Welcome to the Chubby Chatterbox Newsletter, where I’ll be posting favorites from the Chubby Chatterbox archives. In addition, my complete thriller Return of the Mary Celeste will soon be serialized here for those who have asked for something beyond a regular post.

My novel is based on a true event, arguably the greatest maritime mystery of all time. In 1872 the crew and passengers of Boston brigantine Mary Celeste abandoned their seaworthy ship and its valuable cargo, vanishing in the middle of the Atlantic. Speculation over their fate has never abated. History records that after the Mary Celeste tragedy no one from that fateful voyage was ever seen again. History is about to be rewritten…

Return of the Mary Celeste

Prologue

Tragedy struck the brigantine Mary Celeste on the morning of November 25, 1872. The hourly log was later recovered from the deserted vessel; At 8 a.m. the last notation was made. By 9 a.m. no one remained aboard to chalk the next entry.

Something had terrified Captain Benjamin Briggs and his crew, prompting the seasoned skipper to make a decision certain to affect not only himself, his ship and crew, but his family as well—his wife and two year old daughter were aboard Mary Celeste. Much ink has been spilled in fanciful and scientific attempts to explain the calamity that engulfed this perfectly seaworthy ship, yet all that is known for certain is this: in a matter of minutes Captain Briggs became convinced that the only way to save their lives was by ordering everyone into a hastily launched lifeboat. By giving the order to abandon ship, he also launched the greatest of all maritime mysteries.

On December 5, 1872, a month after leaving New York Harbor, Mary Celeste was found drifting on a calm and empty sea. The ship was in fine condition, perfectly intact with valuable cargo safely stored in her hold, but the crew and passengers had vanished. None were ever seen again.

Until now….

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The Eclipse of Reason

August 20, 2017

An early post with a tip for viewing the eclipse.

 

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Are you ready for the eclipse?

 

Oregon is one of the states where the eclipse will be on full view, and people are going nuts. Port-o-potties are being placed in public places and along freeways to accommodate people pausing to view the sky show. People seem as excited by this celestial event as our prehistoric ancestors, who probably thought the gods had blotted out the sun to show displeasure with the human race. Few things live up to their hype and I suspect this eclipse will be the same, but the prospect of the world going dark at 10:18 in the morning is too much to resist.

 

Our son CJ lives across the Columbia River in Vancouver, Washington. The commute to his job in Beaverton, Oregon, usually takes over an hour, longer if there’s an accident on the Interstate bridge. With thousands of extra commuters heading into Oregon to witness the eclipse, he figures the drive to work could take as much as three hours. Since we live in Beaverton, he’s going to spend the night at our place.

 

Have you purchased special eclipse viewing glasses? I hear many stores have run out of them. I have a tip for safe viewing. Most of us, especially those of us who are of a certain age, remember when cameras had film. Many of us have photo albums filled with old pictures. Back in the day, film was dropped off for development and the pictures were returned along with negatives, in case you wanted to order reprints at a later date. If you’re like me, you held on to the negatives for no good reason.

 

If you gather up half a dozen negatives and stack them on top of each other, you can look at the sun without damaging your eyes. Be sure to use enough negatives. If the image of the eclipse is still bright enough to hurt your eyes, add more negatives. I’ve safely looked at the sun many times this way.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I'll be using half a dozen negatives, but you might prefer more.

 

 

Happy viewing everyone!

 

 

 

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Comments

17 Comments
Hey, thanks for the tip! I have tons of negatives! Maybe I should start selling them!!
By: Linda on August 20, 2017
We have tons of negatives, but as you know we'll be at the hospital when the sun & moon do their dance. Well, and we're not directly in the path anyway. But I'll tell Mike about the negatives in case he wants to try it!
By: The Bug on August 20, 2017
I bought glasses from Amazon in early August and it took two weeks to ship. When they did, I got an email from Amazon saying they may not be safe and not to use them. By then everyone was out of stock around here. I was pisses. Fortunately one of our friends overnighted me two pair so I'm in good shape. Never heard of using negatives. Be safe.
By: Rick Watson on August 20, 2017
We're a little way off the main path so the eclipse won't be total. I'm wondering how it will compare to another not-quite-total eclipse I saw in Guernsey a few years back. It got fairly dark but the thing I most remember was the sudden chill in the air for a few minutes. Quite spooky!
By: Botanist on August 20, 2017
That could be good advice. The eclipse isn't supposed to be that good here and it's mostly during work hours so I probably won't get to see it much in person anyway.
By: PT Dilloway on August 20, 2017
Enjoy this spectacle. It's rare and special.
By: red Kline on August 20, 2017
Great tip- I have TONS of those dark no image negatives that are at the beginning and end of a roll ! Thanks!
By: Kathe W. on August 20, 2017
I can't believe you're being so negative.
By: Mitchell is Moving on August 21, 2017
The key to this method is using enough of them. If you don't have negatives or glasses, and don't want to use the pinhole in a sheet of paper method, Twitter is supposed to livestream it.
By: messymimi on August 21, 2017
I still have a drawer full, I think. though I might have purged them.
By: Ellen Abbott on August 21, 2017
I never heard of that negative trick!!
By: fishducky on August 21, 2017
A celestial event like no other. It certainly gives rise to our thoughts to our place in the universe. If nothing else, a brief distraction from the day-to-day craziness we experience here on earth.
By: Daniel LaFrance on August 21, 2017
That's an interesting tip. We are not in the line of totality. Besides, it's so cloudy, I don't think we'll have much of anything to see. Love, Janie
By: Janie Junebug on August 21, 2017
Got here too late. I just watched the 93% we got here with my dollar glasses they worked marvelously. It didn't get dark out but my solar sensitive window candles lit up for a while and the temp went from 96 to 86. Ahhh.
By: Arkansas Patti on August 21, 2017
I positively love your negative idea! I'd never heard of that. My convenience store 99-cent glasses worked like a charm.
By: Val on August 21, 2017
That's really cool. Never heard this one before. Now I have a use for all my negatives - in years from now, when we have another eclipse. I watched the sun go out of view at 10:40am here. I think their predictions were off - they were overexcited.
By: Robyn Engel on August 22, 2017
Too late now. I didn't plan ahead and couldn't find glasses. I have boxes and boxes of those negative strips. Sigh.
By: Pixel Peeper on August 25, 2017

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