Tuesday, May 31, 2011

halibut cove...act one...

i'm usually much more organized in my photo placement. these are a bit random so we'll see how that goes over the next few days as i load these. no doubt, there will be some doubles as i forget which pictures i've already put in.
over memorial day weekend i went with friends across kachemek bay to kayak in a place i'd never been, halibut cove. as always it was beautiful out in the bay and we had pretty perfect weather for most of our weekend. memorial day weekend is the start of summer in alaska, or so it seems. for most this is the first weekend of camping and many from anchorage head to the kenai to play.
took me a few days to remember to attempt some black and whites. for some reason being on the kayak shooting pictures i completely forgot to experiment. so no black and whites were even attempted until that last night on the beach. funny what a numbskull i can be sometimes. did play with the macro a bit. wish i would have taken all three lenses, but left my regular 50mm at home. used the point and shoot to fill in where marco and zoom missed.
was a busy week leading up to the trip. my back went into some spasms wednesday and i wasn't sure how this would all work out. called out sick one night which i think saved me. just spent the day resting, stretching, walking and then back to resting. did get one night of work in. kept fairly busy that night and it went fast.
got my rooms measured and now i await some sort of call i think to arrange the purchase of the products and all that. not really sure how that all works. if i don't hear from them soon i'll contact them i guess. suspect cleaning and moving stuff from the rooms is where the back spasms came from and it's hard to tell that all that much stuff has been removed. eek! still loads to do. my walks last week were bog, cheney and dog park all close and easy as i had all the lists of stuff to get done. still have lots to do to get ready for the next big trip and the floors. no pet sitters scheduled for my long trip so i really must get on that. hard to get these critters covered. may have to contact the expensive sitter and hope she is available.

we got dropped off at wrights beach. have no idea how that is spelled, but that is how i'm spelling it i guess. val and i both worked the night before, slept maybe 2 hours each and then did the long drive to homer. we did amazingly well, i must say. we just chatted the whole way and kept each other awake. most of these first pictures were taken on that beach where we stayed.

it wasn't as isolated a beach as one would hope as there was a kayaking symposium at the other end of the beach and so there were probably 20+ people also camped out there. we were at one end with a yurt so with the beach being as large is it was we didn't really run into them much, though the poor outhouse behind our yurt seemed on the verge of failure from the moment we arrived.

lots of bald eagles out and about. this guy was watching a crow or raven that was harrassing it. must have been too near it's space. i think we left homer for the beach about 6:30 pm so no paddle that night. we probably could have but always nice to get the camp set up, get a fire going and get something to eat.

the sun was brightly shining that first evening. i went for a short beach walk. above is the dinner mess left by the kayakers in the symposium. i realize that for most people if something is biodegradable it seemingly can be washed out into the ocean. best in remote beaches to store all food and trash properly though as food parts this large strewn about a beach is an attractor to bears. it also looks pretty ugly i must say. easy to tell what they had all decided to eat that night. wasn't actually too worried about bears with all hte camper activities on the beach and those around us.

put the macro on to capture a few snaps of the barnacles on the rocks at the end of the beach. our beach was pretty rocky. not much for tidepooling out there, did run into a few tidepools on the next beach over. at low tide the beaches seemed to go on forever. i know i was dropped out on one of those outer beaches several years back with my friend natalie as we did a hike out to grewingk glacier. we got dropped at the beach and then picked up at another point on the water. we paddled past it the next day.

cool to see the various barnacles in different stages of growth, plus to see all the other tinier stuff living on the barnacles.

thought this little flower was quite pretty. came out well. hard still to hold the camera steady enough, way to lazy to drag a tripod out there. a little patience and i usually can get at least one decent picture.

not sure where this boot came from, leftover trash, but for some reason it was set on this log and became a focal point in several photos. one mans trash is another's photo op.

a few more climbers fell down denali. apparently 2 died and 2 were taken to prov. a friend told me that in the news up here if a patient is taken to regional hospital or native hospital the names of the hospitals are used and if they go to providence it will often just say "to a local hospital". if it says "to a local hospital" that means to providence. i've been testing her theory over the years and she seems to be right. funny. haven't caught up on the local papers yet so not sure how the survivors are doing. one sounded pretty bad by the sounds of it. hasn't been a good year on the mountain. from todays paper it also sounds like a few children died in accidents over the weekend. one from a drowning and another child ran out in front of a car and was killed.

kayaks are also great to use in photography i find. a little colour is always nice. (especially if you forget to play with black and white).

