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Post by Bsimon » Sun Nov 22, 2020 10:13 am

Well the 38th Annual Edition of the Deep South Star Gaze is now history. A memorable star party held in a memorable (not all for the best reasons) year. How did we do? Pretty good I think, read on -

In spite of COVID the DSSG was one of a very few star parties which was able to be held. We did limit registration based upon what we felt we could accommodate due to COVID. Realistically I was expecting a registration of no higher than about 30 to 35 and we actually had a paid registration of 55. Not all of the 55 registrants actually attended, it was more like about 46 or 47 but this was enough people to make the field feel more like some of our big DSSG events from the past.

The weather cooperated for a change. Thursday and Friday nights were very, very good and we did get some observing in on the other nights too so anyone who came did get a chance to see the stars from a dark location. Most commented on how happy they were to be able to get some observing in.

Room for improvement areas and some reminders -

My only comment about mask wearing is while we did do some of that, we could have done better. Hopefully this will not be an issue next fall as most should have received a vaccination by then. For those that don't have a vaccination by then be thankful that most will have gotten one and their vaccination helps you. Note - on the DSSG Message Board I asked attendees to report in on their health post DSSG. About 8 people have responded on line that they are fine (no COVID symptoms). I have talked to a few more and everyone is good.

Meal payment - while the late afternoon and snack bar meals were separate from what many paid for registration and lodging fees, and it was clearly stated several times that you pay for meals directly to Carol when meals are served there were a few that did not pay for meals. Really a very few, but meals were not free and if you had one or more and you did not pay for it, that money is owed to Carol.

Bathroom facilities including showers - there is a bath house with showers, toilets and wash basins. The bath house is for the use of all registrants who are not in a bunk house with separate facilities. The main bunk house behind the main building has all bathroom facilities but the bathroom there is for the sole use of those that had a bunk reserved in that building. It was not for use by anyone in a tent, camper, rv or a different bunk room that had no attached facilities. Once again anyone in a tent, camper, rv or bunk room without facilities had the separate bath house available to them. In addition the small bunk room in the main building (where we eat) was reserved and it should not have been used by anyone needing to go to the bathroom for any reason as it was reserved. I will likely have signs for next year reminding people that bathroom facilities in the small private bunk room and in the larger bunk house are for use only by people that have reserved space in these areas.

Red lights on the field - we were generally good here, but some people that had red lights that were way too bright. In addition some were wearing red lights that were part of a hat or head harness. These lights were typically way too bright and in addition it is hard to remember to keep your head pointed down so that when not in use the light is pointed down. (You want to look up and when you do these overly bright lights may be aimed directly into someone else's eyes.) We tolerated these lights this year but next year we will demonstrate to anyone with them just how overly bright they are by comparison to an acceptable light. If too bright they will have to be further shielded or they will have to be turned off.

Driving in or out outside of windows that are created for driving in and out. We were mostly ok here but there were a few violations. Stronger reminders next year.

I have heard some comments about the food, mostly good, but I have heard from one person who did not care for the food. Any other person wishing to comment about the food, either the selection or the preparation. If something really stands out that needs correction I will let Carol know. Note, several have responded on the DSSG Message Board about the food - all good comments, no complaints

Note - the dates for the Deep South Star Gaze next fall will be from Tuesday, November 2nd to Sunday, November 7th.

Comments and suggestions are welcome.

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