Monday, April 26, 2010
more pictures from the cruise out of seward
random pictures from the cruise yesterday. the picture above is of some of the many kittiwakes we saw. they were riding out the rough weather on the seas. actually difficult to get a feel for the size of the waves in this picture. probably cause we are at the bottom and tipped over...oh well.
the water didn't get rough til we got out past this point. i mean there were waves but nothing too big.
there was a spit of land that jutted out. thought it looked cool with the dead trees on it. behind that spit lies seward.
you can just barely see a black bear at the base of the slide area. closer up pictures later.
sandra tries to act all casual as we attempt to get pictures of our handless captain steering the boat. yes, i realize this makes us truely heinous people and on my defense i was unable to do this with any success as i was too fearful of getting caught. just never thought you could really manage a boat without your hands. partly i was impressed and partly i was happy there was a co-captain. i once was steering a friends boat out of ketchikan. it was a live-a-board so a pretty decent size. the water got rough and i was being pulled into a big rock. i needed both hands to attempt to steer away, but still the boat lurched toward the rock...destined to hit. the boat owner was woken from his nap and with all his might was able to steer us off danger. so you can see how i could be nervous of such a thing.
our cruise really got rolling once we hit the big water and crossed over to the other shore before returning. i had been outside taking pictures when we turned sideways with the waves hitting us broadside. i can see how in the really big waves that could just roll a boat totally over. recently, a boat sank off of montegue island in prince william sound. i don't think seas were too bad, but the crew had been concerned with the load and how it was distributed. it was thier demise. a mayday was called and apparently the captain went back for his beloved cocker spaniel. he and the dog both perished. apparently, the captain hit his head while trying to get off the boat in rough waters. the other 3 crew survived.
typical scenery in alaska here. a kayak would bite as it was obviously high tide and there was no place to try and pull up to get out of the storm. i would not like to be in a kayak on a day like this day. with the tides entire beaches come and go so you really must be mindful of tides as you paddle.
as we watched for a whale to come up from it's dive in the distance, it turned out it was a mother and baby and they came up right by the boat. here they are before i switched to my bigger camera with no zoom...apparently i didn't need it for these guys, they were maybe 30 feet off the starboard side.
a rare treat is mountain goats so close to "ground level". usually you need the binoculars to see them as they are so far up the mountain. we saw several out there sunday who were fairly close. we also saw goats coming/going to seward. they are often sighted at windy point along turnigan arm outside anchorage. saw them today as well on my drive.
here is a better view of that black bear. he looked up as the boat tried to sneak in closer to him. thought he looked cool along the waters edge. i prefer to always see my bears from a boat or car. we hiked potter to mchugh today. a note at the trailhead said a sow and 2 cubs had been spotted there the other day. it's usually the first place bears show up in these parts.
here he walks along the base of the slide. not sure where he intended to go...looked a bit trapped there on shore till the tide resedes. our luck.
several cormorants hand out on a rock.
on the other side of the rock with the cormorants were several rocks with several sea lions hauled out.
this was when i determined i needed a smidge more zoom. found a 70-300 today on amazon that is basic and less than 200 bucks. will do til i'm independantly wealthy enough to spend thousands of dollars on such stuff. for the places i take my lenses though i'm not sure i want to pack totally pricey stuff. i mean my camera's hang out on the decks of kayaks, in back packs...not to mention the added weight that comes with the fancier gear.....if i buy all the gear i want i'd need a personal assisant to help with lens changes and then maybe a few camera bodies...wow...in that paragraph i just spend like $20,000.
lots of these little guys around. black guillemots. these birds are alcids, which means they use thier wings to swim under water as well as flying. murres, auklets and puffins are in the same group.
we saw a few whales...all humpbacks. here is another one diving.
below is the mother and baby humpback before they dove back down. actually they were fairly far off and until i got the pictures on computer last night i didn't realize i'd gotten both on film. you can see the spray from them. that is usually how they are first spotted off in the distance.
before the whale dives it makes a big hunch with it's back as seen below. when you see this get your camera ready...the next thing you'll see is that tail...and everyone wants that shot. it could be another 10 minutes before they come back up again.
took the geese out at potters marsh today. they were there along with a pair of swans and many other shore birds.
a group of sandhill cranes are hanging out at the turnoff for girdwood. they aren't usually hanging there. i've seen them in homer and up at creamers in fairbanks. they must just have decided to stop here during thier migration. we'll see how long they linger.