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SA Tel: +27 21790 1833

Email: holidays@independenttraveller.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

Regus House, No 1. Bell Street
Maidenhead, Berkshire, SL6 1BU
UK

+44 (0)1628 522 722

Our imaginative Eclipse tours to Faroe Islands, Indonesia, Tanzania and North America (Wyoming), are designed to give the best viewing opportunities, with expert knowledge and an incredible traveling experience. Our astronomer led and culture-rich astronomy tours provide opportunities to experience unique astronomical events and excellent star gazing in exotic countries. 

As well as set date eclipse and astronomy tours, we also tailor make eclipse and astronomy travel for individuals. 

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Total Solar Eclipse Tour: Faroe Islands 2015

SOLD OUT:  18 - 23 March 2015

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Extensive prior research into the eclipse viewing location
  • Meet and interact with eclipse expert, Dr Kate Russo
  •  Attending talks from Terry Moseley and Simon Singh
  • An inclusive pre-eclipse dinner to discuss with the experts, what to expect, how to view the eclipse safely, and for any Q&A
  • Community involvement – share this event with the local people and be a part of a real community eclipse celebration
  • Post-eclipse dinner celebration which provided an opportunity to share past and present experiences  with other tour participants
  • A vast choice of unique excursions including birdwatching of up to 300 different bird species, village hikes, photography walks and guided aurora evening tours.

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Extensive prior research into the eclipse viewing location
  • Meet and interact with eclipse expert, Dr Kate Russo
  •  Attending talks from Terry Moseley and Simon Singh
  • An inclusive pre-eclipse dinner to discuss with the experts, what to expect, how to view the eclipse safely, and for any Q&A
  • Community involvement – share this breath-taking event with the local people and be a part of a real community eclipse celebration
  • Post-eclipse dinner celebration which will provide an opportunity to share past and present experiences  with other tour participants
  • A vast choice of unique excursions including birdwatching of up to 300 different bird species, village hikes, photography walks and guided aurora evening tours.

Our Tour Speakers 


The 20th March 2015 Total Solar Eclipse

There are several stages to the eclipse process, which occurs as the Moon moves between the Earth and the Sun. (The exact timing of the events will vary slightly based on location; the following times are from Torshavn). Solar filters are required to ensure eye safety. First contact occurs at 8.38am, and will appear as if a tiny bite has been taken from the Sun. As the Moon slowly makes its way across the Sun, this bite appears larger, and the light from the Sun is gradually reduced, producing interesting light effects and shadows. Second contact is known as Totality, will occur at 9.40am. This is the most spectacular and amazing part of the whole experience.

The Moon's shadow suddenly rushes over the region at great speed. The region will be covered in an eerie darkness – there will be some light low on the horizon, but it will be dark enough to spot a few bright planets and stars. After around 2 minutes of totality (exact length depends on your location), third contact occurs. This is where the Moon continues its journey and the staggering brightness of the Sun reappears– totality has ended. Solar filters are again needed to ensure eye safety for the remainder of the eclipse. This continues until fourth contact at 10.47am, when the Moon finally completes its journey across the Sun. The eclipse is over. Those in Torshavn will experience 2 minutes and 2 seconds of totality. The further north you are located, the longer the length of time in totality, with an additional 14 seconds being possible at the far north of the archipelago. Similarly, the further south you go, the shorter the duration of totality.


The Research behind our Eclipse Viewing  Site

At The Independent Traveller we believe that preparation and strong prior research is integral to viewing the eclipse. For each eclipse, we spend considerable time planning, researching the best vantage points and then linking with the local communities to provide the unique culture and customs of each country so that the eclipse viewing trip becomes a travelling experience.

During Dr Kate Russo’s first visit in September 2013, she scouted the islands with local navigation and weather experts and identified three possible sites for use, with the primary site being near Aduvick.

Kate returned to the islands in March 2014 to see firsthand the weather and to do several practice runs on the days either side of 20th march.  This was an interesting experience and led to a revision of the plans, as there were consistently clearer skies to the North despite what was predicted.   The primary southerly site was consistently clouded out.  Kate also saw firsthand that the weather was so changeable, and felt that the best eclipse experience would involve being near to a place of warmth – something that very few other tour groups have considered. Dr Russo also felt that in contrast to other eclipses, for this eclipse the best strategy was to find the most suitable location and remain on site as there was no way to outrun the weather.  From this, Kate found quite by chance the most ideal location based at a school, and this led to a really fantastic opportunity to coordinate this tour with a community celebration on eclipse day. 

Along with two visits to the islands to specifically explore the suitability of our selected site, Dr Russo was also involved in a Citizen Science Project that aimed to identify weather patterns across the islands at the time of the eclipse.  Dr Geoff Sims – Australian Astrophysicist, Eclipse Photographer and fellow chaser – led the project and collated all the information.  A number of locals took photographs of the Sun every morning for the month of March in 2014 at 9.40am (the time of totality) from their home or work location.  These photographs were then rated and compared to the six hour forecast to determine accuracy of predictions.  The results of this citizen science project confirmed Kate’s direct observations of where to focus eclipse viewing.  It also confirmed the anecdotal views of local people, and provided a general map of the areas which had the highest occurrence of cloud at eclipse time in March 2014.

A lot of thought and preparation has gone into our chosen location for the eclipse on 20 March, and we believe that we have done significantly more than any other tour group with regards to research, preparation and planning.  

There are no guarantees that we will see the eclipse on 20 March at our location – we will still be at the whim of Mother Nature.  But everyone at The Independent Traveller is confident that we could not have done any more to plan, prepare or research the weather and  that our eclipse celebration event will be the highlight of the tour, even if we do not see the eclipse.


COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT

Community outreach and involvement began with our first trip to the Faroe islands in September 2013, where we participated in radio and newspaper interviews, recorded podcasts, and delivered presentations about the eclipse to people within the tourism industry.  We did this alongside making preparations for our tour. 

Community involvement continued then with Kate Russo’s second visit in March 2014, where even more outreach activities were undertaken.  This time, eclipse information was presented at schools and businesses, and information from previous eclipses were shared to further develop an education programme across schools. Eclipse planning presentations and workshops were delivered to those working in the tourism industry. Media interest was much greater, and radio interviews were again undertaken about what to expect.  

 

Kate worked with Dr Geoff Sims who led a Citizen Science Eclipse Weather project, which involved locals from all across the islands taking photos at eclipse time for a whole month.   It was at this time that planning commenced with those in the community of Eidi to develop an eclipse viewing and celebration event, which was at the heart of The Independent Traveller eclipse day plans.  

Our 2015 total eclipse viewing event was embedded within a joint community celebration, which is unique amongst eclipse tour companies. Our 140 eclipse chasers from around the world shared the viewing and celebrations with the 600 people of Eidi community in a wonderful event that remained upbeat despite the cloudy conditions.   This mutually beneficial arrangement was based on goodwill and is a great example of how a natural event can unite people from around the world.  This is an ethos that we hope to develop for future eclipses where possible.