Malindi Travel Blog› entry 31 of 81 › view all entries
After a good nights sleep we found the Watamu Beach Hotel and gulped a hearty breakfast of eggs, ham, bacon, real toast, cereal, fruit, coffee, and orange juice. Full meals were scarce on our low budget and we had not really enjoyed one since leaving Nairobi fourteen days ago. Back at the campground we unpacked our viewers to see that it had begun - the moon was passing between the sun and the earth.
Scott and I hurriedly unpacked our camera equipment and began photographing the partial phase of the eclipse at a variety of camera settings. We had purchased two pieces of dark glass used for welder's masks to hold in front of our lenses to photograph the sun. Gradually growing smaller, the solar disc looked like something was taking a bite out of it.
About forty minutes later the sun was a mere sliver clearly visible through a thin layer of cirrus clouds. Then suddenly, as though a switch was flipped, it was dark - too quickly to see the moon's shadow racing across the earth. Scott and I stood near the centerline of a nine hundred mile wide shadow that raced across Africa, the Indian Ocean, and central India into southwest China. The rare phenomenon was visible to more than two billion people - half the earth's inhabitants.
In an excited frenzy, we clicked photos of a golden ring of light - the corona - as it radiated through the cloud cover. A quick glance revealed the horizon all the way around us looked like dusk. We heard a noticeable change in the chatter of nearby birds. One lone star appeared high overhead. Then, in a sudden flash, it was daylight again. Though just a golden sliver, we immediately felt the warmth of the sun. The wind stirred. Seeming like only seconds, totality had lasted nearly four minutes.