Wasn’t that just one glorious afternoon we had for the Transit of Venus! We were so very lucky here in Victoria to have the clouds uncover at just the right time so that we were able to unpack the telescopes and get out to various locations around the CRD. The RASC volunteers were at their best, and they had to be to ensure that the crowds of people who came to see the Transit were all given time at the telescopes. Down at the museum there were over a thousand visitors, some having come from the mainland at the last moment, some making time out of their working day to come to view Venus and some just wandering over to see what the crowds were all about, not knowing they were seeing an astronomical event for the last time this century. Mount Tolmie had snaking lines of people waiting patiently to look through the various telescopes, at the same time trying to keep from being blown away with the wind. Cattle Point was very busy and Metchosin site had many locals dropping in there as well. Sid Sidhu has said that this was the biggest one day event for the RASC in Victoria since he has been with the club and since he is the keeper of the “numbers” I won’t doubt him at all.
We have had a full spring line-up with Astronomy Day in April, the clouded-out partial Solar Eclipse at the end of May and now this Transit. In between have been school visits, a “Beaveree” out in Sooke, council meetings, light abatement strategy sessions, Community Fairs to attend, the start-up of the Center of the Universe evenings and observatory maintenance. There are so many volunteers to thank. Literally hundreds of hours of time have been generously given by our members to this organization so that we can be an important part of the Victoria community. It’s an amazing accomplishment.
So have some quiet time for your own observing in the next few weeks during what we hope will be a great summer for clear skies. But make sure you come out to Metchosin for our RASCals Star Party from August 17th to 19th. There will be lots going on. We have a great group of speakers and workshops planned, star walks in the evenings and dozens of telescopes on the field. Hope for good weather for us (but bring your windbreaker jacket, just in case!). I hope to see you there.