2016 Solar eclipse

This photo is right before the end of totality, and I remember how I was taken completely by surprise when the sun re-appeared – “is it over already?”, I thought – I ran like mad to my other camera to complete the shots there.

A solar eclipse has once again lead me to a place I’ve never heard of – the island of Pulau Sajafi in north eastern Indonesia. As we approached it in the dusky and rainy hours it seemed just like a small islet, but as the clouds dissipated it was apparent that it was a long island that gave us the opportunity to use our speedboats to move quickly and freely within its sheltered shores to chase the blue sky.

I for one was extremely happy that we found this location, as the open Pacific would have presented limited photo opportunities for me, most of all due to high waves.

More than 3 minutes of totality seems a log time, but the experience was over before I knew it! Perhaps if I did not bring cameras to photograph it I would have experienced a longer totality…? I doubt it, as there are so many mazing phenomenons occurring right before, during and after the totality that you are out of touch with time entirely.

2016 Solar eclipse
In this photo you can clearly see the shadow on the right and the sun and end of totality in the horizon on the left side. If you look closely in the right, and dark side of the image, you can also see the boat I was on that brought me to this amazing location.

So what about all the footprints in the sand? Where are the people? Just a few minutes before totality the majority of the group that did not want to stay on the boat decided to jump into the speedboat and rush towards a spot of clear sky. I thought they were mad, as it would be so stressful and setting up gear once again would be such a gamble. I for one have no problem with transparent, low clouds, as they produce some very dramatic scenarios, like shadow bands (seen in another post).

As I stood my ground I could simply let nature take its course and I could share it with the sounds and scents of the island. The totality was my fifth and still it is such an emotional and amazing experience – tears simply flows in joy, gratefulness and amazement!

I wonder what the group of people living on the island thought about this group suddenly appearing on the beach with lots of equipment? We gave them eclipse sunglasses, and hoped they would have an amazing experience, as otherwise they would have simply wondered why the sun got obscured during totality – at least that was how they came across – oblivious to the upcoming totality! Imagine living in the narrow line of totality and not knowing about it, until it happens?

2016 Solar eclipse
Most of the time they were much more interested in my equipment, and they were taking several selfies with me and of me and my two tripods. Even during totality I didn’t see one tear or hear any “wow”…..

2016 Solar eclipse
That said, they were very friendly and was more than happy to let me take a shot of them. I think they are a wonderful group of individuals, and I particularly like the old woman! Her clothes, her way of being and her smile! The other woman also caught my eye as her holding and smoking the cigarette was really unique and amazing!

2016 Solar eclipse
Here the main group is returning to the beach after a chase to clear openings in the very light clouds during the totality. The mood was not surprisingly very high and joyful after what they have just seen – some for the first time and others once more.

Last updated on 13 March 2024