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Winter Star Party 2014

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#1 Cotts

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Posted 17 December 2013 - 09:24 AM

:snowedin: :coldday: :snowedin: :coldday: :snowedin: :coldday:

It's cold, snowy and cloudy here again and winter hasn't even started yet!! Temps have been below average all across the continent...

I know it is something like 10 weeks away but I really need to get my mind off the local weather...

So......

Who's going to WSP 2014? What scope will you bring? What observing goals do you have for those steady Florida skies? How many shorts-and-a-Tshirt days will there be?

Dave

#2 DeanS

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Posted 17 December 2013 - 10:46 AM

Cabin fever already????

#3 Cotts

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Posted 17 December 2013 - 01:06 PM

Ye gods, yes. I'd tear my hair out if I had any.

You goin', Dean? Or are you just rubbing it in?

Dave

#4 DeanS

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Posted 17 December 2013 - 01:47 PM

I am going again, need my Feb fix of sunshine and margaritas.

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#5 Bill Weir

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Posted 18 December 2013 - 11:55 AM

Livin' in the wrong part of Canada I guess. ' )
http://www.theweathe...ish-columbia...
Planning on some solar observing on lunch break today.

Bill

#6 FarrOut

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Posted 18 December 2013 - 02:03 PM

Gosh Dave, I'll bet it costs a TON of money to go to the Florida Keys. Isn't there a better use for that money?

#7 Alvan Clark

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Posted 18 December 2013 - 03:41 PM

Gosh Dave, I'll bet it costs a TON of money to go to the Florida Keys.


From New England I've done it for about $200 to stay, several hundred for gas and tolls, plus a $100 or a little more for a couple cheap motel stops. Not a ton for a week in the Keys.

#8 Cotts

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Posted 18 December 2013 - 11:40 PM

Gosh Dave, I'll bet it costs a TON of money to go to the Florida Keys. Isn't there a better use for that money?


Looking up last year's costs, It was just under $1000 for gas, food, motels and Star Party fees. Not so bad really?

As for what I could get for $1000 that would give me more use/pleasure than going to the WSP -- nothing comes to mind...

Dave

#9 bierbelly

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Posted 30 December 2013 - 03:39 PM

It's a very reasonable place to stay in the Keys during high season. But watch out for fire ants and Key West. The latter will blow your budget...happily I might add.

#10 stevenwav

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Posted 30 December 2013 - 04:42 PM

I am thinking of attending, had a great time last year. I can only take a week off of work, so driving two or three days each way from MA is problematic. Without my own vehicle, bringing a scope/mount/tripod and ep's is also problematic. I may have to mooch off of others for views. That is fine I guess but would I really would like to have a scope of my own to use. I have large scopes -except for my TMB 100 f/8. If I had my druthers, I would bring my Dall Kirkham as it is my largest aperture. Large aperture rules down there from what I found. I suppose any scope I bring would bring in better views than what I am getting up here though - even a 4" refractor. Still weighing possibilities.

#11 bierbelly

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Posted 30 December 2013 - 05:07 PM

I am thinking of attending, had a great time last year. I can only take a week off of work, so driving two or three days each way from MA is problematic. Without my own vehicle, bringing a scope/mount/tripod and ep's is also problematic. I may have to mooch off of others for views. That is fine I guess but would I really would like to have a scope of my own to use. I have large scopes -except for my TMB 100 f/8. If I had my druthers, I would bring my Dall Kirkham as it is my largest aperture. Large aperture rules down there from what I found. I suppose any scope I bring would bring in better views than what I am getting up here though - even a 4" refractor. Still weighing possibilities.


Check into driving down here to Lorton, VA and taking the AutoTrain down to Sanford/Orlando. It's about an 8 hr drive from there to Scout Key, where the WSP is. Still best to find a place in the Keys to spend the night before WSP. Eh, drive fast?

#12 JimMo

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Posted 30 December 2013 - 07:05 PM

I wish we had the car/train option down I-75. Oh well, two long days drive for five possible night observing in February sounds really good to me.

I'll be arriving early Sunday morning to wait in that line. At least I'll be able to sack out till noon in style this year as I'll be dragging my little teardrop trailer down to it's second star party. No tent or red ants for me, although if you have some Amdro you'll be fine as long as you don't set up next to an anthill.

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#13 DeanS

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Posted 30 December 2013 - 08:59 PM

Cool looking teardrop. Looks retro.

#14 stevenwav

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Posted 30 December 2013 - 09:06 PM

I will look i to the car/train AND driving fast. A quick stop at Joe's Stone Crab wouldn't be a bad idea either I suppose!

