Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Trip Stories - Whale Watch

I've been on vacation and thoroughly enjoyed San Juan Island (SJI), Washington. Last week Monday, I drove to Seattle (~9 – 10 hours) and met my daughter and her husband (they flew in from TN). On Tuesday we were up early, drove to Anacortes and caught the State Ferry to SJI, arriving in time for a quick lunch and then boarding another boat for a whale watch tour.
I'm not really a water person--preferring my high, dry plains, but this was really special. I'm always up for something different.

By five that evening we were back in Friday Harbor and checked into our very comfortable rooms at The Bird Rock. We were on SJI through Thursday. Here are some pictures from Day one.

The Columbia River where I-90 crosses. One of my breaks on the drive over.
Taken at Anacortes harbor while awaiting the Ferry loading, with sea gulls on their perches.

Once on the ferry, I had an infinite view--just like on the plains (I tried not to think about how deep the water beneath us).

After an hour, we arrived at SJI. Friday Harbor is a great little town. The boat in the docks on the right in this pic is the Odyssey, our vehicle for whale watching.

Another shot of the Odyssey before we boarded her.

From the deck of the Odyssey. I couldn't stay inside, even though the cool wind was strengthened by the speed of the boat. But I'd dressed appropriately; it was invigorating.

So many photo ops I've never before had!

Seals lazing around on the rocks. We weren't very close and my telephoto didn't get the full slobby effect of them.

This privately-owned island was set up to be a game farm in the 1960s. That fell through, but some of the exotic species still live there.

These are Mouflon Sheep, offspring of the exotics brought in 50 years ago. Their native habitat is in the Mediterranean, and the males have impressive horns. The informative Odyssey crew said that Fallow Deer and Sika Deer also remain on the island.
It had been a quiet whale day, and as time eased on, I thought we wouldn't see any. The pilot was in contact with whale spotters and other tour boats, and finally said some had been seen--in Canadian waters. He opened the throttle and off we went.

An Orca! One of three traveling together. A "Transient" group, not part of the three "resident" pods in the San Juan Straits. I have many pics of just a fin, but this one shows what's attached to the fin. :)

The transient's are a bit shy, whereas the resident pod members do more breaching and rolls. I guess they're used to the boats and like to show their stuff. This pic, with the orca near another tour boat, gives perspective to show how big they are.

Several tour boats were in place already. I imagine the transients were wondering what was going on.

This was another whale watch boat -- Boat? Yikes! A dinghy when compared to 25' Orcas. Definitely not my style.

We arrived back at Friday Harbor after four hours on the water. But I saw whales (among other things). That evening, We headed off to the west side of the island, hoping for sunset pictures. Rain was forecast for the next two days, and I figured this was the only chance. But alas, the cloud cover only offered interesting colors, but nothing truly spectacular.
More official info about the San Juan islands.

2 comments posted on the original blog: 

Richard S. Wheeler said... This is beautiful photography, focused on interesting things. The narrative gives us a rich perspective of your adventure. May 31, 2011 at 6:22 PM

Linda York Leaming said... Love this, Kae. Pictures are gorgeous. June 1, 2011 at 8:02 PM

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Older Title Continues In Form

Every now and then I remember to slide through KDP and take a look at my sales stats. Nothing glorious, but steady: a tank of gas here, a nice lunch there. Since it cost me nothing to produce the ebooks, I'm happy.

Interestingly, the last book I put up just this year, (my children's title Spotted Flower and the Ponokomita) has quickly zipped to the top of my sales charts, I'm sure this is in part due to my getting in on the ground floor when Paula Haataja launched Cheap Daily Reads – Junior, a neat site set up for kids to easily navigate and with books just for them.

But the book has always garnered sales since it first came out a few decades ago. Now in a third printing, I have to chuckle at its longevity. Perhaps that's because it's a history story, although I have two other history books not nearly so popular. Spotted Flower was my first published book, and I couldn't be more pleased to see it still doing well.