There were many odd shapes on the face of the Grand Coulee Dam. With the water running down in parts and some of the structure of the dam breaking up the smooth face, it was possible to see some unusual patterns in the surface. There were many power lines strung across the water in front of the dam so these could distract from the shapes so I tried moving around to be between each of the lines. With the texture of the face of the dam it was possible to look closely at elements and have no obvious clue what they were.
The idea for this was spotted by my friend, Paul, during a visit of his but we missed it at the time. It was early in the morning and the water was calm as a millpond. However, the jet was beyond the water before he spotted it. I have missed the chance since or there was not water. However, while the conditions weren’t ideal, when I saw the Dreamlifter taxiing back to the ramp, I realized the opportunity was going to be there this time.
The water wasn’t quite still and I had the long lens on the camera but a phone is a good second best these days. The jet taxied in with Mt Rainier in the background before reaching the north end of the field and crossing over. Then it was time to be ready. The phone has the added advantage of being able to shoot through the fence with no interference.
A while back I posted about the Amphitrite Lighthouse in Ucluelet on Vancouver Island. We saw it while walking on the Pacific Coast Trail. At the time of that post, I said I would post more from the rest of the trail. I guess I have finally got around to doing so. The beginning of the trail took us past the lighthouse but it was a bit backlit. As we walked further around the coastline, the light came to be behind us more and the view of the various inlets and islands got to be very nice.
It was such a tranquil spot. I suspect November is not the busiest time of year and the trails might be a lot more crowded in peak season but the sun was out and it was really lovely to be there. The rocky coastline looks like it is something that you need to know your way around carefully if you are in a boat. The presence of a lighthouse tells you that plenty have come to grief in the past. On a day like the one we had, though, it couldn’t have seemed more appealing.
Walking along the beach at Tofino, you see some interesting patterns in the sand. He movement of water across the sand causes various ridges in the surface. There is also water draining down the beach from the land behind the beach. This water gathers behind the ridges but ultimately needs to drain further. When it finds a weak spot, it cuts through the ridge. Once it does so, the water all flows through this breach and it starts to take some sand with it. It expands the cut and then deposits the sand further down as it slows down again. This can result in some cool formations in the sand.
San Francisco Bay has some strong tidal flows and crossing the bay is the San Mateo Bridge. It has to resist these regular flows which it does without any problem. There is a lot of silt in the bay and, as the tide is changing, this silt can get churned up, particularly by the turbulence around the piles for the bridge. As we flew down the final approach, I was able to get some shots of the aby that included the bridge and showed clearly the turbulence behind each bridge pile courtesy of the silt. This is something that an aerial view will give you that you would no notice as you drove over the bridge.
The south end of San Francisco Bay has a number of areas that are encircled with walls that allow the water to be cut off. These are used to dry out salt beds for harvesting. The sun evaporates the water and the salt is left when all the water is gone. After harvesting, the tide can be allowed to flood the beds again and the process repeated. One cool thing about these beds is that, presumably as a result of algae, they can turn some interesting colors as the water evaporates. I was flying in to SFO for work and we turned right over the beds on to the approach. With the sun out, the colors looked excellent.
Two of the later obstacles in the Spartan Race involved water. The first was crossing a small river. It wasn’t too deep but the cold water on tired leg muscles was not nice. The banks were also getting very muddy and slippery given the number of contestants that had been before. Then there was a second water crossing. This was across and back the river with bank climbs on both sides. The water was also a lot deeper and the bottom of the river was uneven. Here people really struggled and the tiredness was really showing.
I have tried to find out what the rules are regarding how fast you can go on Lake Washington. All I have found so far is what limits there are when you are close to shore. Whether this means you can go as fast as you like while out in the open or not I don’t know. We do see plenty of people getting some speed up when they are out on the water. Whether it is speedboats of ski boats pulling someone behind them, they look nice and dramatic when they are up on the plane and moving.
When the bridge was built over Deception Pass, it provided a reliable method of crossing off Whidbey Island. Prior to the bridge, a boat was needed. I was there on a rough day – the weather was lovely – but the current running through the pass was pretty impressive. Watching the boats fight it made the flow very apparent. Closer to the shore, the current would churn up the water to create standing waves a short distance away from the beach. It looked like the sort of thing that could easily overwhelm a smaller craft if you didn’t know exactly what you were doing.