chatted with my sister, linda and two brothers today, joel and tom. always fun to catch up. they'd all called over the weekend to wish me happy birthday. a few other folks called so i still have a few calls i'd like to return. another friend, anita, happened to be in town for her work so we got in touch and enjoyed a nice long dinner and chat at outback tonight. friends of old. funny how some friends it can be years and you just sit down and chat like it was yesterday.

also funny how friendships evolve and transform. so great to get a chance to visit with her for a bit tonight.

this is the yurt we stayed in. plenty comfy for the 5 of us.

some beautiful flowers arrived for me before i left anchorage. they hadn't bloomed yet so it was nice to come home just in time to see them bloom out. thanks rudy!! some of my tulip bulbs i planted in fall also bloomed which was great. the stuff i planted in the garden is begining to sprout as well. can never get over how fast stuff can grow up here once the light stays out like it does. the long days and late, late sunsets are also hard to explain and must be experienced. teh last night val and sandra went out for an evening paddle. don't think they even left the camp til nearly 10pm and probably came back close to 11:30, it was still pretty light and we'd just gotten a fire started. once the sun drops down it does get chilly, but it's still light out. it's currently after 11pm here and i can see very clearly outside. could easily collect firewood or set up a tent out there.

here is the water taxe all loaded and ready to go. thought it was funny that we changed water taxi's. guess we all have different expectations. for me, if they are pleasant, generally on time and get me there and back safely i'm happy. expectations can be a funny thing. if you have too many you will chronically be disappointed in life. thought the one we changed to was fine as well, but heard complaints. i'd use either company again no problem.

sandra and jennifer settle in for their dinner. they always plan tasty meals together while the rest of us eat pbj's or something. i think i did okay. we ate some out in halibut cove so this was an odd paddle in that sense. it's not too often that we can paddle to a resturant. will talk more of halibut cove in my next installment.

we could see for several miles but didn't see but a few otters from our beach and the birds and eagles.

the outhouse...began to fear that the floor would give way and i would drop into the muck below. not sure who is supposed to maintain it, but they are slacking a bit. of course, it could be that the kayak symposium people had some issue that we weren't aware of.

liked the smoke effect on this one.

beautiful clouds, all fluffy. it had really clouded up by the morning and was all grey. got some rain, but it never fell hard. well, it may have a little in the wee hours, but i was sleeping so no worries. there is a wildfire up out of fairbanks, rain must fall.

the land in the distance is homer and the spit could be seen from the beach. we could also see augustine and lesser iliamna and redoubt. (those are the prominent volcano's in the area)

this is from the other end of our beach, in the kayak symposium side of the beach.

on the left is halibut cove.

not a brilliant sunset, but there are no bad sunsets and sunrises and days like this. just happy to be outside and watching the sparkling on the water from all the reflections. we did have some mosquito's, who were large indeed, but not too testy from what i could tell. may have gotten bitten once, but nothing that really drove me nuts. i'm easily driven nuts by mosquitos and if i'm not complaining it's great. i've often thought that if you wanted to get information from me enclosing me in a room of ravenous mosquito's with no way to defend myself would be very effective. just so you know...i know nothing of any significant importance so lets not test this theory out.

obviously, that first night i was beat and happily turned in. we did our longest paddle on saturday. everyone did their best to get out for the calmer waters in the early morning hours. we weren't on the water at 8am or anything like that, but we did get out by 10:30 i think.

these are from the ride down/back. this is an old tavern on the spit. it's quite well known, "the salty dawg". most stop by and have a drink. we got in earlier than we expected on monday so val and i wandered around a bit and enjoyed the weather and atmosphere of homer. gotta love homer!

the entire wall/ceiling of the salty dawg is covered with money and items left behind by patrons. just one of those fun alaskan bars.

before we left homer val took me out to a local winery she and her friend enjoy and she bought some wine. we did some tasting before we left. i liked the bear carvings. very cute.

fun to just wander a bit around homer.

around the spit.

there are some large buoys out there. of course at one point i accidently called them boyees.

didn't see any of the deadliest catch boats out there. occasionally they are docked here. last year i think we saw one as we came back to homer.

that winery had a grand view of grewingk glacier.

then we stopped at the lookout to get this picture of hte spit.

we also remembered that on the drive in we'd seen this bald eagle nest at mile 147. we didn't have time to stop on the way down, but it was right on the side of the road. could be a rough first flight for thier kid.

at this point i'd put the camera in black and white and had forgotten that i had. this guy looked nice in black and white though so no matter.

one last picture of redoubt, a local volcano. blew recently. still for a bit of late. not smoking today.

not too organized, but hopefully, the next installment will be more fun. will do the paddling and halibut lagoon and cove.

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