1998 Total Solar Eclipse Aboard the Mandalay
The S/V Mandalay used to sail Antigua to Grenada and back in 13 night segments. In 1998 she went north of Antigua to some unfamiliar islands to her. She anchored off Guadeloupe for the night and took to the sea in the morning where she witnessed a total solar eclipse. This was a Thursday, during week two of the voyage. John Peterson took this video of the solar eclipse. His camera was frosted in his air-conditioned Windjammer cabin. He tried his best to defrost it in time, but it only worked for 30 seconds.
After the solar eclipse the Mandalay set sail for Grenada arriving on Sunday morning instead of her usual Friday night time slot.
John Peterson, then director of the Gene Roddenberry Planetarium, hosted the cruise. He as dubbed “star dude” by the passengers. The cruise was a blend of first timers and old salts. The newbies were enticed by the solar eclipse and the thought of dark skies for two weeks. Many were from the Pacific Northwest.
John quickly adapted by playing guitar with island bands, playing follow the leader, pirate night and all the Windjammer Games.
The Mandalay now sails from Grenada most Sunday nights. She has a few two week sailings on the schedule but mostly now sails the Grenadines. She is 91 years old now. Give Tropical Sails a call to discuss your sailing cruise adventure.
To learn more about the 1998 Total Solar eclipse, read Joe Orman’s report.