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July 2009. Just came back from my trip to China to see the TSE 2009.

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    ill titleTour to Tahiti, French Polynesia, for the Total Solar Eclipse 2010     in the Hao Atoll


Tuesday July 6th
We arrived from Los Angeles to Papeete, Tahit, and were welcomed by airport staff carrying flowers. We then headed to the Sofitel Hote to relax.

Wednesday July 7th
This day we went to the Belvedere Restaurant, which is located on top a mountain in Tahiti. The road was quite narrow to get there.

 
The view from the restaurant was great, including a sunset within the clouds
 
         
  
Thursday July 8th
We went in a tour to visit Papeete and the highlights of Tahiti. While in downtown I saw an ad of a company, which recalled me my favorite astronomy shop in California:


We then went to visit Point Venus and the old lighthouse in Tahiti. The place is nowadays visited by several locals. Captain’s Cook monument is located there. The first international experiment, as far as I know, was the transit of Venus observation.
   
   


Later we stopped in a road next to the sea, where you could see the waves breaking against the rocks


We then moved on to a place with waterfalls. If something has Tahiti, is water. There are waterfalls all around the place!
               

We finally stopped for some sightseeing next to the sea:
   


Friday July 9th
In the morning we went to see dolphins in the sea and snorkeling. I got also a nice shot a bit after sunset from the hotel.

   

At night we went to Polynesian Dinner with show dance included:
      


Here is the Video I posted in YouTube:




Saturday July 10th
For this day we booked a trip on a 4x4 truck to the mountains of Tahiti. The tour was very nice and we were able to see a lot of waterfalls in Tahiti.

   
   


We went back to the hotel early and we attended a group meeting to discuss about the Eclipse and then early to bed since we needed to wake up really early on the Eclipse Day.

Sunday July 11th. ECLIPSE DAY!!!
We started the day early, waking up at 1:30am. We left the hotel at around 2:15am towards Papeete's airport. Our flight departed to Hao at 3:45am



We landed in Hao at around 6:00am in the morning. As I imagined, Hao's airport is pretty small:
       


We were nicely received with some Polynesian Dances, not so touristic but rather the real thing I assume. Video:


Here are some pictures of my setup and some locals that gathered around us to watch through my Cameras:
       

My setup was composed of two tripods. In one I had a Nikon D70s with a Intervalometer which I used to take pictures every 5 minutes:



In the second tripod I had 2 cameras mounted tracking the sun via an Astrotrac. One of the cameras was a Nikon D90 with a Stellarvue Raptor 70ED as lens, and the other was a Sony Handycam with a 3X lens for the video. The D90 was controlled by a Netbook using Eclipse Orchestrator for the pictures:



Now, to the Eclipse Pictures! Here are some of the pictures I got.

Some minutes after first contact. As you can see, there were some clouds:



Partial Phases:

   
   

Diamond Ring:



Baily's Beeds:

   


Totality (including overexposed corona) and second Diamond Ring:

   
       
   
   
   

Here is a sequence of the Eclipse. Pictures taken every 5 minutes:


And finally, you can see here the Video I took of the Eclipse. You will notice in the Video that we were very lucky. There were several times when the sun was covered by clouds, but there were none during Totality!