Rocky lava outcrops constitute the Galapagos Islands, where Astronomy magazine sponsored a cruise to see the total solar eclipse April 8.
Crowds of Sally Lighfoot crabs flock the volcanic basalt around Puerto Ayora, on Santa Cruz Island. Allegedly named for a dancer fond of red dresses, the bright crabs scamper around the rock quickly, hence the term “lightfoot.”
Rough lava rocks meet the sea along the coasts of the Galapagos. Astronomy‘s explorers piled into rubber dinghies to explore the coastline and see animals and birds.
As totality approached, the sea darkened. The Moon’s shadow rushed on quickly, and the sky cleared in perfect time for us to see the Sun’s corona.
Sea lions sleep away part of the afternoon among the red, weathered rocks on Rabida Beach.
Crepuscular rays are intermittent light and dark bands that fan out across the sky. The dark areas are shadows formed by clouds nearer the Sun than the observer. Passengers enjoyed a wide spectacle of atmospheric phenomena during the cruise, especially around sunrises and sunsets.
The ride to Pitcairn Island is fraught with danger because of the choppy sea and craggy rocks near the shore. It’s such a rare opportunity, however, that almost everyone wanted to go. Here, islanders load cruise passengers into their “long boat.”
The descendents of the HMS Bounty now live on Pitcairn Island, a lush but nearly unapproachable island surrounded by craggy rocks and beaten by harsh waves. Only one small cove allows access, and skilled islanders have to navigate it with care.
Like a floating hotel, the M/S Paul Gauguin awaits 320 passengers intent on seeing a total solar eclipse at sea.
Head for the Sun and hope the sky clears. On eclipse day, many hopeful observers worried about the weather.
That’s amore? No, that’s a moray — eel, that is. For passengers who chose to scuba dive or snorkel, South Pacific sea life was abundant and colorful. Most fish were oblivious of the swimmers and divers who joined them, but some, like this eel, were cautious.
Captain Gilles Boussard (right), chats with elated passengers after the April 8 total solar eclipse. Captain Boussard took on the mission to navigate the ship to clear skies — and succeeded.
Mike Reynolds, veteran eclipse-chaser, astronomy professor, and meteorite expert, spoke to cruise passengers about one of his favorite subjects — meteorites. Afterward, Reynolds answered questions and passed around meteorite samples.