Wednesday, August 22, 2012


Our first port of call was Haines, and after two days on the water we landlubbers were ready to get off the cruise ship.  A small fishing boat was the only other sign of activity when we disembarked around 7 a.m., and Danelle got this nice shot of it.

Our guide, Carolyn from Rainbow Glacier Adventures, was very friendly and knowledgeable about the area.  She tried desperately to find us something pretty to see with the conditions sliding back and forth between heavily overcast and steadily raining.

Fortunately, we brought along some of our own pretty-to-see things. :)

I know this isn't a great photo, but I'm including it because it could have been a great photo.

I saw this moment coming as the swans were gliding across the water, and caught exactly the pose I was looking for.  Unfortunately, I didn't get the sharp focus I wanted.  This will be a constant reminder to me of yet another "one that got away."

At an ISO equivalent of 1250 and f/6.3, I was still only able to get a 1/200sec shutter speed on aperture priority.  If that last sentence wasn't complete gobbledegook to you and you have any suggestions on what I could have done differently, I'd love to hear them. :)

Carolyn eventually did find something pretty to see -- a young female brown bear fishing for salmon.  That was more than good enough for us!

She was quite comfortable crossing the road from the forest to the river.  Apparently a little too comfortable, as there was talk that she was getting too acclimated to humans and might need some mild negative reinforcement.

We saw her catch a fish of her own, but she also knew it was much easier to just take what fishermen left behind when they moved to get out of his way.  It's apparently proper etiquette to throw your catch into the water in this situation so a bear doesn't start to associate people with food, but we didn't see anyone do that.

The bear eventually ambled back off into the woods, but not before taking another dip in the river.

I came back out in the afternoon on a photo tour led by a gentleman named Tom Ganner who happened to be the husband of our morning guide.  He was also extremely personable and gave a lot of great tips.

We returned to some of the same spots, and were fortunate to see a couple of humpback whales by the ferry dock.  Tom was even a bit surprised to see them so far up the inlet.

Even with the overcast skies, the fireweed helped provide a nice splash of color.

The bear from the morning was far from the only one out catching salmon.

A lone totem pole stood as a silent sentinel along the river between Lutak Inlet and Chilkoot Lake.

I set up my tripod and stayed focused on this sea gull for a while, hoping it would do something interesting.  This was as good as it got.

We had a blast even without the sun's company.  Seeing a bear that close certainly helped make for a memorable day!

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