From Thomas R CAVE
@. . . . . . First, I wish to thank you for all of the Communications of the OAA Mars Section which you so generously have been sending to me over these many months. I have finally recovered my health and strength since my open heart surgery which I had close to three years ago.
We here only a few short blocks from the ocean have had the worst weather that I can remember in the last 66 years of observing at the Long Beach Location. During the last year I have had my observatory very well worked over and in the autumn of 2000 I enjoyed some truly excellent gseeingh@on both Jupiter and Saturn. On Saturn, for the only time in my life, one night in November, I saw spokes radiating across Ring B & A, I know the history of the ring spokes goes way back for considerably more than one hundred years and an NASA's Spacecraft has shown some magnificent views of the phenomena.
I had fully expected and hoped to begin observing Mars in the hours prior to dawn, however we have not had one clear night since the beginning of this year. Long Beach has had a very rainy winter and early spring. On many nights this year, a high fog marine layer made visibility impossible both day and night. Normally June is the month we are troubled by fog. It may be clear at sunset but by 8:00 PM to 11:00 PM the entire sky is overcast. I have yet to have a view of Mars with my 12.8" reflector. I also now have a Maksutov 8" F/20 with a very small secondary which I intend to use when I no longer can catch the Planet in the 12". I have a small area on the west side of the house with which I will use the Portable Max for Mars.
Last year I invited Dr R. McKim to come for a while with his bride to Long Beach, thus placing Mars 20 degrees higher in the sky, but thus far no reply.
With my very best wishes to you and all the OAA Mars Section observers.
(6 April 2001)