Some Humpback Fluke Action

We took a trip out to go whale watching while we had some visitors staying with us.  The trip departed from Edmonds and proved to be a great day out.  Our first encounter was with some humpbacks.  We have had some great humpback spotting previously and they got a post here from one of those events.  This time we came across a couple of them feeding in the waters of Puget Sound.  A couple of times we were nice and close when the whales dived.  The humpback is great for getting a view of the fluke as they dive deeper.  Here are a couple of fluke shots I got.  The flukes are the way that the scientists are able to identify the whales since they are quite individual.

Posted in Pacific Northwest, photo, wildlife | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Space Needle Air Traffic

The top of the Space Needle is a good place to watch the floatplane traffic in to Lake Union.  They tend to fly really close by.  Shooting through the glass is not ideal but the passing Otters are too good to pass up.  If you can, getting to the gaps between the glass is a good idea but it is hard to do this and get a good angle on the planes as they pass.  Boeing also helped out with an Oman Air 737 Max taking off from Boeing Field and coming our way.

Posted in aircraft, civil, Pacific Northwest, photo | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Soviet Looking Tower Architecture

There are a number of high towers in Tokyo.  I saw one as I was walking to Shinjuku that seemed rather out of keeping.  Most have either a futuristic look or just look like a radio tower.  This one was a very large, square, concrete structure.  It looked like the sort of thing you might expect to see in Soviet era Moscow rather than Tokyo.  A strange looking building.

Posted in photo, Travel | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

West Seattle Bonuses

We made a trip to West Seattle with our guests while they were here.  We were looking at the view of the city and also wondering what wildlife might show itself.  I got a benefit in that departures from SeaTac and Boeing Field were coming to the north.  I got a couple of nice airliner shots as they climbed out over us.  They weren’t the only ones though.  A KC-46 launched out of Boeing Field and climbed over us as it went off to its test area.  I wasn’t paying attention, but my guests spotted something rocketing up behind it.  An F/A-18C Hornet from the Strike Test unit was following it, presumably for some test work.  It climbed rapidly but then leveled out, I assume to stay below the departure routes from SeaTac.  Not a bad bonus for me while showing the sights to my guests.

Posted in aircraft, civil, military, Pacific Northwest, photo | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Cleaning the Gum Wall

One of the more unpleasant tourist attractions in Seattle is the gum wall.  That made it on to the blog in this post from a few years ago.  We went to check it out when we had visitors staying recently.  However, we had chosen poorly (or well depending on your perspective).  They were in the process of cleaning the wall.  Some poor guy was busy with a jet washer blasting the crap off the walls.  Not a nice job I imagine.

Posted in photo, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bye Bye Korean Air

When the Korean Air 747 pulled away from the gate, the ground crew all lined up to wave goodbye.  I loved the personal touch.  Not something you ever see in the US. I did wonder how many people on board were looking out of the windows to appreciate this gesture.

Posted in aircraft, civil, photo, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How to Pick Apples

Heading through the Cascades one weekend, we stopped off at a farm stand.  They had apple orchards and were showing off one of the machines used for picking the apples.  It had multiple tines for sweeping the apples from the branches when they are ready, presumably without bruising the fruit.  I imagine this thing can pick a lot more fruit than a person in a given time.

Posted in Pacific Northwest, photo | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What Are You Hiding in Your Pockets?

While waiting for my flight at Narita, I saw this guy on the ramp being wanded by a colleague with a metal detector.  There didn’t seem to be any problem so I was curious about what they were hoping to find?  Had he lost his keys?

Posted in photo, Travel | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Palace Sightseeing is No Fun When It’s Hot

On my first visit to Tokyo, a few years ago, I made a brief visit to the park around the Imperial Palace.  I decided to take another look during my first visit this year.  However, while I knew it was going to be hot (it had been incredibly hot and humid all week) but the exposed area around the palace combined with the beating sun meant it was pretty uncomfortable.  There were still plenty of tourists though.

I walked along one side of the palace grounds near the main entrance and then along the moat to some of the more famous viewing locations.  I got a few shots as I walked along but it is fair to say I was not totally in to it.  After I had got a bit further on, the heat was really getting to me and the desire to be back in the shade overtook any desire to explore further.  There was a running club finishing their run which seemed amazing to me as I could hardly handle walking.  Time to retreat.

Posted in photo, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

I Am Liking the A350

When I first saw images of the A350, I did not think much of its looks.  The nose profile seemed odd and I was disappointed.  However, something about it has got to me.  I have been seeing a lot more of them in service recently and something about the jet in person is appealing.  It doesn’t hurt that a few of the airlines I have seen have interesting liveries.

Narita seems to be a popular destination for the type and I got to see examples from Delta, Thai and Vietnam Airlines while I was there.  Deliveries have really ramped up now so it will not be long before I am seeing them regularly.  Asiana has been using it to SeaTac for a while and China Airlines is bringing them in to Vancouver.  Good that I like them since I will be seeing a lot more of them.  Now I need to fly in one to see what it is like as a passenger.

Posted in aircraft, civil, photo, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment