When it comes to eclipse watching, you can't be much more of a fanboy than these three. Here's a peek inside the minds of some veteran eclipse chasers.
Eclipse Chaser: David Blackmore
- David Blackmore, ace eclipse chaser
Passion: World travel, vegetarian cooking, outdoor recreation
# Total solar eclipses: 11
First total solar eclipse: August 1999 in Cornwall, England, at a 16th century castle we rented two years in advance.
Most dangerous eclipse trip: 2001 in Zambia: I was chased by a rhino, had a close encounter with a lion, startled six elephants while on foot, and was surrounded by a pack of hyenas for an entire night of camping.
Most memorable eclipse trip: 2010 in the Cook Islands: We navigated to a remote part of the South Pacific Ocean in a cargo boat via GPS, which led to two seasons of work as a cook on the same boat, touring the Cook Islands. It also led to a freelance writing gig for local Cook Island newspapers during the 2012 London Olympics.
Why I chase eclipses: I'm a traveler anyway, so why wouldn't I?
Bonus: Favorite eclipse description: "Big Jesus in the sky goes belly up." (from a Solomon Islander)
Eclipse Chaser: Greg "Brownie" Brown
- Greg "Brownie" Brown, veteran eclipse chaser
Occupation: Aboriginal Community Store Manager
Passion: Snake charming, reptile rescue and advocacy
# Total solar eclipses: 13
First total solar eclipse: 1976 in Melbourne, Australia.
Most dangerous eclipse trip: Colombia, 1998: I was 29, and it was my third eclipse, and I was going down there without any Spanish or any idea of where I was going. When I look back on it, I realize I was heading blindly into a situation I wasn't really sure about.
Most memorable eclipse trip: Flying over Antarctica in 2003.
Why I chase eclipses: I love the totality that goes with the totality: the places you go, the people you meet, the food you eat, the adventures you have.
Bonus: This eclipse is especially important to me, because it's my final continent to see an eclipse from.
Eclipse Chaser: Simon Macara
- Simon Macara, eclipse shaman
Other passions: Shamanism, wild cats, archeo-astronomy, aurora borealis, erupting volcanoes.
# Total solar eclipses: I've lost count! About 20?
First total solar eclipse: July 11, 1991, in Hawaii
Most dangerous eclipse: August 11, 1999, in Iran
Most memorable eclipse: November 3, 1994, in the Chilean Andes up at 3,600 meters. Perfect atmospheric conditions and an especially spectacular totality!
Why I chase eclipses: Nothing else on Earth is more moving, more satisfying and more nourishing for your soul than witnessing the sun's radiant corona in the moment of totality.