, or at least watch the sky turn from dark ray to light gray. It is, you know, a Seattle tradition.

Happy Yule, y'all.

1 comment:

  1. For the record, for the non-Seattleites who follow this blog, the photo of the Space Needle was not taken from the Admiral overlook, it's taken from Kerry Park on Queen Anne hill. It was damnably difficult to find a picture of the Needle in the rain; most of the photos I found online were taken on clear, sunny days. Which is nice, but perhaps a bit misleading.