See the Solar Eclipse from a Boat in Destin

Boaters are planning to hit Destin waterways to watch the total solar eclipse on Monday, August 21st. Though Destin isn’t in the direct path of the total eclipse, where complete blackout will occur, people wanting to watch the event can still expect to see about 85% coverage from the local area.

Okaloosa County schools, worried about safety precautions during the eclipse, will not be watching from school. Absences will be excused with a parental note if the child wishes to see the event with his or her family, prompting many parents to keep kids home and look for ways to celebrate the rare event. Lea Jorajuria, a Destin mother, says her children will be watching the eclipse from the water in lieu of going to school. “We thought we’d do something a little bit different than watching it on land,” she said.

A “raft-up”  party is planned at Crab Island, Destin’s most popular gathering place for water-related events. “Being on the water is one of the best unobstructed views of the eclipse,” said Chris Thomas of Destin Vacation Boat Rentals.  He says boat rental reservations for the event started coming in over 2 months ago.

In the rush of excitement about the rare event, it’s important for boaters to remember basic safety precautions. Regular boating laws still apply. Make sure each person on board has a life jacket. Turn on boat lights as the sunlight fades, particularly during the total eclipse when darkness descends briefly. Do not wear eclipse safety glasses while driving a boat. Instead, anchor and watch the event.

Do not watch the eclipse through sunglasses because even the darkest ones don’t provide adequate eye protection. Eclipse glasses marked ISO 12312-2 are considered safe.

The partial eclipse starts at 12:05 p.m. and ends at 3:03 p.m over Destin, according to the National Weather Service, with maximum obscuration occurring at 1:37pm.

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