After working pretty hard for over a month getting ready for the auction, my auction handler in Pennsylvania, Becky, suggested I take some needed down time before jumping back in this week.
So I have basically chilled this week. Tightened a few little things up but mostly left it alone, the learning curve starts again this Wednesday and I will go back to hitting the books.
The weather was cool the wind was brisk, the waves were choppy. But it turned out to be an epic day. Bad weather or not, we were going to have a good time.
First we ran into a team of common dolphins.
Not a huge pod but they had fun leading our boat around for a while.
Then we got into a large pod of fin whales, five I believe to be exact and they spent an hour or so doing large and small circles around the boat. These baleen whales are the second largest in the world after blues, they run about 85 feet long.
One of the fin whales did something the captain (and obviously we) had never seen before, she jumped out of the water and did a horizontal barrel roll. Of course I didn't have a camera ready but I did see it and it was perfectly fine too.
Captain Chris said that Leslie and I were good luck, last time out he saw humpbacks horizontally lunging into a bait ball twice, and he had only seen that once before in his life. We certainly feel lucky, it was very cool.
No epic shots unfortunately but as they say, sometimes you have to be there.
I picked him up at Panera in Escondido and after coffee we drove down to Torrey Pines Reserve to see if there was a baby peregrine falcon around anywhere.
It is that time of the year.
We had to walk up the steep hill with our gear and my overweight self and it was a bit of a needed PITA.
It rained in the morning and the weather was not ideal but it was wonderful to be back at a familiar and favorite vantage. Something about the confluence of pines and cactus. And waves.
The parents had one progeny this year, it started flying about five days ago and the nest was moved south in a more private vantage. Herb is a docent at the reserve I have met many times before, an affable and very funny German man.
We traded puns for a while and then he told us that this male is not banded, only the female is, it is done in the nest and no one is banding at Torrey Pines anymore.
It is unusual to have only one chick, but it was the same last year. This one started flying about five days ago but we did not see any acrobatics or food exchanges. It kept itself scarce.
Herb explained that the mother was trying to coax her progeny into flying, learning the acrobatics of flight and participating in airborne food exchanges.
I didn't bring my good, fast (and heavy) lens. Shot with the slow Sigma. Boy does it make a difference, makes me appreciate the Nikkor.
Still the shots are almost acceptable at times and it has a greater reach at 600mm. Makes my point anyway, at least conceptually.
Some of the problems are definitely operator error, some the limits of the camera rig.
The male and female flew for a while but junior never took off.