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Description of Pictures: A highlight of my trip to New England right before the September 11 attack in 2001 had been a whaling trip outside of Cape Cod where I got to watch minke whales jumping out of the water. It was great. That was the major reason I decided to go back to Massachusetts at the same time this year and it was also the reason I decided to sign up for a whale-watching trip in the Strait of Juan de Fuca on this trip.
This time, it would be orca whales instead of minkes. With the rain threatening the whole time, I wasn't sure this was a great idea but I figured what the heck. So off I went.
The boat ride left from Port Townsend in Washington, winded its way among islands in the sound, and landed at Friday Harbor on San Juan Island. On the way up, we saw seals (neat!), a nesting bald eagle family (from very far away), and a variety of birds. On the way back, the boat looked for whales.
Unfortunately, the whales were sleep swimming when we looked for them. The whales travel in schools (called pods) swimming all that time. When they're awake, they actually do the leaping and whatever that we love. When they're in their sleep phase, they still move but it's kind of like synchronized low-effort swimming. We saw a herd of seven. You'd see their fins break the surface and then go down again. Unlike off Cape Cod, you didn't see flippers or much else. The group that went out during lunch saw them jumping. Just bad timing on my part I guess.
While they were watching them, we were left on the San Juan Island. Most of the islands in this area are privately owned. People have pricey little houses on the islands and have to be supplied by ferry boat (that morning/evening commute's got to be tough). Because of telecommuting, more and more people can live out there so, like everywhere else, farmers are selling their land for a killing and houses are sprouting up. It's all pretty disappointing.
There's a national park on San Juan Island called the San Juan Isl ...More...
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Copyrights: All pictures were taken by amateur photographer Bruce Guthrie (me!) who retains copyright on them. Free for non-commercial use with attribution. See the [Creative Commons] definition of what this means. "Photos (c) Bruce Guthrie" is fine for attribution. (Commercial use folks can of course contact me.) Feel free to use in publications and pages with attribution but you don't have permission to sell the photos themselves. A free copy of any printed publication using any photographs is requested. Descriptive text, if any, is from a mixture of sources, quite frequently from signs at the location or from official web sites; copyrights, if any, are retained by their original owners.
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2002 photos: Image quality isn't going to be very good for the first half of this year because these are scans of prints.
Equipment this year: I took the plunge and bought my first digital camera. It was October 2002 and I bought an Epson PhotoPC 3100Z. While a nice camera, it had some quirks and bumping it would result in it being totally out of focus until you manually shut it down -- something which blurred almost every picture I took in New York City one day.
Trips this year: Two weeks out west, one week in New York, and one week down south.
This was the year I started the photo web site. It started to come together in September, mostly as a way of allowing me to keep track of the pictures I was taking.