Cathay/Atlas/Polar – Whichever!

A 747-8 freighter came in to Portland while I was at the ANG base.  I could see it on FlightRadar24 before it landed, and it was listed with a Cathay Pacific flight number.  I was pleased to get a Cathay jet but, when it landed, it wasn’t in Cathay Colors.  Instead, it was in Polar Air Cargo colors.  I figured it was a subcontract operation by Polar.  However, when it taxied closer, on the side of the fuselage was the notice that it was operated by Atlas.  Atlas and Polar are related so I guess this shouldn’t be such a surprise.  Finding who actually operates any jet can be a bit of an exercise these days.

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How to Get Your Family to Stand in the Middle of the Road

We visited Bothell to look at the trees as I mentioned in this previous post.  We weren’t the only ones though.  As we came around the corner, a row of the trees was very intense in their red colors and plenty of other people had come out to check this too.  Families were all over the place taking pictures.  The best place seemed to be in the middle of the road.  Consequently, groups of people were standing there taking their shots and, hopefully, avoiding getting run down!

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A Pair of T-33s, How Nice

A previous post talked about wanting to get the Boeing T-33s after having seen one of them flying over my office.  I saw that two T-33s were actually operating out of St Louis.  They appeared to be operating with the Catfish 757 testbed.  A couple of days later I happened to see that the two jets were operating cross country, presumably en route back from St Louis to Seattle.  Sure enough, that was what they were doing.

I was able to get to Boeing Field when they were completing the return journey.  The tow jets were operating about ten minutes apart.  The weather wasn’t great, unfortunately.  There had been some nice sun a little earlier but, by the time they arrived, the clouds had rolled in.  Even so, it was good to catch both jets.  One of them was operating solo but the other had someone in the backseat who seemed to spot me and watched me most of the way down the approach.

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Need to Find Another Way Around

The seafront at Cowes moves from the Parade to Princes Green via a path that runs around the Royal Yacht Squadron.  During the races, the cannons that signal the racing are mounted here (along with a lot of ceremonial cannons that don’t get used much.  At this time of year, everything is gone.  With the high tide, that path was a bit gone too!  Th water level was high enough to mean that the path was underwater most of the time.  It might have been possible to run through during the gap in the surges but no one seemed to think it was a good idea.

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Where to Park Your 747?

Evergreen Aerospace Museum has a couple of 747s as part of the campus.  They are retired freighters from the now-defunct company that provided a lot of the backing for the museum when it was established.  One of the 747s is sitting out in front of the main museum building.  The other one is slightly more dramatic.  It is parked on top of a water park that is next to the museum.  The waterslides come from within the fuselage.  Getting the plane up there must have been quite something to watch.  Now it is an eye-catching way to let everyone know where the water park is.

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Stitching a Moving Ship

This is less of a technique post and more about the capabilities of modern software.  In a previous post I discussed a visit to Vancouver to meet up with family members that had come off a cruise ship.  We were down on the waterfront when the ship that they had come in on departed.  As it got further away, I shot a few frames with the longer lens to try and stitch together in a panorama.  The problem with this type of shot is that the ship is moving so the background is not consistent between the frames, even if you try and do them quickly.  However, I handed them over the Lightroom and it did its stitching thing and the attached shot resulted.  I think you would struggle to know that there was an issue based on the output.  Quite impressive software performance!

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Kenmore Rush Hour

The floatplane activity of Kenmore Air is busy on Lake Union in Seattle.  The end of the day means a lot of planes are moving from Lake Union back to the home base at Kenmore.  It makes for a rush hour of planes coming back in good light.  I wandered out to the pier at Log Boom Park which gives a great view of the incoming planes.  Then I just waited.  You know they are all going to be back before sundown so it is pretty predictable.

The inbound traffic is a combination of Otters and Beavers.  De Havilland Canada’s finest show up further down the lake as they come across from Lake Union and then they head up the lake.  On this occasion, the wind was from the north so they made straight in approaches, landed and continued straight in to the base.  On another day I was there without a camera and the wind was a southerly.  They then overflew the base and made a tight turn coming back onto the lake with the evening light on the nose.  I will have to try and get that before too long!

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Nairn Falls

Waterfalls seemed to be a popular part of our trip to Canada.  We did a short hike to the Nairn Falls, a short drive north of Whistler.  We chose a rainy day to make our walk but a combination of the right clothing and the tree cover the trails enjoyed for the majority of the walk meant this wasn’t a problem.  The rain certainly didn’t hurt the amount of water flowing over the falls.

The falls themselves are in stages.  The first section drops down into a gully which then reverses the flow out in the opposite direction.  This flow seems to involve going under some rocks so floating objects like logs get stuck whirling around on the surface but never getting downstream.  You can head down to a lower level to see more of the falls.  The rocks down to this level were a bit slippery given how much it was raining but there are some handrails for old geezers like me to stabilize myself with.  It was worth the trip.  The bottom of the falls had some strong flows crashing down and they really got your attention.

The downside to exploring the falls was that you were out in the open and the heavens really seemed to deliver while we were there.  Even with the rain gear on, there was only so long I wanted to be out there getting hammered on.  I made the climb back up to the top.  The interesting thing was how many people we saw on the trail out and back but how few seemed to explore the falls themselves.  Maybe they didn’t want to get too wet in the rain or perhaps they didn’t realize how far down you could get.  I’m glad I checked it all out.

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Thai Delivery

Before the time changed, it was possible to get some evening departures from Everett in nice light after work.  I saw that a delivery flight was scheduled for a Thai 787 and a Dreamlifter was due out shortly afterwards.  I figured this was a good one to go for.  The Thai delivery actually slipped a bit from its scheduled time and I was more than happy for it to do so as the light was getting better and better.  By the time the jet started rolling, the light couldn’t have been nicer.  It was also a heavy jet and rotated not far from me so I got a great angle on the takeoff and, as it climbed away, the purple in the livery seemed to glow.

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High Tide Through the Drains

The tide was very high when we got the parade in Cowes.  The water level was just below the street level.  Naturally, there was some swell, even though we were inside the harbor wall.  This meant the water was pushing back up through the drains that normally take water from the street down to the sea.  The water would force itself back up through the drains.  Sometimes it was just a small amount of water but the bigger waves resulted in a bit more flow back out of the drain.  Video is the best way to show this.  The metal of the drain cover had the level of corrosion you would expect for something with this proximity to the sea!

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