Solar Eclipse on the Llangollen Canal, August 1999

Sky-gazing conditions in Northamptonshire are not suitable for observing today's partial eclipse of the sun, but we clearly remember the last eclipse.

On 11 August 1999 we were on our first cruise along the Llangollen Canal in our first boat Bertie. Around the Wrenbury area we were travelling towards the Hurleston when we experienced full totality. Conditions were not perfect but at least the cloud was broken and not a blanket.We observed the process in the reflection on the water of the canal, and also via a bucket of water carried on-board.  I got the picture below with my Minolta 35 mm film camera but you need an eye of faith to recognise it as an eclipse.

Eclipse above the Llangollen Canal, August 11, 1999

Perhaps the most dramatic part of the process was the very perceptible drop in temperature that occured; for a warm August for a while it got quite chilly. The eclipse also had on effect on bird-life. For quite a while this rural location became very quiet and still.

Bertie descending Grindley Brook Locks, August 1999