Partial Eclipse of the Sun


One of the neat things about living in Hawaii are the opportunites the islands offer us to view nature’s spectacular shows. One such event occured this past week as the sun went into a partial eclipse over island skies shortly before sunset on October 13. The partial eclipse came at the right time for me, starting just after 5PM during the waning hour of another long workday.

I made it to Kaka’ako Waterfront Park, a popular place where Oahu residents go to picnic, jog, surf and swim among other activities. The local eclipse chasers, fans and just simply the curious were out not in droves, but in numbers to witness the event. I came shortly before the eclipse began, set up my camera and waited a bit for the moon to start takng a chunk out of the sun.

Like clockwork Mother Nature did her thing and slowly, but surely nibbled away at the sun’s disk. No matter that this was not a total eclipse, a partial eclipse still has a charm of its own. I knocked off about 18 shots of the eclipse with my old 35mm film camera, some of which I published to various websites.

Here is a link to some of my eclipse photos for the day. The photo quality is not as great nor is the composition “awesome”. But in a pinch these photos will do, especially since another eclipse will not occur again in several years. If you want to see a totally awesome photo of Wednesday afternoon’s eclipse go to this link at the Honolulu Star Bulletin’s website where professional photographer Dick Walker captured a great image.

In 1991 there was a total solar eclipse that occured over Hawaiian skies. I was there on the Big Island, Waikoloa, the ground zero location for maximum totality. My friends and I spent a long night near that place for the early morning eclipse the next day. This was July 11, 1991.

Thousands of people converged to the Big Island of Hawaii that year to view this once in a lifetime event. Many people got to see the sun go into totality. Unfortunately I was not one of them. Here is my account of that moment as posted to a BBS many years ago:

“…before I knew it, totality was upon me, and for a very very brief moment, I think I did SEE the darkened out sun and the corona, and i think I did get a picture of it…. but within a few seconds of that moment, the biggest and most nasty of all clouds moved in!!!! My eclipse was ruined!!!!”

You can read my full account of the 1991 eclipse at my site hosted on the H4 web. I even have a few pictures there, some of which look just like the ones I published here.

The next total solar eclipse in Hawaii will occur on May 3, 2106. You may want to let your grandkids or great grandkids know about this upcoming event that is to take place mainly on the southern part of the Big Island. Hopefully this website will still be here to serve the people as a reminder.

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