31-May-2003 -- Our first and probably only eclipse expedition in 2003 took us to the
Shetland islands to witness the annular eclipse on may 31st.
Our group of eight eclipse (and confluence)-chasers from Bielefeld, Bonn
and Cologne met in Aberdeen to board the ferry to Shetland’s capital Lerwick,
where we arrived in the morning hours of May 26th
with 5 days left to explore the archipel before the celestial
spectacle took place. We had a wonderful accomodation located at a
small loch near Tingwall, 5 miles northwest of Lerwick, an ideal location
for our „basecamp“ just in the centre of Mainland.
On the first day we explored the outermost South, especially the cliffs
of Sumburgh Head, where we had our first encounter with those little
Tammie Norie called feathered guys supposed to be the „superstars“
of the islands – the puffins.
Back on the ferry to Aberdeen on evening the 31st after leaving Lerwick
and heading southeast, the vessel approached the Confluence point 60°N 1°W
but missed it by passing 5.7 km westward. From that point we still could
see the cliffs of the “bird’s paradise” Noss and the island of Bressay in the
north and the southern part of Mainland in the west.