The San Juan Islands were our escape a couple of times during the limits on travel that COVID provided. Getting to the islands involves a ferry trip and I will always enjoy that. One of the things that I find interesting about the ferry terminals on the islands is how simple they are. When we lived in the UK, the ferries were constantly expanding in their usage and the terminals were all getting upgraded to accommodate more vehicles. They also had shops and food outlets.
The San Juans are far lower key. The terminals are often in remote locations (accepting that the islands are generally pretty remote anyway) and they are tucked away looking far more like part of the coastline. As we travel on the ferries, we get to see some that we stop at and others we pass. Here are a few of the ones I have photographed from the water.
Having looked through the catalog of images after finding the elevated view of Victory Field, I came across the shots I took when I went with some work colleagues to a minor league game there. It was a lot of fun although I have no idea how the game was. Watching baseball at a stadium is an enjoyable experience that happens alongside a baseball game as far as I am concerned.
The sun was setting as the game got underway and we had some nice light in the sky. I took some HDR and panoramic shots which I have been able to reprocess using the latest versions of Lightroom as opposed to the one available at that time. I also got a few shots of the players at work and had a wander around the perimeter of the field to see how it looked from different angles. Looks like I was using a rather wide angle lens at some point too.
On our previous trip to Orcas, we took in Cascades Falls as part of a hike. We repeated the hike this time but, since we started a little earlier in the day and the days were longer, we didn’t have quite the same pressure to make sure we got back before things got dark. Consequently, when we got to Cascade Falls, I was able to spend a bit more time taking the diversion down to the river to see the falls from lower angles and get some images and video that I hadn’t had a go at on the previous visit. While everything was a lot warmer than last time, there had been a fair bit of rain recently which meant the falls still had a good flow coming over them. As is the way with waterfalls, they look more impressive when you are at the bottom than when you are above them.
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.
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.
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.
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.)
The holiday weekend meant the San Juan Islands were definitely the place to be if you had a boat. We saw plenty of boats coming and going including plenty of sailing boats. Some seemed either to be racing or training together too. I just grabbed some shots of the boats when I could. The evening light on a spinnaker really looks very nice.
One great feature of traveling to more remote areas away from the cities is the clear skies you can get at night. The ability to see plenty of stars when the sun has gone is great. With summer approaching, the sun takes quite a while to go down so I had to wait until quite late to get a shot that I wanted. I could have waited even later but I wasn’t that committed to the shot. I wasn’t using a fast lens so, even with higher ISO, I was still using a 30 second exposure. Even at 16mm, this still shows up some motion in the stars. Ideally, I would have taken a fast wide lens but I didn’t bother renting one for the trip so this will have to do.
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!