Boating during the Eclipse? You got this

August 2017

Monday’s eclipse will be the first coast-to-coast total solar eclipse in nearly 100 years.

I know, you’ve probably been told that a lot in the past few weeks. You’ve probably also thought about how there would be no better place to see it than from your boat, out on the water, away from all the city lights, right?

Well you’re not wrong. There is nowhere better than a boat to kick back and watch the stars. Rumor has it that many other people have this same idea, so if you are on the way to the water this Monday, make sure you’re eclipse-ing in the safest way.

People from all over the world are filing into the 14 states along the path of totality to catch a glimpse of this natural phenomenon, which means the roads are going to be absolutely crazy. So, make sure that you stay safe and have a good time.

Remember:

Get to your lake early and prepared to stay for a while. Bring along plenty of food and water and find something to keep yourself occupied so you don’t get bored. Also get that playlist prepared – some appropriate songs: Total Eclipse of the Heart, Dancing in the Moonlight, Blinded by the Light…you get the idea.

A fun thing to do beforehand is study upon your constellations and see if you can find them in the sky during totality (this is ONLY if you are in the path of totality! Otherwise keep your glasses ON!)

Oh yeah, the glasses. By now, you’ve probably realized the importance of eclipse glasses. (But have you tried them on? You can’t really see anything, which is probably why they protect your eyes.) You won’t instantly turn to stone if look straight at the sun, but let’s not risk it. Serious eye damage can happen if you’re not careful. And if you’re not looking at the sky, then it would be safest to use sunglasses when looking around because of the glare off the water.

Remember that running lights are required and anchor lights are required for power driven boats and sailboats at anchor.

Go slow. What’s the rush? Remember when you were a kid in the car, looking out the window at night thinking the moon was following you because it seemed to follow you at the same pace? Learn from that. The sky isn’t going anywhere. Stay beached or anchored during the phases and during totality. The last thing you need is to get distracted and drift into another boat.

Don’t overlook the small detail of sunscreen. That moon has only got you and your back protected from the sun for around two minutes. And with the amount of people on the water, you’re gonna be there a while. So protect yourself.

Bottom line: know the local laws and rules of the lake you’ll be at. Be smart. Make your mother proud. And don’t do anything we wouldn’t do. (But what do you know, we might like to live dangerously.)

Happy eclipse-ing! 

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