Epic Eclipse

Solar Eclipse in Indonesia
Diving pristine coral reefs in Raja Ampat, exploring pinnacles and encountering Hammerhead
Sharks and a gigantic school of Chevron Barracudas in Halmahera, hunt for critters such as
Frogfish and Mandarinfish in Lembeh. Sounds like a dream come true? Let’s top it off with a total
solar eclipse!

Leaving port in Sorong, our GPS coordinates were set to a place in West Halmahera, where we
were hoping to see the moon covering the sun entirely. Eclipse viewers and special “glasses” as
well as cameras were all ready and prepared – now we just had to keep our fingers crossed for
good weather and a cloud free sky.Mermaid 1 Solar Eclipse Group
And indeed, on the big day, on March 9th in the morning we couldn’t have been any luckier! Not
a single cloud was in sight but the breathtaking scenery of three volcanoes surrounding us. The
skies were blue and a whole lot of dolphins to complete the idyllic atmosphere swimming past
Mermaid I.

8:35 am was when the first contact happened: for the next almost one and a half hours we could
watch the moon moving slowly in front of the sun, what looked like chunks gone missing. Shortly
before totality, at 9:51 am, the sky started getting darker and darker, a big wall of “black”
started to come towards us from the horizon until it was finally pitch black around us.
This is when we could enjoy three minutes and sixteen seconds of a big black circle with a
glowing white corona around it: the rays of sun illuminating the backside of the moon. The epic
and magical moment of totality which unfortunately did not last very long, ended with a big
applause and some very happy guests which were lucky to experience such a once in a lifetime
event!

Mermaid I Mar 2-13, 2016
Raja Ampat – Halmahera – Lembeh Cruise

Sonja Geier
Videographer