Tag: home eclipse

24 Jul 2013

The Far North Queensland Eclipse of 2012

The community bonds together at Port Douglas on Nov 14 2012. Image Credit: Tourism Queensland, Simon Furlong.
The community bonds together at Port Douglas on Nov 14 2012. Image Credit: Tourism Queensland, Simon Furlong.

 

The total eclipse of November 14 2012 was my 8th total eclipse.  Yet it was still as magical, amazing, and wondrous as ever.  This eclipse seemed particularly beautiful – the diamond ring seemed to hang suspended in time; and the eclipsed Sun appeared to be larger than I recall from previous total eclipses.

Every total eclipse seems different to the last.  This is because there are so many things that vary during each eclipse, and this produces a different experience each time.  The position of the Sun in the sky, the landscape before you, the time of day, the company you are with, and the country you are in all influence the eclipse experience.  As many in North Queensland will also tell you, the presence of clouds also influences the experience of totality.

For me, the country and customs of people around contribute very strongly to the eclipse experience I have.  I was delighted to have experienced this eclipse on my home turf.  This made it very special indeed, and has made me want to do all I can to share the experience with my fellow North Queenslanders.  It has also made me want to ensure other communities who are in the path of the eclipse in the future realise the importance of this unique event.

24 Oct 2012

Cultural observations within the path of totality

Taking a more relaxed approach to life at Mission Beach, south of Cairns

I have now returned to Cairns, the largest city within the path of totality for the November 14 total eclipse.  I like learning a little about the local culture when I travel to see an eclipse.   I am a North Queenslander myself,  so there is a lot that I already am aware of.  However, living away for more than 20 years has given me a unique opportunity to reconnect with an outsider’s perspective.

Firstly, the people of NQ are really friendly.  You are greeted like a long-lost friend, and you can’t help but respond in the same way. North Queenslanders are also extremely helpful, and nothing seems too much bother.  

Then there is the more laid-back mindset—you feel like you are going at warp speed compared to locals, and so it forces you to slow down and take things at a slower pace.  Even the pace of speech is slower which allows you to slow down.

And generally, people here are more connected with nature.  They have experienced directly and repeatedly the power of nature, and they seem to have tolerance and acceptance for what happens.  (I wonder whether this is why they are a little bemused at all the fuss about the eclipse).

I feel really proud to be a North Queenslander. I am glad I have this opportunity to reconnect with the local way of life in the region that is my home.