January 27, 2022

The Editor Speaks: Eclipsed

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Here on Grand Cayman the event of the century [in the US anyway] yesterday’s [Mon 21] Eclipse of the Sun by the Moon was a non-event if you wanted to witness anything of it live. If we had have had clear skies we would have seen 55% of the eclipse of the sun but nature decided to give us a heavy cloudy sky.

Despite this, Rooster DJ, Dr Doug, said on air that when he was driving into the Hurley Media Studios in Camana Bay to start his shift he saw groups of people looking up to the heavens.

Maybe the cloud effect was that stunning.

I, along with millions, watched it on television. One of our articles today said “Americans choose eclipse and chill over Netflix”.

Netflix US revealed on Twitter their stellar viewer figures dropped by an astronomical 10% while the eclipse was happening!

I had to stop work and watch and I even got a thrill every time it happened as the TV coverage took us right across the country.

I even saw a live feed from Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas where singer Bonnie Tyler sang her huge hit from the 1980’s “Total Eclipse of the Heart” at the exact time of the eclipse – a much shortened version – 2mins 40 secs – to coincide with the exact time the sun was completely covered in the sky by the moon. The ABC interviewer decided to interview Tyler just as she started to sing the song and seemed put off when she didn’t answer his silly question, “How was she feeling about singing the song?”

That song also coincided with my arrival here in Grand Cayman.

My good friend who occasionally writes for iNewsCayman, Carol-Ann Rudy, lives in South Carolina and travelled 30 miles to be able to witness the total eclipse. She messaged me on WhatsApp telling me it was “So Exciting” exactly during the total blackout.

If I was cynical I could say just go outside in the garden at night time. Of course, not being a cynic, I didn’t say that.

I actually got caught up in the excitement just watching the TV and kept praying my wife, Joan would come back home in time to see at least some of the coverage. My prayer was answered and she did arrive in time. And she got even more excited than I was.

I was 11 years of age when I saw a large partial eclipse in the UK. I had to look the date up (30th June 1954) and was surprised it wasn’t actually a total one as my memory told me it was. However, I do remember asking my Dad to smoke a piece of plain glass for me to take to the school so as to watch the eclipse. He did with the aid of a candle. He wrapped it up in newspaper and told me to be very careful when taking it out so as not to remove any of the smoke from the glass. In those days no one thought to make special cheap plastic/cardboard glasses. Some of my classmates used the negatives (three at a time) from the black and white photographs to look at the eclipse.

As it got dark it got considerably colder but we were blessed with one of the few clear days. I also noted how the sheep, the lambs and the cows in the adjoining fields to the school all laid down at this time. The birds grew silent, too.

Isn’t it wonderful to have those memories that I can share with you? Memories not eclipsed but it took one to make it happen.

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