[Voyage to Darkness graphic]
[Eclipse'72 graphic]

Greek Line's Olympia

[Eclipse Photo-Outer Corona] [Eclipse Flag Ceremony]

The Voyage to Darkness eclipse flag was hoisted after
Olympia successfully intercepted eclipse totality.
The flag has proudly flown from the masts of ships of
all Voyage to Darkness solar eclipse cruises.

ECLIPSE '72 Statistics

On July 10, 1972 850 passengers aboard Eclipse '72 — Voyage to Darkness rendezvoused with eclipse totality aboard the Greek Line's 23,000-ton Olympia.
  • First contact (beginning of the eclipse) occurred at 3:47 P.M.
  • The sun's altitude was 24°
  • Totality, which began at 4:48 P.M. was 130 seconds in duration
  • The position of the OLYMPIA at totality was latitude 40°.3' north, longitude 54° 5.0' west
  • Eclipse'72 photo above of outer corona - 1203mm telescope 1/4sec. At f/6 Kodachrome-X
  • Eclipse'72 photo below of the diamond ring - 1203mm telescope 1/60 sec. At f/6 Kodachrome-X

[Ted Pedas -Flag Raising Ceremony]

[Eclipse Photo-Diamond Ring]
"You flew your Learjet up to Nova Scotia to see the Total Eclipse of the Sun "
You're so Vain Carly Simon — the #1 hit of 1972-73.

NOTE: The eclipse in Nova Scotia was all but clouded-out. Carly Simon's eclipse chaser should have joined ourVoyage to Darkness'72 eclipse cruise which evaded bad weather to rendezvous with totality 900 miles in the North Atlantic.

[Eclipse Partial Phases]

[Lecturers and Staff]

View Eclipse '72 Science at Sea Lecturers and Staff
[Eclipse'72 Collage]

View Passenger Letters, Comments and Photos

The Pedas-Sigler cruise organizers with meteorologist Dr. Brooks and his wife Sarah

[Eclipse '72 Collage]




The Olympia's Voyage to Darkness
Excerpted from Sky and Telescope, September,1972
Edward M. Brooks, Boston College,
George S. Mumford, Tufts University,
Leif J. Robinson

Three principal scientific experiments were conducted aboard the Olympia.

[Dr. Schaefer]  [Scripps]  [Scripps]  [Leif Robinson, Leo Henzl]

  • On each day of the voyage, Vincent Schaefer, State University of New York at Albany, took samples of air from deck level and from balloons to measure the amount of particulate matter in the lower atmosphere over the ocean. Dr. Schaefer is well known as the developer of cloud-seeding techniques.
  • The second experiment was brought aboard by scientists from Scripps Institution of Oceanography at La Jolla, California. By means of a portable echo sounder, they studied eclipse-induced changes in the depth of the so-called deep scattering layers, which are composed of small organisms. A light meter was also lowered to measure the undersea illumination during totality.
  • Oceanographer Sargun A. Tont tells the experiment's aim: "One of the characteristics of the majority of the deep scattering layers is their downward migration at sunup and upward migration at sunset, suggesting that light regulates the motion of the organisms. The question is whether light is the primary stimulus or whether it acts to modify an already inherent biological clock mechanism."

    "If the deep scattering layers are light regulated, during a total solar eclipse they should rise from their daytime level. Preliminary analysis of the data obtained shows that there was increased activity in the layers during the eclipse, and certain patches of organisms tended to rise up. However, our final conclusions must wait until the analysis is completed."

  • The last experiment was conducted by Leo Henzl, Jr., of Celestron Pacific, and Leif J. Robinson, using the K-40 aerial camera... Direct photographs were taken on fast, wide-field plates in an attempt to record faint comets or other minor members of the solar system near the sun. This project was carried out in collaboration with Henry Courten of Dowling College, as a continuation of similar searches he has made at four previous eclipses, beginning in 1966.

    Any suspect images will be checked against photographs obtained with identical equipment by Donald and Madeline Albert, also of Dowling College. Their site was at Sagwon, on the north coast of Alaska, where totality occurred 1.8 hours earlier than for the Olympia

Holger R. Nelson a philatelist and eclipse cruise passenger assisted the cruise organizers in preparing a philatelic cachet.
[Philatelic Cachet]


ECLIPSE 72 WAS SPONSORED BY Eclipse Cruises, Inc. and Greek Line. Participating planetarium agents included the Adler, Chicago, the Charles Hayden of Boston, the Fels Planetarium of Franklin Institute, Philadelphia and the Strasenburgh, Rochester.

The cruise ship T.s.s. Olympia departed from Pier 97, New York on Saturday, July 8 and arrived at the path of totality on July 10, where at approximately 4:47 p.m. EDT the voyagers aboard the floating observatory experienced the memorable sight, the total eclipse of the sun.

On board the Olympia were nearly 800 scientists and passengers, many of whom brought special equipment to record and photograph this dramatic event. Following the eclipse the Olympia proceeded to cruise in the Gulf of St. Lawrence and arrived at Gaspe, P.Q. on July 12 for a day of sightseeing and on July 13 tours were taken at Sydney, N.S. ECLIPSE 72 returned to New York, July 15.

Published articles relating to Eclipse '72 —Voyage to Darkness

Links to related Voyage to Darkness Passenger sites
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E-mail:   Ted Pedas mpedas@ix.netcom.com