Grazing occultation

by Robert Shelton

Fleeing the fog bank that blanketed our intended Winton Avene, Hayward primary site, four of us (Walt Morgan, Bob Garfinkle, Sandy Bumgarner, self) raced to observe the graze from Marsh Road near Calavaras Resevoir (East of Milpitus, out Calavaras Rd).

The roads were narrow and twisty, but after trying all alternative routes, we found unmarked Marsh Road only to discover that it is FAR shorter than shown on the Thomas Guide. Said shortness kept us from achieving the graze line, so we observed a short total occultation and reappearance, had a nocturnal chat with a farmer who was stopping work at 10:30 PM to get up at 4 AM. Farmer initially figured that we were some of "the usual crazies"; not sure what he thought after we said "no, just lunatics", but he was pleasant enough; doubt that he sees many welcome visitors.

There were three amazingly bright sunlit peaks just "down-light" of the terminator. Seeing was soft at the early hour (10:45), so more than 120x was not very useful.

Retired to a Milpitas coffee shop to discuss video astro-cameras, extracting times from video files, etc. Told lies, ate calories that only Walt needed.