Day 2 - July 20, 2009 Jiangtan Park / Wuhan Sea World

After having a heavy hearty breakfast, the group ride on their rented aircon bus and left the hotel to Jiangtan Park to have their 1st eclipse dry run and calibration of equipment. Since they were able to scout the park's area yesterday and had chose one that is near the park's entrance in which it had a railing to the east- this was to have an unobstructed view of the east to capture the horizon glow during totality, as well as provide an area where no onlookers would be bumping or hindering their equipment.  The arc shaped area in front of team's observing area would prevent onlookers from accidentally bumping as well as obstructing their equipment .  With that privilege,  the group will only have to control the crowds at their back.

Temperature that morning was really hot! Their thermometer registered a hot temperature of 38 deg C mid morning but since most of the research team have trained under hot and humid environment that team leader James gave them, they must have felt less irritated by the hot weather that morning.  While setting up at the park, many people and onlookers were curious and start to go near the team and asked why they were setting up that day while the eclipse day was on July 22.  Since James and Andrew can speak Mandarin, they were able to explain to the people that they were just rehearsing and calibrating their equipment in  preparation for the 22nd eclipse. With lots of cameras, videos and equipment spreading out near the chosen area, it comes natural that the group become a media magnet as well.  A few news reporter particularly Mr. Chou Quo Qiang of Wuhan Evening Post  approached the group and interviewed James and he gives a briefing on the group's objectives as well as eclipse plans.  They were also firing away with lots of setup images that James was sure that one or two images of the group might be featured in tomorrow's paper.

ALP Wuhan TSE Team Members posed for posterity together with two members of a local astronomical society.


After a successful dry run that morning, they packed their equipment and return to the hotel to unload their equipment and get ready for a big lunch.  Also that day, they were expecting ALPer Johnny Quinto and his family to join the team from Shanghai.  They were expected to arrive in Wuhan at around 11:00am but their flight was delayed  so they were only able to arrive at the hotel at around 2:00pm.  Nevertheless the team went out to have lunch at a great Chinese restaurant near the hotel.  The name of the restaurant is Mr. Xie.  The food there is great and delicious as well as moderately priced.  They were also able to try out the famous Wuchang Fish that was the favorite dish of the late Mao Zhe Dong whenever he comes to Wuhan.  The fish was very tasty and delicious but like our very own Bangus (milkfish), it is very bony :0

When they get back to the hotel , Johnny and family arrived 15 minutes later and got to meet James at the lobby and since the group has a scheduled tour visit at the Wuhan Sea World, Johnny and family checked in their luggage at their rooms and join the group for the tour.  Sea World is located near the famous East Lake area and they were able to see a lot of beautiful fishes such as sharks, seals, turtles, arowanas, arapaimas, sturgeons, rays and many tropical and salt water fishes.  One of the nice area of this center is the glass tunnel wherein one can see the fishes, sharks, turtles and rays swimming on top of you :)

Afterwards, they went to a nearby car battery shop where Jett bought a small car battery for his laptop and telescope use at the observing site.  Then they went back to the hotel afterwards and get some rest before going out to have dinner. Since it was a hot day, Johnny and family as well as Zed decided to stay at the hotel and order from the hotel.  So James, Jun, Jett and Andrew went out and try other restaurants near the hotel vicinity.  That evening they tried out a local congee house wherein the big bowl serving was enormous!  Almost as big as a salad bowl!  They ordered a seafood congee and it was full of crabs and shrimps as well as fish.  Afterwards, they headed back to the hotel and get some rest.  As they return to the hotel, they were quite surprised that most of the blog sites can't be access  (maybe China a bit strict on blogging?) so the initial plan to do a daily update of their activities were put on hold :( Most of the .org sites are also blocked so James  wasn't able to access and update ALP webpage as well.  So final decision was to do the daily updates of activities when they are back in Manila.


Fisheye view of ALP Wuhan TSE Team Setup Site

Nice composite fisheye view of the ALP TSE Team Setup Site.

ALPer Jun Lao beside his eclipse imaging setup (courtesy of ALPer Andrew Ian Chan)

Another cute pose of Jun Lao with his setup :) LOL

This ALP Setup Image was featured in the July 22 issue of Chu Tian Metropolis Daily

ALPer Andrew Ian Chan posed beside his Skywatcher 80ED refractor on EQ-1 mount

ALP Wuhan TSE Expedition Team L eader / PresidentJames Kevin Ty beside his imaging setup, Canon 5D Mark II DSLR on Canon EF 100mm-400mm f/4.5~5.6 IS L series lens with Canon EF II 2x teleconverter on Vixen GP-DX mount with Starbook-S controller.  Also on the mount are a Digital 8 videocam and Canon FS-11 SD videocam.

ALP VP Jett Aguilar beside his Canon 50D DSLR on Borg 77ED II refractor on Takahashi Space Boy mount.  Also on the mount are a Canon 350D DSLR with Canon EFS 10mm-22mm f/3.5~4.5 lens as well as a HD videocam with diffraction grating filter installed for flash spectrum imaging.

Zareer Contractor beside his pair of 300mm telephoto lenses on Canon 30D DSLR and film based SLR on Manfrotto tripod mount.

Wuhan Sea World

A giant Anaconda model can be seen after you enter the facility

Catfish:  Hey, look at these odd creatures that are staring at us!

Large Catfish


Underwater Glass Tunnel showing numerous large sharks, rays, turtles and other salt water fishes. (Courtesy of  ALPer Jun Lao)

Giant Sea Turtle

Chow Time!

ALPer Jett Aguilar:  Hey! This large ED refractor has  good optics! :) LOL





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