Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Seahawks vs. Packers

Those of you that know my family know my brother is obsessed with the Green Bay Packers in an almost unhealthy way. My favorite team is of course the Seahawks. This made it particularly bad-ass that I had access to the sidelines for the game tonight. I'm posting one of my favorite pics of the game for now and will post more as soon as I get a chance to tackle them in the PC.

Running Back Julius Jones making a big play right at the endzone.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

San Juan Orca Whales

I had a great time on the Western Prince II out of Friday Harbor yesterday. Just about an hour north of home is the Anacortes ferry which takes you on a beautiful ride to Friday Harbor. Just off the dock is the Western Prince shop where even though it had been a couple of years since I've been there the amazing Chris (Kris?) remembered me. When I called to book I gave her my name. She said "Mat Hayward the Photographer?" I could not believe she remembered. I walked in the shop and again.."Hi Mat!" As though it were only yesterday I was there. That is a gift. Anyway, the ferry was a bit late so I was able to walk right down to the boat, hop on and away we went. There were reports of some transient Orcas in the area (the seal eaters) as well as resident Orcas (the Salmon eaters). Captain Hobbes opted for the residents. We got there and there were tons of fishing boats as well as whale watching boats in the area. Everyone on board was excitedly looking and at last we saw the black fin of a male orca appear in the distance. There were members of the L-Pod in our area. They were spread out very thin swimming in groups of just one or two whales which presented a challenge. The Captain invited me up to the cabin for a better photo opportunity which I was eager to do. It was a great opportunity listening to the the different whale watching boats communicating with each other on the radio. They are clearly a tight community that has a deep passion for these magnificent animals. We saw quite a few whales throughout the day, most were pretty far away unfortunately. Near the end of our trip however we were running parallel with a 19 year old male Orca named Mystery. He was about 75 yards away then took a turn right for us. He dipped under the water and we could see his white spots about 10 feet below in the clear Pacific water. He popped out for a great photo then off he went. We called it a day at that point and headed back. All in all a great trip. I'm told September is the best time to see them so I'm thinking of going back then.

This is 19 year old "Mystery" swimming right at us.

I like this one as if you didn't know it was an Orca it could be a bit ominous looking with the Jaws music playing don't you think?

On the way out we stopped to view the massive Stellar Sea Lions sunning on a rock. These guys way in excess of 2,000 pounds! They arrived in the San Juans a month earlier than normal...lucky us!