Saturday, May 21, 2016

Modified greatness

 This past week was not at all according to the plan, because of the weather.  I think it was one of the best weeks I've ever had.  We had a few unusual people aboard, some from the office and a photographer hired by the office to take pictures for marketing, and everything worked out well.
On our first night, we did a crew skiff recon, in the dark.  It was still and beautiful, and we checked out an island and then went over to a sea lion haulout.  The sea lions were snorting and roaring in the darkness, making wonderful noises that sound rude to some people and we listened and laughed quietly.
The next day there were Jaegers everywhere.  I got a picture of one, happily.
The wind began to pick up and the Black Oystercatchers began to tuck their noses into warmer places.
 We skipped El Capitan Cave and went straight to Bay of Pillars.  It was a nice move, I think, because I don't particularly like the cave, but I do like the wild coast along Chatham Strait.  Gigantic waves were rolling at the southern end and even 50 miles up and around a few corners, we could feel their deep power.   So could this otter, so it was holding on to a piece of Kelp to hold fast.
 A picture of one of my fellow guides, Wilson.
 Another picture of him.  Today one of the guests mistook me for him.  The long blond locks!
 I was driving the photographers around taking pictures of kayakers and got out my camera to snap a few.  This one is of Dai Mar, who is the Expedition Leader, playing around fast.
 We then went to Baird Glacier.  I love it there.  It is just a short walk from the ocean, and changing rapidly.  This was our first time up there this season and I hope to go back.  A challenging place to go because of the skiff driving difficulty; you cannot see in the super shallow water at all.

 Sunset just outside of Thomas Bay was fantastic, and it was clearing up after raining for a few days.  Whales peeked out and we smiled.

 The next day we cruised up to Tracy Arm and anchored in Williams Cove.  I spotted some brown bears on the shore as we were arriving and they gave us a nice little show.  Mama with three cubs all dancing around.
 There is a bunch of Ice in Williams cove usually, because Tracy Arm comes from the rapidly retreating South Sawyer Glacier.  It is the Bluest Ice in the World, according to my first captain.  We paddled around it and I drove the photographers around to look and capture the moments.

 That evening as we crept out of Tracy Arm we spotted bubble-netting Humpbacks and had a great show for a long time.  These ones were not cooperating with each other, but making small nets just for themselves.  It was awesome to see them lunge and lunge and eat, but I am also hoping for some cooperative bubblenetting where one is blowing the bubbles and they all come up together at once.  Maybe next week.

 I've been flying the kite a lot and I think i'll get an expensive electric stabilizer for the whole camera part and see if I can get super smooth video.  This is a still off the bow as we went downwind.
We also went into Fords Terror, and I had never been in there before and found it to be one of the most beautiful places I've been.  I think I want to go there for part of a break and spend some time climbing up to the tops of the peaks.

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