Well we arrived in La Serena and had this second day to take a boat ride to Isla Damas and the National Wildlife Preserve and a chance to look for penguins, otters, sea lions and lots of birds, after which we stopped by our eclipse viewing site in La Higuera.
This photo shows the Chilean coast and small fishing village, Caleta Punta Choros, with a view of Isla Damas in the distance.
|Beautiful coastline in Chile near small town of Caleta Punta Choros (Source: Palmia Observatory)|
We waited for our turn for a boat ride out to Isla Damas and while waiting we saw this boat being pushed off the launch and into the water. serendipitously, it turned out that this boat and Captain Nickolus, was the actual boat that we would take.
|Captain Nickolus launches the boat for the ride to Isla Damas (Source: Palmia Observatory)|
Here is Resident Astronomer Peggy with life jacket about the boat. It was a lot of fun zipping over the waves and on some occasions, even though the seas were quite calm, we would drop below the sea level and seem to almost disappear.
|Resident Astronomer Peggy enjoying the boat ride to Isla Damas (Source: Palmia Observatory)|
We spotted just one penguin and one sea otter and multiple numbers of sea lions. Here you can see several sea lions resting on a large rock. Hmm, I wonder how they get up top of that steep rock?
|Offshore rock near a Isla Damas with sea lions sunning themselves on the top (Source: Palmia Observatory)|
Anyway after great seafood lunch, we drove back to La Higuera for a pre-eclipse inspection of our eclipse viewing site. Our site is a mine platform that has been procured for our private use. The bus parking lot was just the first level and on the day of the eclipse we will take smaller shuttles up the winding mine road to our actual observing platform.
|Bus stop at at eclipse viewing site in La Higuera for a site pre-inspection (Source: Palmia Observatory)|
We were visiting the site just at sunset and this photo shows the approximate location where the eclipse will occur.
|Tour group has a pre-eclipse visit at our viewing site in La Higuera, Chile (Source: Palmia Observatory)|
We didn’t have more time at the observing site and had to leave for dinner back at the hotel in La Serena. But, since it was after sunset, someone asked if we had seen the Southern Cross? Hmm, nope Resident Astronomer Peggy and I had never seen it before because it mostly only visible from the Southern Hemisphere. So, check out this IPhone photo showing the Southern Cross. Later on when we have a night of observing in the Atacame Desert, we can take more images of that constellation and also of course the Large and Small Maganellic Clouds.
|Our first glimpse of the Southern Cross shows up in this iPhone image (Source: Palmia Observatory)|
Until next time,
Resident Astronomer George
If you like things astronomical or Cosmological, check out other posts on the blog site: www.palmiaobservatory.com
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