Quite a while back, now, I was down on the shore at Mukilteo when this research ship transited passed the lighthouse. It was clearly a vessel designed for studying something marine related (unless it was a spy ship) so I decided to check it out. There is a small fleet of these vessels operated by the Office of Naval Research. They put operation of the ships out to tender and this one was won by the University of Washington.
The ship is named after the guy that founded UW’s Oceanographic lab in the 30s. it spends over 300 days a year at sea, so I guess they get plenty of use out of it. Originally, she would have been scheduled out of service by this year but a big refit was carried out in a local Seattle shipyard, Vigor, a few years back so she should be good until the late 2030s.
Some previous rail photos from Steilacoom where the result of seeing trains while I was visiting for another purpose. More recently (well, not that recent, but I am catching up on some stuff), I made a trip specifically to get a train shot. I didn’t go all the way just for this but I was already down in Tacoma so a short extra leg was easy to do. I actually planned on getting this shot so that we might use it for a future proposal.
I was going to head back to the same place I had been before but I came upon a parking lot for the beach which had a nice curve to the track and a crossing. The view from above the crossing looked better so I went with that. Fortunately, a freight service came through before the Talgo set I was after so I had a chance to get an idea of the angles and sighting time. That meant I was better prepared when the train came in to view. A couple of shots for those of your train fans that read this blog.
International flights are starting to increase in frequency and, it seems, capacity. Lufthansa has been making the run to Seattle with the A330s for a while now. Recently, they changed from the 300 to the A350. One quiet Saturday, I figured I would head down to grab a shot. Sadly, the old livery example of the previous day was replaced with one in the new livery. I do prefer the old livery but that wasn’t the reason for my disappointment. It will go away before too long so there will be plenty of chances to get the new livery over the years. It was hot and sunny and arrival is noon so about the worst time you could think of for photographing. A polarizer to take out some glare and to deepen the colors was the best I could manage.
Tacoma is one of the largest container ports on the west coast. It gets a lot of big container ship traffic and, at some point, I intend to explore the port a little more to see if there are any interesting photo opportunities. While waiting around at Ruston, I saw a large ship heading down the sound towards the harbor. It seemed to be making good speed considering how close it was to its destination. They say it takes a long time to stop big ships but I guess they still had a decent distance to go and plenty of time to slow down. As it headed towards me, I was taken by the wake it was creating as it plowed forward. It turned to enter the harbor so I got a last look at it as it disappeared behind the marina wall.
With Max flight activity pretty much back to normal at BFI, there is no shortage of opportunities to shoot the jets on the approach. However, since it is now mid summer, the lighting is going to be pretty harsh most of the time. A little later in the day, though, and the light can be improved. I have also taken to using the polarizer to cut down on the harsher glare which is boosting the vibrancy of the shots. I got two of the jets during one visit.
One of them was a Ryanair Max 8-200. This is a special configuration that Ryanair has ordered that has an extra reader fuselage exit added to the -8 fuselage to allow the seat count to be increased. This jet turned out to be the first one to be delivered to the airline shortly after this was taken. The other was an Oman Air jet. Nice colors for the livery of this airline which were enhanced with the lower light angle and the polarizer. Sure, 737s are incredibly common but sometimes it can still be nice to shoot them.
I walked out on to the jetty at Olga to look back at the shoreline. A short distance around the shore was an inlet which had about a dozen herons fishing within it. They were constantly stalking through the shallows and grabbing at fish as they passed by. With so many of them there, it must be a productive place to hunt. A heron drive through (or should that be fly through?).
I shared some shots of lambs from Maltby Farm quite a while back. The lambs weren’t the only creatures that got a lot of attention from the visitors. There was an enclosure with a lot of goats. Goats are curious creatures to look at. They have a look that I guess is not very appealing since the goats head seems to have a lot of diabolical associations. Not sure why but they can be a bit creepy.
Smaller goats have a cuter look like a lot of smaller versions of large animals do. They do seem to like standing on precarious things. There were some wooden structures for them to walk along and one of the goats came up behind another that wasn’t moving. It was a small diversion to drop down to the ground and go around but, instead, it just stood behind the first goat waiting until it finally moved. Maybe it is like a game you play as a kid (pun intended) where you won’t step on the cracks in the ground.
I complained recently about my lack of luck when shooting the A330NEOs that Delta operates out of SEA. I finally got some better light on them. I was out for the Aloha Air Cargo 767 which was coming in just after sunrise. About half an hour later, Delta had a NEO coming in from Honolulu so I hung around. The light changed a lot in that half hour with the super warm light getting a little subdued as the sun came up but it was still by far the best light I have had on one of these jets. Thankfully it came in on the inner runway so no shooting it in the distance!
On our most recent trip to Orcas, we had an unusual experience during the ferry crossing to the islands. The crew announced that there would be a rescue boat drill and that we weren’t to worry or do anything. The ferry came to a halt in the open water and the crew manned up the RIB. Fortunately, the RIB they were using was the one mounted on the side of the ferry we were parked on so I was able to lean out through the opening of the car deck and watch the launch.
Two crew members got in the boat and then the davit was swung out and the boat lowered to the surface. They got the motor going, let out the lines and zipped off in to the distance. I figured they would shortly be back but they seemed to go quite a way off and then disappear from view. Instead, the ferry powered up and continued on its way.
As we got closer to our first stop at Lopez, we caught up with the RIB and, after bringing the ferry to a stop again, the process was reversed and the boat was brought back on board before we resumed our normal crossing. Reading the Washington State Ferries news emails, it appears that rescues are a pretty regular feature with the ferries picking up various water users that have got themselves in to trouble. Good that they keep well practiced!