Category Archives: Travel

Heron Fast Food Joint

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?).

Competitor Dreamliners

I took this shot at Haneda Airport in Tokyo.  The 787 has sold well with the Japanese carriers – my trip to Tokyo was on a JAL 787-8 and ANA was the launch operator – and with these two airlines competing strongly for the Japanese market, it seemed slightly appropriate that they should both be in this single shot.

Zipair

There is some rationalization underway in the Japanese airline business at the moment.  JAL and ANA are both taking control over smaller operations as a result of the difficulties that COVID has placed upon them.  However, even before COVID reared its ugly head, JAL had created a new subsidiary.  This is called Zipair.  I recently read that it is due to start operations soon which surprised me because I thought I had seen its planes before.  It turns out I saw one of their 787s as it was parked up at Narita when the flight I was on was taxiing in after landing.  I guess that airframe hasn’t had much use yet.

Royal Navy Warships at Portsmouth

My aerial photo searches brought me to some shots of the Royal Navy’s dockyard at Portsmouth.  One or two shots from this were used in a post about a flight I took with Pete but not very many.  Flying over the home of the Royal Navy, we got to see a bunch of ships – large and small.  HMS Bristol was moored for use as a training ship.  I think she may have now been relieved of that duty so don’t know whether she is still around and for how long.

Plenty of frigates were moored alongside and there were surplus Type 42 destroyers at various locations too.  This got me thinking about a day many years ago when we were in Portsmouth for some reason.  We took a trip around the harbour in a sightseeing boat and I got a few shots of some ships then too so these are interspersed here.  Now the arrival of the two carriers to the fleet would mean a good chance of getting a far larger vessel alongside.  Might have to think about doing something like this again at some point when I am in the UK.

Olga

All of the communities on Orcas Island are small but Olga, despite being pretty tiny, had caught my attention because of its store.  Currently closed, this had been a long lived facility.  The community is currently working to try and get it opened up again.  I imagine it is going to be a struggle since there aren’t too many customers within range.  Hopefully they can do something.  We stopped off and had a brief wander around the area near the store and down to the water’s edge.  With the sun out, it was a tranquil spot, even if we did wonder whether someone was going to come out and ask us what we were doing there.  (They didn’t but we did feel like we were an oddity there.)

Strange Sunset Light in the Sky

Sunsets are a regular theme for photographers since they provide a scene that resonates with people.  I have shot plenty of them myself.  However, while on Orcas, I saw something in the sky which I was quite baffled by and taken with.  The sun was setting in the west and, looking off in that direction, the sky was lighting up as you would expect.  However, looking directly south, the sky was doing something very odd.  I don’t know exactly what was happening but my guess is that there was a lot of moisture in the sky in that direction and it was reflecting the setting sun back in our direction.  It was a localized effect and quite something to see.

Watch Where You Are Going At High Tide!

The view out over the water from pour rental house on Orcas Island was looking towards Shaw Island.  Straight across from us, when the tide was low, there was a string of rocky outcrops in the water, often populated by resting seabirds.  When I was first shooting these tiny islands, it occurred to me that I didn’t remember seeing them before.  It seemed likely that this was a low tide and that they would be concealed as the tide rose.

Consequently, I took a sequence of shots at different times to see whether these rocks were partially or fully covered at high tide.  It looks like they are gone when the water is at its highest.  Therefore, the many boats that moor up in the area must need to be well aware of the local charts to avoid either grounding themselves or, worse still, ripping the bottom out of the boats.  Tricky area to navigate!

Honolulu Military Traffic

While sitting at the terminal at Honolulu waiting for our flight home many moons ago, I was staring out of the window at the traffic arriving and departing.  Being in a different area meant plenty of different airlines as well as the more familiar ones.  I created a post a while back that included some of the more usual operators.  However, the airport shares a runway with the Air Force base.  When you are on final approach, you get to see some of the fighters in shelters.  It also means that some military traffic might arrive.

A bunch of F-16s started appearing as they rolled out after landing.  I don’t know whether Hawaii was their destination or just a good stopover as part of a Pacific crossing.  They weren’t making the journey unsupervised though.  A KC-10 was dragging them across the ocean and it soon showed up too.  I guess the last refueling was the cue for the F-16s to put in a burst of speed to get in first with the “Gucci” following them home.

Cascade Falls

Back to our trip to Orcas Island and our hike around Cascades Lake included a diversion to Cascade Falls.  (See a naming theme here?). I had seen something about these falls online which had led me to think that they weren’t terribly large.  I was, therefore, rather surprised to find out that this was a decent drop.  We came in from the top of the falls so were looking down on them from above.  The trail continues along the river and so we got to take a look at them from lower down as we continued on.  They was a side trail that would take you right down to the water but we had a fair bit of walking to do before it got too dark so I avoided the diversion this time.

Aircraft carrier

I was flicking through some old shots that weren’t well keyworded and was surprised to find some shots from a San Diego visit which included some warships.  I had some shots of an aircraft carrier including a few for a panorama that I had never compiled.  Why not correct that?  Here it is, the USS Ronal Reagan.