Eclipse over Loutraki
Eclipse over Loutraki

Until last night, I think the only time I’d seen a so-called “blood moon” was 2011 in Greece. I was there to watch the WRC Rally Acropolis, and having flown to Athens and then driven to the rather non-descript town of Loutraki, I was looking forward to a good sleep, in the hope of throwing off jet-lag. But the moon had other ideas.

I was actually further round the bay, looking back to Loutraki, and the moon put in an appearance behind the town, shining across the bay. It was late, but I wasn’t going to miss the show. Sadly, my photos of the eclipse were not great. I didn’t have a tripod with me, and holding a camera steady for up to twenty seconds is not easy.

Last night I was better equipped. I wasn’t sure what to expect, nor did I know quite where on the horizon the moon would rise. My own bay is somewhat narrow, so I headed a short way down the road to a beach with an unobstructed view of the horizon … and I took my tripod.

Sunset was at about 6:30pm, and moonrise was supposed to be pretty-much the same time. I was ready before that, and was hoping to catch the partly-occluded moon rise out of the sea.

I like that phrase don’t you? If I have one too many beers in an evening, I feel partly-occluded!

Anyhoo, I waited, and waited, and nothing happened. The sky seemed clear and almost cloudless, but there must have been clouds on the horizon occluding the occlusion!

At 7pm, the start of the total eclipse, there was still no sign of the moon, and by this time it was fully dark. It was quite strange standing on a deserted beach in complete darkness, but I have to admit, the stars were spectacular. I’m sure I saw ones I’d never seen before. As I was staring at Orion, I could clearly see the nebula, and his belt, beneath which there seemed to be a cluster of stars I hadn’t noticed before. They made me wonder if I should cook a large sausage with a couple of potatoes for supper … but I’d already prepared a fish. No, there was no sign of Pisces.

The total eclipse was only five minutes long, so by 7:06pm I decided it was time to give up. That was also the point where I noticed a fuzzy redness in the sky, and only seconds later the moon appeared. And so, lenses were rotated and buttons were pressed, the results of which you can find below.

The pictures are not as great as the real thing. Even though I was very careful not to move the camera, putting it into 30-second delay mode so that my pressing the shutter button didn’t shake anything, the images are still a little blurred. The problem is, in twenty seconds the moon moves, or the earth does, or maybe both. No matter. They’re the best I could get.

I stayed quite a while, and then after arriving home I wanted to transfer the images to my PC and have quick look. By this time it was well past eat o’clock, so I needed to russell-up a quick meal. As I mentioned, I already had a fish in the frying pan, which I hastily fried with a chopped onion. Although that was quick, it didn’t look like a real meal.

Now, I enjoy cooking and always try to prepare a proper supper. None would win any culinary prizes, but at least they’re not of the fast food variety. Try as I did, I couldn’t figure a way to rapidly improve fish and onions, except … wait for it … horror of horrors … to dump in a can of baked beans. “Yuk” you say. Yes, I heard that. But I have to tell you it was damned delicious! Hey, a million housewives can’t be wrong.

So, beer’n’beanz was not a bad way to end a looney day.


...has been travelling the world for more than fifty years; having lived and worked in five countries and travelled to many many more. He likes to write about his travels - present and past - along with his other main interests of Information Technology and Motorsport, and he adds a few general twitterings along the way. More info than you could possibly need is available by clicking the ABOUT tab in the top menu line.

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