Libyan Eclipse 2006

The next great eclipse after the Africa 2001 one was 29 March 2006, in North Africa and Turkey.
We took a cruise from Italy to Libya with Travel Quest Intl.
(In 2003, I put a note on my door about this eclipse, and joked that if things got better in Libya, I might go to Libya. The joke turned out to be true!)

Our itinerary:

Wednesday, March 22  	    Genoa, Italy
Thursday, March 23 	    Naples, Italy
Friday, March 24 	    Syracuse, Sicily
Saturday, March 25 	    At Sea 	  	  	 
Sunday, March 26 	    At Sea 	  	  	 
Monday, March 27 	    Alexandria, Egypt (bus to the Pyramids) 	 
Tuesday, March 28 	    Tobruk, Libya
March 29: ECLIPSE DAY!	    Tobruk, Libya 
Thursday, March 30 	    At Sea 	  	  	 
Friday, March 31 	    Tripoli, Libya
Saturday, April 1 	    Malta
Sunday, April 2 	    Salerno, Italy
Monday, April 3 	    Genoa, Italy

The organizers clearly understood that they had a nerd crowd on their hands; we visited Pompeii, Syracuse, the Pyramids, and other ancient sites on the way to the eclipse.
Syracuse is where Archimedes lived; also the location of a natural fresh-water artesian well right next to the ocean!
Speaking of nerds, it was amusing to see that the disco and bars on the ship were always pretty empty.

We watched the eclipse from the centerline, right where the duration dropped to 4 minutes even.
This was where the (only) road from Tobruk down into the Sahara crossed the centerline (marked with a red dot on this map).

We bought this nifty eclipse t-shirt at the pop-up tent city where we saw the eclipse (about halfway between Tobruk and Jaghboub).

Google Maps satellite photos are so cool! I tried typing in the latitude and longitude that the tour company gave us for where we'd be when we saw the eclipse (30.940N, 24.241E), and Google Maps did the right thing. If you zoom in, you can actually see the road in the Sahara that we were on.

April 4, 2006: I updated this webpage while still travelling. Things had gone pretty well so far. First evidence of this: the photo above, which I took with a hand-held pocket digital camera.
Note that the "rays" in the photo are real, not optical effects: they are caused by the magnetic field of the sun, which directs the motion of the charged particles in the solar wind.
For serious amateur photos by one of our dinner-table-mates on the cruise, see this website

The next really good eclipse: 22 July 2009, in the Asia Pacific area. Almost 7 minutes of totality. And, as I discovered on this website, it's the same "saros series" as the first eclipse I saw, in Hawaii in 1991, saros 136. I'll have to start making plans soon...