On Monday, Dewees Island might have had more people on island than at any other point in history, as we paused together to take in the amazing spectacle of the total solar eclipse. It was a day planned for a long time, and well orchestrated for big time fun. The ferry staff planned for extra riders, owners volunteered to remove extra cars from the parking lot to make room for more cars, there were solar system displays and geocaches set up, and really cool t-shirts ordered for the store, thanks to Betty Yearout and Ginny Moser. Over the weekend, at least 950 individual rides were taken on the ferry. On Friday afternoon, scientists from NASA came to tell us about the science behind the eclipse and what to expect. Huyler House was filled to capacity.
We were originally concerned about clouds, and there were even a few storms (with bonus of double rainbow) at the start of the day. Ferry transportation began early, with what would be a record-breaking 380 ferry riders on Monday.
The solar eclipse portion of the day began with two hours of drop-in activities at the Huyler House, planned by Lori Sheridan Wilson. Stations were set up around the picnic area, with different solar system themed objectives. Over 100 people dropped in over the course of the morning, to try the different stations.
From oreo moon phases, to chalk art, to UV beads which change color, there were activities for everyone.
People came in their Dewees solar eclipse t-shirts, and in others. One family, the DeWees family, was renting here because of the name/family connections.
The clouds parted at just the right moment to get a perfect view of totality. We had originally planned to watch from the house, but wanted to see what was going on at the beach and decided to watch there.
It was fun to find others watching from along the roads. The Sullivans:
The Hall/Sood family
And if this is you, let us know…
At first glance, the beach was more crowded than I’ve ever seen it:
So we sent the drone up to see what it looked like from above. The beach actually isn’t that crowded. At the time these were taken, we were at about 80% totality, so the light is getting a little weird.
The beach was a pretty festive atmosphere, so we decided to stay, but I had to zip back to the house to grab one more person. Meanwhile, everyone enjoyed the beach.
The following are Julian Richardson’s photos.
I got back to the beach in time for totality. Along the way, we could see the tiny crescent sun shadows along the road. It was weird light, and at the first instance of totality, we were still along Pelican Flight. It went from daylight to twilight in a second, and was almost so dark I couldn’t see the road. Several people took photos on the beach.
The parking lot at ancient dunes actually had a perfect view through the trees. I had one shot left on the camera, and managed this, right before it got light again.
Christie Drew took this one toward the beach at Ancient Dunes:
And this one of the parking area:
And Captain Lisa took this from the ferry dock:
Jim Mack captured this of the impoundment:
The Boone family on the beach at totality:
Claudia DeMayo got some great shots:
Faith and Fred took this cool timelapse:
Professional Photographer and long time visitor to Dewees Island Jo Marie Brown caught this image from Columbia:
There is something really amazing about being stopped in your tracks by nature, and the way this happened made us all simultaneously pause, take a breath, and look to the sky. I am still collecting photos to put in a book for the archives: if you have some you want included, feel free to email them to me before September 10. Still want to contribute to something related to the eclipse? NASA is asking for your impressions in six words. All eclipse-in-six entries will be sealed in a time capsule to be opened at the next total eclipse in 2024. Enter here. And if you do enter that six word contest, send us your six words.