It has taken a while for this post from the 75th anniversary celebrations at Kenmore Air. They operated one of the planes from the slough that runs alongside the base. They had back taxied one of the Otters to start its takeoff run from earlier to mean it was taking off close to the spectators. Then, when landing, they brought it down in the slough again. It made for a great view of the plane compared to the normal departures and arrivals way out in Lake Washington.
I may have complained a little about the weather being damp and windy during our trip to Victoria but there was one upside to this. Unfortunately, it took one missed opportunity before I realized. The wind was strong and from the west. The normal approach for Harbour Air is to come in through the opening to the harbor and then touch down in the outer area before taxiing into the Inner Harbour. With the wind coming from the opposite direction, they reversed the flow.
I had seen this once before on a previous visit to Victoria many years ago and had forgotten it could happen. Our hotel was located right on the corner of the shoreline around which the planes would approach and we had a view out of our (not huge) window as they came around to touch down. The first time I realized I could get the shot, I had to make so with shooting through the window. This does not do much for image quality but it was still okay and I got an Otter coming in.
The next time something was due, I planned ahead. The window of our room did open but it only opened a very small amount. Not enough to get a camera out of except when looking off to one side. However, the restriction on opening was the result of a small screw that was in the track for the window and it was not very securely fastened. With my fingertip, I was able to remove the screw and with that out of the way, the window could fully open. A Twin Otter was on the way so this time I was ready to get a clearer shot. There is plenty of warning of their arrival because the sound of the props reaches you long before the plane does. Besides, they are on final approach so hardly going too fast. The only downside to this shot is that the touchdown location is further around and out of sight of where we were. Bad weather can have its benefits.
I had a bit of time one morning during our Victoria stay to walk along the shoreline. The hotel that we were staying in was right on the shore so I only had to step outside and then I could walk around to the more open are of the harbor. This also meant I could get some shots of the Harbour Air operations. Their floatplane base is in the Inner Harbour area but the planes taxi out to the outer areas for departure.
I was able to get some shots of arrivals and departures as well as taxiing planes. Some of those I could shoot from our hotel window when I wanted to stay dry! I was happy to shoot the Otter movements but I was more interested in the Twin Otters. We have plenty of Otters around here with Kenmore but Twin Otters are not common down here so some variety was welcome. Besides, it is a bigger plane so a little easier to shoot at a distance!
This 182 showed up at Boeing Field during my day off. I was a bit far away from it but wasn’t going to pass up the chance to shoot something new and floats make a Cessna a bit more interesting than it might otherwise be. It didn’t hurt that a Q400 from SEA was climbing out in the background and showed up in a few of the frames.
I was riding around Lake Washington on my bike and Renton is approximately halfway around. I wasn’t in any particular hurry so figured a few minutes down at the float plane base were justified and that I can get a bit of a break before continuing the ride. The phone was the only camera I had with me but it would do to get a photo of this Beaver on floats that was moored there. There wasn’t a huge amount of activity during my visit but it was still a good place to pause and have a drink.
While we were walking along the beach in Shoreline, I heard the sound of a plane coming our way. I could see it was a floatplane from a long way off but, even as it got closer, I didn’t know exactly what it was. I took a bunch of shots and then continued on our walk. Only when I got home did I look closer and still I didn’t know what it was. Time to hit the FAA registry. Turns out it is called a Murphy Moose. Never heard of this let alone seen one before.
There is no shortage of DHC Beavers in the PNW, even of the turbine variety. Plenty of them are on floats, too, so even that doesn’t make it particularly special. However, when you haven’t been able to shoot much aviation for a long time, one is a welcome sight. Even better when it switches to the closer runway when on approach.
Tucked inside the fence at Renton was something I don’t think I have seen before. It was a Piper Aztec on amphibious floats. No reason why an Aztec wouldn’t be on floats but it isn’t something I have seen before. I would certainly like to see it on the water at some point. Sadly, because it was tight to the fence, my best option was to use the phone to get the shot!
Another jump back to just before things got locked down and a visit to Log Boom Park in Kenmore. I was hoping for either some interesting wildlife or some Kenmore Air activities. The only floatplanes I ended up with were a couple of Cessnas. However, the light was nice and the evening was calm so this actually proved to be a good alternative. They may not be as neat as a de Havilland Canada beast but they are still fun to shoot.
The Caravan’s of Seair seemed to delight in making their departures closer to Stanley Park than the Harbour Air flights. This meant the long lens was way too much at their closest point but it did provide some nice angles for the aircraft as they took off and climbed out. The Caravan looks rather uncomfortable when on floats on the water but, once it is airborne, it looks pretty good to me. I was quite pleased with these passes.