There are about 70 total solar eclipses per century, but each one is visible only from a narrow stretch of the Earth, and only for a few minutes. Therefore, being in the right place at the right time under suitable viewing conditions to experience full totality qualifies as a once-in-a-lifetime event. I travelled from Sydney up to Palm Cove (a beach resort just north of Cairns) to see the total solar eclipse of 14th November 2012. Here’s what happened.
Arrive in Palm Cove on 13th Nov. The eclipse will take place tomorrow morning. Sunrise will be at 5:34am and the partial eclipse will start at 5:45am, shifting to totality at 6:39am until 6:41am. Then, there will be a second period of partial eclipse as the moon’s shadow drifts away, ending at 7:41am. For now, the weather oscillates threateningly between sunshine and deep, dark cloud cover.