RING OF FIRE EXPEDITIONS #28
The Faroes are a remarkable cluster of islands and due to a strike by union employees, bus transport and food delivery and availability were impacted. No fresh produce was available and many restaurants were closed. The weather was generally overcast and rainy as advertised but the highlight of the Faroes was the remarkable Vestmanna Bird Cliffs, home to thousands of sea birds. This motor boat trip must be seen to be believed. Approaching cliffs 600 to 800 meters high shrouded partly in cloud seemed like a scene from a movie (such as JURASSIC PARK). Photos could hardly do justice to it. The cliffs are also populated by semi sure-footed sheep and lambs—lots of lambs. May was the end of lambing season.
As we watched and waited, the clouds slowly crept eastward but still there was a small lateral gap allowing us to watch the sun nearly continually.
At 3:52 the sun was blocked completely. But at 3:59 it was beginning to remerge! I switched between an ND5 filter and variable grade of mylar. As central eclipse approached there was always a thin cloud covering part of the annulus but in this digital photo from Howard Bruensteiner you can get a good idea of what we saw.
We were really lucky. We drove as far north as we could go without getting to the island of Grimsey which is on the Arctice Circle. Given the tight return flight connection, we packed up and left shortly after 3rd contact and began the nearly 7 hour trip back. The sky clouded over after 3rd contact, and almost all the other spectators also left about the same time. It would have taken us less time to reach Reykjavik, but we had to pull over to sleep for an hour since neither Lynn nor I had any rest in the previous 24-hours. We saw the stream of cars, usually endless at normal eclipses but subdued because it was an annular eclipse and not a total one. This eclipse was unusual since there had been virtually no publicity about it. Everyone I asked in all three countries responded with “what eclipse?” when asked about it.