Seals on Johns Bay – Sunday July 18 2010

I had the photo opportunity I had been waiting for all week for. Sunday morning we went on our last kayak trip of the week. The tide was going out and the sun was shining. It was ideal conditions for seals to haul themselves out on the rocks. I had the Pentax k2000 with the 55-200mm lens and video camera with me in the kayak.

Eileen and I approached using the “small pine grove” island as cover. As I expected, they were skittish and many of them slipped off into the water.

This little guy crawled back up to sun and was watching Eileen as I slowly floated around the end of the island for the photo.

I like the composition of this shot since it has a seal, seagull and lobster buoy.

This is another good shot where I got pretty close to a seal without him getting skittish. Its a nice profile of the seal with a house across the bay in the background.

Early Friday morning kayak trip

Friday morning was overcast and cool and the tide was low when we awoke. I felt compelled to kayak out to the head of Johns Bay and see if any seals were hauled-out on the rocks. No luck with the seals but we had the pleasant surprise to get another nice heron “in flight” shot and geese photos.


As we approached the dock a family of geese were feeding near the shore. One of them swam surprisingly close to me.


Herons and Lighthouses

Thursday was a beautiful sunny day with temperatures in the low 80’s. We started the morning with a quick kayak trip across the top of Johns Bay. I had the Pentax and got a nice shot of Eileen paddling the  Necky Eskia across the bay.  I was hoping for some seal photos but the tide was coming in and no seals were hauled-out for shore photos.

We happened upon a heron at the head of the bay and I got a flight photo that I really like.

The wind and waves picked up so we drove down to Pemaquid Point Lighthouse for a late lunch and photography on the rocks while watching the waves and surf.

Once again I used the 18-55 mm lens to capture as much of the landscape as possible. After some shots from the rocks on the point we found a nice spot near the base of the lighthouse to watch the waves. I took a few landscape photos up the coast towards Musgongus Bay with one shot focusing on the flower and one on the landscape beyond.

Sunset on the Johns River

Sunsets from the deck of the vacation home in Bristol, Maine can be fantastic. I have dozens of them collected over the years but I always feel compelled to take more since each one seems to be slightly different. After a rainy start to the day we were treated to a fantastic sunset Wednesday evening.

I decided to shoot with the 18 – 55 lens on my Pentax K2000 to try and do justice to the panorama of the scene. The cloud cover gave the scene a blue tone with edges of the cloud highlighted in red. I like the water reflection as well.

Seals on the Johns River – Wednesday July 14, 2010

Wednesday started out to be a rainy but ended up being a fantastic evening with great kayaking conditions. I headed out for a late afternoon trip during low tide to visit the seals.

My luck was good and my approach quiet enough so as to not disturb the seals. Check out the YouTube video link below.

This is just a short raw video clip. I can’t wait to make a longer edited version using Adobe Premiere Elements when I get home.

Sunset Kayak Trip on the Johns River

Monday was an absolute beautiful day on the Johns River in Bristol, Maine. Eileen and I took a fantastic morning trip to the islands between the east and west branch of the Johns River. As usual, the harbor seals were checking us out. Their game is to come up behind you while getting as close as they could without getting spotted. This make it challenging to get photos or video.

We came in for lunch when the off-shore breeze picked up and the waves got a little bigger.

Evening brought about calm waters and no wind. It was a perfect time for a sunset kayak trip! Eileen had the camera and took some great photos (see below). I had the video camera and hope to make a trip video when I get home.

Camping and Kayaking on the Connecticut River

For the past few months I had been buying camping equipment in preparation for some summer trips. The weekend of June 26 was our fist trip. The goal was to stay close to home and learn about the equipment. The tent is a King Pine Dome from LL Bean. I am happy with the tent. I am also glad I brought the EZ-up shelter. It works well for making a small “porch” or setting up near your picnic table.
We stayed at the Pastures Campground in Orford, NH. We got a tent site near the Connecticut River and rented kayaks for a Sunday trip.

Our tent

Eileen and I hoped to see some dragonflies and damselflies since she had just attended the New Hampshire Dragonfly Survey training program. We paddled upriver under the Orford-Fairlee bridge to the mouth of Jacobs Brook and a large back-in.

Orford Fairlee Bridge

Eileen and the cliffs of Fairlee

It turned out to be a great place to find dragonflies and damselflies. The photo below is a Bluet Damselfly.

Bluet Damselfly

Hidden Gems from the Key Largo Trip

Sometimes the sheer number of photos you take causes a few to get buried until they are organized and rated. It is not uncommon to find some photographs that turned out better than you expected. This last trip was no exception.

Queen Angelfish

This is a Queen Angelfish taken on Molasses Reef. They are more difficult to photograph than you might think. They always seem to be twisting and turning, which makes a nice profile shot hard to get.

Gray Angelfish

The shot of the Gray Angelfish turned out better than I thought. They are not as striking as the Queen Angelfish or flashy as the French Angelfish but they have their own beauty about them.


I don’t take many Barracuda photos anymore since I have quite a few already. I made an exception in this case because you can see the color variations on the body. It is also an impressive sized fish and I was able to get pretty close.

Bow of the Benwood

I have many shot of the bow of the Benwood but the water was exceptionally clear that day so I really like how this came out. The photo shows Rainbow Reef dive guide Mike ready to swim up over the bow and take us down the length of the ship.

Spotfin Butterflyfish on the Benwood

I kind of like how this photo of two Spotfin Butterfly fish turned out with the deck and sides of the Benwood in the background. It was enjoyable to watch them swim and feed together for awhile.

Sea Turtle

I was not sure if I like the composition of this shot since it is a head-on vantage point but it is growing on me. I little cropping could make it even better.