To say people are excited about the eclipse is like saying San Francisco was okay with the Giants winning the World Series again. The entire 60 kilometers between Cairns and Port Douglas are insane with an estimated 60,000 people flooding into the tiny resort towns for the event. Hostels and hotels are booked up with their rates nearly doubled, small market fairs are hosted every night, certified eclipse glasses are sold at every shop and stand on every corner, special parties and tours of viewing sites are selling out, and you can purchase a plethora of memorabilia to immortalized your experience.
Now for the reality.
The viability has been spotty at best for the last week, with on and off rain showers catching people off guard throughout the day. It is the rainy season after all.
The best place to view is on the ridges and hills to the west, but that requires a car and a decent knowledge of the area to find a place with a clear eastern view that early. Multiple boats and ships are taking people right to the path of the eclipse and are far enough to sea on the reef to avoid clouds – for a price. That leaves the beaches, many of with are blocked off for private access, media, and safety concerns. The biggest and most accessible stretch is the main 4 Mile Beach, which is we’re most people will go. So it will be crowded.
Since it is so early, the tide will be in. And not just any tide. A king high tide, expected to take up the majority of the beach leaving even less space.
I have my glasses, my camera, my iPad to stream live back to you lovely folks, and an alarm set for 3:30am.
Lets do this.