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Day 243: Anchorage (Hope), part 2

After the Potters Marsh we drove on to Hope.  It is about 40 miles, at the end of one of the roads out of Anchorage to the South West.

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It was still pretty cloudy, although there wasn’t much rain with it.

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(Dailylife Wife’s Photo!)

And spots of sunshine.

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(Dailylife Wife’s Photo!)

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When we got to Hope, there wash’ much there but a couple of campgrounds, cafes and bars…

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(Dailylife Wife’s Photo!)

The lunch we had was great, and the prices weren’t too bad for Alaska…(I had the Bacon Cheese Burger in the background; she had the Fish and Chips!

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(Dailylife Wife’s Photo!)

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(Dailylife Wife’s Photo!)

…but they were out of pie but this very berry-looking pie, that the Dailylife Wife loved.

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Outside, I took this flower on my cellphone.  I had set the photos to be pretty small in size, at least for this cellphone; if you click on the photo you can see the flower full-sized.  I am amazed at the camera they put in that…phone…!

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Near the turn for Whittier on the drive back.

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I got more photos on the way back because I had a driver.  I also got a nap!

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We turn left and follow the base of those mountains back to Anchorage.

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As you can see, the Alaska Railroad is between the highway and the sea.

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It was like that all the way back to Anchorage!

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One spot was lined to salmon fishermen.  Probably more than one, but this is the one I got a photo of…

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Back in town!

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Gas pries weren’t too bad, relatively speaking.

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We drove around a little bit.

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(Dailylife Wife’s Photo!)

We found a park with the usual playground set, and two seals and a killer whale head!

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(Dailylife Wife’s Photo!)

This is agh Alaska Railroad yard we drove over on the way back to the Ship.

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Back in our room, we found a lobster.  I think.

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(Dailylife Wife’s Photo!)

Part of the Crowsnest, the lounge on top of the Ship, with a tank farm on shore near our dock.

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A four photo panorama of the rest of the Crowsnest.

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Then it was sunset on the Cook Inlet, heading for Homer!

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Homer is next!

~Curtis in /\/\onTana! {!-{>

Day 242: Anchorage, part 1

Yup, One week into the cruise!

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Our stop today was Anchorage, just past Turnagain Island.

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(Photo by the DailylifeWife!)

Once we got disembarked and onto and off of the bus to downtown, we hiked on over to the Car Rental.  On the way we saw…whales?

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Yup!

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While waiting in line at the car rental (you’d think there’d be extra help even on a Sunday when a ship with 2000+ people cmes in, but you’d be wrong…).

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We decided to drive on out to Hope, and on the way we stopped at the Potter Msrsh Wildlife Viewing Area.

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Lots of nice birds there, like these Lesser Yellowlegs…

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And a…well, I am not sure what it is!

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Mallards, a Gull and Salmon.

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They were spawning here too.

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And dying and being dinner!

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We came through here on the train in 2009.

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A few more Yellowlegs!

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A bit of foliage.

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~More to come!

~Curtis in Alaska! {!-{>

Northern Lights?

Well, they were a bust around here last night, but looked pretty good a lot farther North.  The buzz is they will/could be be good tonight.  We’ll see.

 

~Curtis in /\/\onTana! {!-{>

Northern Lights Tonight!

The Northern Lights are predicted to be good tonight and tomorrow night

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If anyone is planning on shooting the Northern Lights tonight you should go outside NOW (in the daylight) with your camera and widest angle lens. Pick something as far away as you can (the Highwood Mountains would be good from here!) and focus the camera on it. Turn off the auto-focus (AF) on the lens, and put a piece of tape (electrical works best) on the focusing ring to keep it set at Infinity. DON’T MOVE THE FOCUSING RING WHILE YOU ARE TAPING IT! Leave the AF off. You will be focused to shoot the Northern Lights! They are too dim to use the AF on the lens.

Exposure suggestions:

This photo was shot at ISO 3200, f4, 15 seconds, MANUAL EXPOSURE MODE. You can go higher on the ISO or lower on the shutter speed. 30 seconds is the maximum usually before you start getting star trails (the line left by stars as the Earth moves under them).

You will need a tripod, or something convenient and stable to set the camera on. A tripod is best (even a cheap one).

Play around with your exposure times: digital means never having to wait for your photos to come back from the drugstore. To put it another way, look at your LCD screen and adjust the exposure form there. Take lots, electrons are cheap!

The almost full Moon may cause problems with too much light, so try to shoot theMoon at your back as best you can.

How to predict them:

A good predictor site for the Northern Lights is: http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/pmap/pmapN.html The redder the mass is covering your location on the map, the more likely you will be able to see the Lights (weather permitting…).  The RED ARROW on the map is  NOON at that location.  It is suppose to update ever 15-30 minutes.  The TIME listed is ZULU, UTC or Greenwich Mean Time, at Zero Degrees Longitude in Greenwich, England.  We are at -6 hours UTC here in Montana right now, so subtract six hours from the UTC time to get the local time of an event listed under UTC time.

NOTE: Don’t forget to 1) remove the tape and turn AF on when you are done, and 2) reset the ISO to something in the low three digits (100, 125, 160, etc). 3200 and a sunny day don’t get along!

Don’t forget to show off your photos, either!

 

 

~Curtis in /\/\onTana! {!-{>

Day 241: At Sea, part 2

Later in the day we approached Cook Inlet.  Anchorage is at the north end of Cook Inlet.  The Dailylife Wife is looking for critters in the sea and air.

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I have gone Pirate.  I have on “L” of a pegleg!

(A bad, insider Canon/photography joke…{!-{P )

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Two Common Murres skimming along on the water in the sunset.

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A Common Murre in flight.

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The sun setting over the west edge of Cook Inlet.  Some of those mountains over there are volcanoes…

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A quick self portrait on the Prommenade Deck.

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More sunset…

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Another nice sunset photo with a little action!

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A closeup of the action: a humpback!

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One last sunset photo…

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Tomorrow: Anchorage!

~Curtis in Alaska! {!-{>

Day 240: At Sea, part 1

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Out our window: sunrise at sea.

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There were a lot of birds, and it was something, considering we were a hundred miles from land!

I think this is a Buller’s Shearwater…

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A Blackfooted Albatross.

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A Tuffed Puffin.

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Two Puffins: Tuffed or Horned…

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Three Tuffed Puffins!

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A bunch of Common Murres…

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Led by…a Puffin.  If you look closely above, you will see there are Puffins near the trailing end of each arm of the V.

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Back to one.  Horned, I think.

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A Common Murre?

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Okay, one more Tuffed Puffin.

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A Black-Legged Kittiwake.

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More to come!

~Curtis in Alaska! {!-{>

Day 239: Icy Straight, part 16

A three photo panorama of our cruise out to the Whales, and the one last view of the ship before we returned aboard.

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~Curtis in Alaska!{!-{>

Day 238: Icy Straight, part 15

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~Curtis, Whalin’ in Alaska! {!-{>

Day 237: Icy Straight, part 14

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~Curtis, Whalin’ in Alaska! {!-{>

Day 236: Icy Straight, part 13

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~Curtis, Whalin’ in Alaska! {!-{>