The reef by our hotel was home to some green turtles. They seemed to have developed a good schedule. Morning was feeding time. They would go out on the reef and spend their time nibbling away at the plant life growing on the rocks and coral. By early afternoon they would have pulled themselves up onto the beach in an area the hotel had fenced off to keep people away. There they would sleep all afternoon and into the night. Come by during the afternoon and you could see them. In the evening, lights on the beach would be switched on and you could still make them out a little way above the waterline.
No pictures from me of them in action. I saw plenty of them while snorkeling on the reef and sometimes they would come and check me out. You are meant to avoid disturbing them but when they come after you, it is hardly your fault. However, I did kill my GoPro while out snorkeling so the photo opportunities were lost and will have to remain as memories. Shots of them on the beach were a lot easier though so that is what we have here.
There is a shot that I am on a quest to get right one day. I don’t know whether it is from growing up by the sea or not but I can sit and watch waves crashing ashore for a very long time without getting bored. One thing I particularly like is the way a wave that is just starting to break has a smooth shape to the top and backside that, as the light comes in from the front of the wave, glows a green color.
This appears for a brief time and then quickly disappears as the wave collapses in on itself. The smoothness and the color contract with the normal appearance of the sea and the waves and maybe this is what I like so much. I was down on the Pacific coast a few weeks back and the waves were pretty good with quite a swell coming in. The green glow was showing up a lot but this time I actually manged to catch some of it before it went away.
It still doesn’t replicate the image I have in my head from watching the waves but it is a lot closer than I have managed before. I will keep working on it so, if I get something better, don’t be surprised if it shows up here. The one below is from head on so doesn’t show the effect but it does give an idea of what it looks like from underneath.
Since the birthday of this blog has just passed, I am now going to spend my time repeating previous blog posts from a year ago. Seems a lot easier than creating new content. In fact, for those of you with an inquisitive nature, I will make things easier and you can go to this post to see what I wrote before and decide for yourself whether I am being original or whether I am totally ripping off my own work. If it is different, has the quality of my posts improved???
This year St Patrick’s Day was a Saturday. I am not sure whether this really made any difference because the city chooses a Saturday to celebrate everything and that is the party day whatever the date. The odd thing this year is that it was warm. Mid 70s is not what you expect for this time in March. In fact, my first St Patrick’s Day in Chicago, we went to see the parade and gave up half way through because we were thoroughly frozen!
This time being too warm was more of an issue. I won’t go in to whether the madness that the city falls in to is any way related to St Patrick or even the Irish (and we shall leave the fact that Patrick wasn’t Irish anyway for another day!). Instead, I am going to focus on the tradition of dying the river green. I went down to join the crowds and see how things were developing. It was very busy with the weather really bringing out the crowds.
Dying the river went fine despite the coxed eights that didn’t get out of the way in time. The Police boats seemed mad but hadn’t made an effort to get rid of them ahead of time so what did they expect. It was funny to see the speed boats running close by and putting quite a wash over the eight who looked less than happy about how close they were to sinking!
Watching the crowds was also fun. You do see some sights on a day like today and some of them can be photographed. However, you also have to be careful since the drinking starts early and can affect the good humor of some people!
A couple of weeks ago, Chicago had its annual celebration of St Patrick’s Day. The city goes quite nuts for this and it certainly isn’t a good day for dropping into your local bar for a pint unless you want to be with several thousand of your closest friends!
Anyway, part of the celebration involves dying the river green. If you are celebrating a Welshman who went to Ireland with a vendetta against snakes, this makes perfect sense. It is good fun though. This year, I was not feeling particularly well having gone down with a bit of a cold. March is not the warmest month in Chicago and the temperatures were being matched by quite a strong breeze.
Consequently, I took the chicken’s way out and watched the whole thing from my window. The two shots here are actually from a few year’s back but I thought it would be fair to show you what is going on. Instead, I tried shooting some video with the point and shoot from our vantage point. Below is the result and you can get an idea of what is going on.