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Posts tagged ‘town of 1770’

2012 Solar Eclipse – A Cosmic Experience

2012 Solar Eclipse – A Cosmic Experience

I wasn’t that excited about the solar eclipse predicted for the morning of November 14,  2012, but since I happened to be in North Queensland, Australia, where eclipse hype was rife, I bought the five dollar viewing glasses and set the alarm clock for some  ungodly hour in preparation for the event.

Cairns waterfront lagoon pool

The town of Cairns in Far North Queensland was the ultimate destination to witness the full eclipse, and a reported 60,000 people were expected to converge on the area to see it, many traveling from all over the world for the spectacle.

We had been staying in Cairns and left just days before the eclipse, content with only getting a partial eclipse at our next destination, eight hours south at the Town of 1770. I doubt we could have stayed in Cairns if we’d wanted to as it was reported to be fully booked, with potential visitors now being channeled four hours south to Townsville.


One place I would have loved to have been was at the Eclipse Festival, a week long camping event being held just south of Cooktown, right near the tip of our vast, beautiful country. The energy of thousands of people gathering at a festival with a cosmic solar eclipse at its epicentre had a lot of appeal.

Even more so, the promise of seven days immersed in yoga, African drumming, live music, and tribal dancing – all my favourite things!

But it was precisely these things (and the fact that we had no camping gear) that led to my decision not to go. Sadly, my feet/leg/knee injuries still have me limping, and I know I wouldn’t have been able to restrain myself from joyfully jumping around, yoga-ing, and tribal dancing myself into a frenzy. Physio says … NO!

So I end up at the much more sedate Town of 1770, pretty as a picture with perfect weather conditions for the show.

                            Early bird keen eclipse watchers

Our viewing platform

We’d already hunted out a great viewing platform but were not the only ones with this idea, as many were already perched on this stunning headland enjoying the early morning sunshine, gold and shimmering atop the vast blue Coral Sea.

                                             Before glasses

                                                     After glasses

As the appointed time came the sky still looked pretty much like it does any other morning, with not a moon in sight, so I decided to put the glasses on.

Amazing! Through the plastic lens of my cardboard glasses my reality had been transformed.

I was now witnessing a black sky with the shadow of the moon almost fully obscuring the blazing sun. All that was visible of this fiery orb was a glowing orange slither in the shape of a crescent moon.

At the peak of the eclipse the morning light dimmed and everything was bathed in a soft, silvery glow. There was a noticeable drop in air temperature, and everything took on a surreal, eerie feel.

I was astounded at how strong the sun still was, given that it was almost completely blocked by the moon. The intense energy contained in this heavenly body is truly mind-blowing. As is the Universe in which we exist, and this cosmic event was just a reminder that humanity is a very small speck in something so much grander.

So the event moved me more than I’d expected. I felt awe at being a part of something so vast, powerful, dynamic, and completely out of our control.

In the Universal scheme of things, we are but an insignificant speck in a moment in time.

But from an humanitarian perspective, we are the Universe, and more. 

The Universe is contained within each and every one of us. We are all made of the same stuff.

So shine on beautiful people – and reach for the stars!

 © Copyright November 2012


Exploring the Foreshore in the Town of 1770.

Having left the bright lights and balmy nights of Cairns behind, we now find ourselves in a little lost oasis which goes by the name of the Town of 1770.

The Town of 1770 – aptly named the Birthplace of Queensland.

Captain Cook’s historic landing on May 24th, 1770 has given this town its namesake and its claim to fame. The Town of 1770 was the second place that Captain James Cook came ashore after his original landing in Botany Bay, and it was the first time any European had ever set foot on Queensland soil.

 This cairn is a monument to the historic landing.  James Cook pulled the Endeavour into the sheltered waters of 1770 in almost the exact spot as we are staying now.

Our vantage point from the observation deck would have given us a good view of the majestic white sails as the tall ship drifted towards the shore over 200 years ago.

That scene is not too hard to imagine as I gaze out over the waters in this place that feels timeless.

I wonder what the Aborigines must have thought when they saw a gigantic part kayak/part bird pull into shore!

Today we leisurely wandered along the 1770 Foreshore, which has a well maintained boardwalk winding through lovely parklands and waterfront picnic areas.

It took a long time to cover a little ground as we continually stopped and snapped pictures of the natural beauty in this area.

The lovely Sooty Oystercatcher

‘Suzy Butler’ in the wild … stalking the unsuspecting Sooty Oystercatcher.

We’re on 1770 time today.

No schedule, no rush, no worries. 🙂

Just being in the moment and enjoying nature’s beauty.

My (newly discovered) passion for nature photography continues to increase, and has been spurred along by the excitement of having one of my photos picked up by a popular international travel blog as their Fan Photo of the Week. They are now using it temporarily as their Facebook Page Cover photo, with my name credited.  Have a peek before it disappears!

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The Town of 1770, and its neighbouring seaside village Agnes Water, are far from being fully explored yet. This is the hop off point for the idyllic Lady Musgrave Island which we will be visiting soon, and there’s plans to have a lark on the Larc tour (Lighter Amphibious Resupply Cargo) as well. This full day tour covers both the land and waterways of Agnes Water & 1770, taking you to otherwise inaccessible areas and providing lots of interesting (we hope!) historical facts.

But for now it’s back to 1770 time … as the sun sets on another day in paradise.

Stayed tuned for more adventures!

© Copyright November 2012