It was 40 years ago yesterday that I saw my first total solar eclipse. Yet it does not seem to be that long ago. I can clearly remember and visualize the corona and diamond ring as seen from the decks of the Olympia in the North Atlantic. For that eclipse I had brought along a small telescope (f/10 4.25 Edmund reflector) and a camera with a zoom lens. Even though totality was just a few minutes I managed to finish a roll of film during mid-totality. That allowed me to spend the rest of the time just watching and well, it was quite a view. This is why I strongly recommend not getting lost in the camera equipment for a first eclipse experience. Simply enjoy it!
Here is a report about the cruise from the folks that organized it. Additional links at the bottom of the page tell the saga of how it all came together. As a passenger on that voyage to darkness I can honestly say that they did it right!
Pictures and a brief write up of the Eclipse 72
The above picture is me in 1972 on board the ship. Bringing a small telescope of this size is not recommended on a ship unless it has a very wide field of view. To view the eclipse required constant manual correction. However, I can tell you that the view was totally excellent!