Rebecca Barry checks watching full eclipse off her bucket list

News4Jax travels to South Carolina to view total solar eclipse

By Rebecca Barry - Meteorologist

SANTEE, S.C. - We weren't sure if we would actually be able to witness history Monday afternoon in Santee, South Carolina, with the forecast showing a 60 percent chance of cloud cover.

But the skies cleared just in time, and for me, personally, I got to check watching a total eclipse off my bucket list.

We met people from around the world who traveled to Santee to witness totality. They crossed their fingers as the clouds moved in, but the sky cleared just in time.

We noticed temperatures gradually dropping slightly, and it started to look a little bit like dusk outside.

As the sun was close to being fully eclipsed by the moon, it got dark very quickly. I had pored over videos and photos of eclipses from around the world, but I still didn't know what to expect when I removed my glasses for that first second of totality.

We caught a beautiful diamond ring view of the eclipse as it entered totality. It was amazing. Once the moon fully covered the sun, we could see Saturn, Jupiter and several stars.

Everyone around us was cheering and in awe.

Then, we saw the second diamond ring as the moon started to move past the sun. That's when we knew to put our glasses back on and watch it get almost instantly brighter.

I might have been the only one caught on camera giddily describing the excitement, but I was not alone in the feeling.

"There was the countdown until it was fully covered," said Stella Stevenson, from Maryland. "Everyone was so excited."

"We're hoping we got some great pictures but we tried to spend most of our time looking at it instead of taking photos," said Rosemary Beales, from New Jersey.

We also met a fellow Floridian. 

"This was amazing and it was perfect with where the clouds were there and they seem to have totally gone around the eclipse so we could see the whole thing," said Angel Klanchar, from Apollo, Florida. 

The next full eclipse will happen in seven years. It will pass through most of the eastern United States and I hope I get to witness that one as well.

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