Category Archives: Travel

End of the Line for the 38 Stock

Prior to the 1960s, the Isle of Wight had an extensive rail network.  The Beeching cuts reduced it to one line, from Ryde to Shanklin.  It was electrified and the rolling stock was initially old London Underground stock from the 1920s.  This was in use when I was a youngster but it got replaced in the late 80s by the new(er) Class 483s.  These were also London Underground castoffs – this time from the 1938 stock.  They had gone through a modernization program to be used but they were hardly new.

Their time has finally come.  Replacement is underway with “new” stock based on retired District Line trains from London.  See a pattern developing here.  The system is shut down for a while for some significant track upgrades which will allow for a more frequent service.  The track desperately needed work and the old trains were falling apart so, hopefully, this will provide a big improvement.

When I lived on the Island, I didn’t think much about the stuff that was there.  All of these pictures I have taken when visiting more recently.  This is all I have to record the new extinct Island Line stock.  Two examples will be preserved if you want to go and see them!

Moss Covered Bridge

Moran State Park provided a great place for some hiking.  It is a pretty shady and damp environment, though.  As we were heading down one trail, we came to a bridge over the river.  The bridge seemed to have most of its surfaces covered in moss.  The lack of direct light must have made it an ideal location for the moss to thrive.

Steller’s Sea Lion Looking for Attention

Lime Kiln Point is a popular spot for watching whales.  A humpback was not far offshore but a Steller’s sea lion came swimming up along the shore.  It was very close in and headed past the lighthouse and to the north.  We went back to watching for the whale.  A little while later, a snort came from our right with a spray of water.  The Steller’s was back and was bobbing in the water right in front of us.  It hung around long enough to take a couple of shots and then it went back north.  I think it was jealous of the attention the whale was getting!

Rustic Falls

Our walk in Moran State Park included a diversion up the hills to see some falls.  There were two that I was expecting to see.  The first of these was Rustic Falls.  It was not supposed to be a big waterfall and that was the case.  However, it was quite pretty.  I wandered down to the water’s edge to try and get some shots of it.  I was using the M6 which comes with a tilting screen.  That really makes like so much easier when trying to get a shot very low to the ground.  No need to lie on the earth or to fit a tilting eye piece.  Just tilt the screen up, put the camera as low as you want, and get the shot.  I wish my higher end cameras had the same capability!

Cascades Lake

Orcas Island is the location for Moran State Park.  It includes Cascades Lake which makes for a nice hike.  We extended the hike slightly to include some waterfalls but they will get a post of their own (or two).  In the low winter light, the lake looks really beautiful.  The trail brings you out in little bays but you are never too far from the water.  The trail is not along the shore and the terrain is a little steeper than you might expect but it is still a pretty simple hike.  Meanwhile, you get to enjoy the lovely views so it doesn’t feel like too much exertion at all.

Mist Over The Water at Orcas

First thing in the morning on Orcas Island made from some beautiful conditions.  We were staying in a place looking out over the water towards Shaw Island but, in the morning, we got some low fog and mist that could obscure our neighbor so close by.  As the sun came up, the fog would burn off and then roll back in.  It was a constantly changing view with the land and smaller islands appearing and disappearing frequently.  You could sit and watch it for ages.  Best done from inside the house, though, since it was rather chilly.

Cattle Point

We made a couple of visits to Cattle Point on San Juan Island during our visit there.  It is a lovely spot for a stroll along the cliff tops.  The lighthouse is not quite what you might hope for.  It is functional but not elegant.  However, the rest of the area is just lovely.  Not only is it a great place to walk but the road running down to the point provides a beautiful overlook of the point with the water around it and the mountains in the background including Mt Baker looking imposing covered in snow.  We had great weather both times were were there on this trip.

Orcas Hotel and Ferry Terminal

The ferry to Orcas Island comes in to the town of Orcas.  (I think it counts as a town but it is pretty small!).  Right across from the ferry terminal is the Orcas Hotel.  It is an old style hotel and has a café as well.  Restrictions meant eating in the café was out of the question but we did get take out food from there one night and it was great.  The south facing harbor gets some nice evening light in the winter.  The first time I was out walking there, I figured I would get a shot after I visited the local shop.  That was a mistake.  When I came out, the lovely light was gone and everything was in shadow.  I didn’t make the same mistake again.

Narita Freighters

Every once in a while, I am looking for something in the catalog of images and it takes me on a journey to look through some other images.  That can result in a blog post that doesn’t have a story.  This is one of those posts.  I have a bunch of shots from Narita while waiting for my flights home and that includes a bunch of freighters.  I like freighters since they are often operators that you don’t normally see and they break up the flow of the familiar airlines.  Here are some of those from my visits.

Oahu Arrivals Over the Coast

Our first visit to Hawaii included a few days on Oahu.  We were staying out on the west coast of the island and our hotel was pretty close to the approach path for the jets coming across the Pacific.  It was a serious hardship to sit on the shore in Hawaii watching planes fly overhead.  The amount of traffic from Japan is significant and so we had some large jets coming in at that time.  If we were there now, the 747s would be gone but ANA has taken A380s for this run.  Not sure that they are flying right now but they are likely to be back given the traffic that should ultimately return.