Alan Whitman writes:
[On April 1, 2000] Didn't like what I saw as I headed north to
the Okanagan Centre's scheduled
Messier Marathon at McCulloch Lake at 4200 feet altitude east of Kelowna so
did a U-turn and went to the lower slopes of Mt. Kobau. (Washington State
has been fairly clear the last three days while southern BC has been plagued
with variable clouds.) Got 102 Messiers: M79 and M33 were lost to the high
western horizon -- hard to stomach going 0/2 right off the bat. Barely got
in M31, M32, M110 in fact. Lost M69 and M70 to clouds in morning twilight.
And of course M77, M74, M30 and probably M55 are impossible at this date at
this northern latitude. Well I may have seen a hint of M55; may have seen
the half of M33 that was still sticking out of the tree that it was setting
in too, but didn't count M55 or M33. I was very pleased to get M54, M75,
M73, and M72. Failed on M72 repeatedly so I went after M73 and then
starhopped back to the mere smudge of M72 with a detailed GUIDE 7 chart. M72
was my last object at 0409, 33 minutes into twilight. Very, very mild night
-- didn't put most of my winter clothes on. It was in fact, warmer than many
August nights on Kobau. Of course I was only at 3000 feet or a little less.
Buzzed by five mosquitoes, spread over the whole night.
Used my 8-inch f/6 Newtonian, 7x50 binoculars, and unaided eye -- whichever