#15 crazyqban

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Posted 30 December 2013 - 09:52 PM

A stop at Joe's will definitely blow your budget. I suggest checking out Key's Fisheries in Marathon, Fl (close to WSP). They supply the Stone Crabs for Joe's but are only $2 a piece at the bar.

#16 stevenwav

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Posted 30 December 2013 - 10:22 PM

I love it! Thanks for the tip- this is what the CN site is all about. All of this talk is really getting me psyched for the trip. I need to figure out how to get there with a scope.

#17 Cotts

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Posted 31 December 2013 - 11:22 AM

I wish we had the car/train option down I-75. Oh well, two long days drive for five possible night observing in February sounds really good to me.

I'll be arriving early Sunday morning to wait in that line. At least I'll be able to sack out till noon in style this year as I'll be dragging my little teardrop trailer down to it's second star party. No tent or red ants for me, although if you have some Amdro you'll be fine as long as you don't set up next to an anthill.


Hi, Jim. You won't be hard to find in that little firetruck...

I avoid the ants by staying in the chickees at the west end of the property.... I have avoided the 'berm' and its debilitating wind (every year there have been perfectly clear nights when those on the berm are completely shut down by wind while those of us in Chickee land are observing happily....) - the chickee end is well sheltered...

As for that line-up - don't believe the "you can't line up until 6am" business. The first dozen or so cars in the line get there at sunset the night before - I've talked to these guys and they tell me that the police don't mind as long as your car is well off the road. The WSP folks won't tell you this, though....

Looking forward to seeing 'the usual suspects' in a few short weeks....

Dave

#18 crazyqban

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Posted 31 December 2013 - 01:08 PM

As for that line-up - don't believe the "you can't line up until 6am" business. The first dozen or so cars in the line get there at sunset the night before - I've talked to these guys and they tell me that the police don't mind as long as your car is well off the road. The WSP folks won't tell you this, though....


Due to legal issues the WSP folks CANNOT tell you to park on the road ahead of time. If the cops let you then that is one thing but WSP has to follow the rules that have been established for the event by Monroe County.

#19 Cotts

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Posted 31 December 2013 - 01:32 PM

Hey, Sergio! I know the SCAS folks have to report the 'party line' on their website. The first three times I went for the lineup I was always amazed that no matter how early I showed up (5am, 4am....) there were always 10-20 cars in line and the Police Car on duty, ignoring them. So i asked the fellows in those first few cars and that's when I found out that the 'rule' is not enforced.....

But I totally understand why the WSP website says what it says....


I don't bother getting there early now since my place in a chickee is guaranteed. I spend the 'night before' in Homestead and drive in after a nice breakfast....

See you in 8 weeks!

Dave

#20 JimMo

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Posted 02 January 2014 - 10:28 AM

Sssshhhh. Don't let everyone in on the secret or they really will make us wait till 6 AM to line up. :grin:

Dave do folks camp near the Chickees and how low is the southern horizon there over the trees? Can you see Omega Centauri over them? I now have a good pair of binos so I can walk over and check out the really low stuff on the berm.

#21 Cotts

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Posted 02 January 2014 - 12:40 PM

Jim, there are plenty of people in tents in Chickee-land. Have the WSP folks determined your trailer to be an"R-VEE"? If they do, they'll be telling you exactly where you can park it.....

As for Omega, where I have been setting up the past few years I have to view it between the palm fronds...

I've put together a map which shows what I remember about where things go. It seems small RV's like your trailer, campers on pickup trucks can go in some parts of the area labelled 'tents' but you'd best ask the WSP folks for definitive rulings.....

The Chickee area has had small RV's, Chickee residents and tenters all mixed together in the past. Those trees along the shore are the windbreak...

Hope this helps.

Dave

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#22 JimMo

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Posted 02 January 2014 - 01:41 PM

Thanks Dave, I paid for an RV ticket but my trailer is smaller than some tents.

I'll send a post out to the organizers to confirm where I can set up.

#23 crazyqban

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Posted 02 January 2014 - 08:38 PM

If the weather keeps on going like it has been this winter, get ready for a scorcher!!! Today was a balmy 85F!!! Tee shirt, sandals and shorts kind of weather. We haven't had a "winter" down here in 3 years.

#24 Cotts

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Posted 02 January 2014 - 08:46 PM

It's been -19C here in Toronto since last night. (-2.2F) I'm quite ok with the concept of 'scorcher'.....

Dave

#25 bierbelly

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Posted 03 January 2014 - 02:45 PM

If the weather keeps on going like it has been this winter, get ready for a scorcher!!! Today was a balmy 85F!!! Tee shirt, sandals and shorts kind of weather. We haven't had a "winter" down here in 3 years.


Oh yeah? How about today? I saw it's 67 degrees in KW...brrrrrrr!






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