Tag Archives: Sea Lions

W is for Wildlife

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Learning how to photograph different things while I travel is part of the challenge and is becoming a passion. When I took a cruise around the tip of South America, not only sis I see cities and expansive landscapes, but I become challenged by taking photographs of wildlife. Here are some of my favorite photos of wildlife.

First group: sea lions in Argentina.

This group a seals found a floating dock to use as a place to catch some rays — and to play in the surf.

Birds have been more difficult for me.  Here are some of my first attempts at taking photos of birds. These were taking new Cape Horn.

Off the coast of Ushuaia, Argentina, there are groups of islands that are homes to various seals, sea lions, and water birds.

And of course, there are penguins!

So, I started looking for other opportunities. In the Canadian Maritimes, I was able to get a fox on a beach at sunset, I got “photo-bombed” by a seal near Cheticamp, and watched an eagle fish on Bras d’Or.

 

And finally, from near where I live, is Niagara Falls. If you look closely, you can see at least twobirds in this picture.IMG_6413_edited-1

Review of my 2012 travel memories Part 1

I had a remarkable travel year in 2012.  Here is a list of the of some of the highlights of my travel adventures.

Buenos Aires: I rang in 2012 at a special tango show and fell in love with Argentina. I stayed at  Maggie’s B&B — great location just off Avenue de Mayo and Maggie was very friendly and helpful.

New Year's in Buenos Aires 2012
New Year’s in Buenos Aires 2012
Large tree in Buenos Aires
Great place to eat Fredo ice cream!
Gaucho booth at San Telmo Market
Gaucho booth at San Telmo Market
San Telmo
San Telmo on a Sunday

Punto del Estes, Uruguay: While it was very cold in Toronto, on January 3, 2012, I was basking in the sun on a beautiful beach watching a lab puppy take its first steps into the ocean.

Beach at Punta del Estes
Beach at Punta del Estes
Puppy at the beach
Puppy’s first trip to the beach in Punta del Estes

Montevideo, Uruguay: I had no set plans for wandering around Montevideo, however as soon as I walked off the ship, I was met by a very friendly tour guide who arranged a small tour for 5 of us in a van.  It was a great way to see the city. At the end, we were dropped off in the city centre where we wandered through the streets before returning to the ship.

Settler's statue in Montevideo
Settler’s statue in Montevideo

Puerto Madryn, Argentina: Who would have thought that Welsh was spoken here — brought from Welsh immigrants who settled in this part of Patagonia. Desolute, yet beautiful, I had a proper Welsh tea, complete with scones and clotted cream in Gaimen and saw some of the local wildlife — in the form of sea lions. A couple of them even tried to board a ship!

Patagonia near Gaimen, Argentina
Patagonia near Gaimen, Argentina

 

Patagonia
Patagonia
Sea lion catching some waves
Sea lion catching some waves

Cape Horn, Chile: I’ve already talked about this in an earlier post. It is still one of my highlights of my travel adventures — to “round the Cape” while schooners of old.

Cape Horn
Cape Horn

Ushuaia, Argentina: This is another place I cannot talk enough about — from the beauty of the mountains and Tierra Del Fuego National Park, to the quaintness of the city, to more wildlife, more isolation, and the gateway to Antarctica.  Yes, I will want to come back here and spend more time. It is stunningly beautiful!

Ushuaia sign

Lighthouse at the end of the world
Lighthouse at the end of the world
Sea birds taking off
Sea birds taking off

Sailing through the Beagle Channel:  How could I forget standing on the deck of the ship in a formal dress and taking pictures of the massive glaciers that line the sides of this waterway.  I am still surprised I got any pictures, as I was shivering! But every time I thought I was head back inside to the warmth, I would caught a glimpse of a new wonder — and would  stay outside, mesmerized by the beauty.

Glaciers along the Beagle Channel
Glaciers along the Beagle Channel
Glaciers along the Beagle Channel
Glaciers along the Beagle Channel
Glaciers along the Beagle Channel
Glaciers along the Beagle Channel
Glaciers along the Beagle Channel
Glaciers along the Beagle Channel
Glaciers along the Beagle Channel
Glaciers along the Beagle Channel

Punta Arenas, Chile: Not only a nice place place to stop for handicrafts, but also a great place to see wildlife.  I went to Ottway Sound to see a colony of Magellanic penguins — penguins are just too cute! Then is was a chance to visit the market in the centre of town.

Market in centre of town
Market in centre of town
Statue of Magellian
Statue of Magellian
Statue of Magellian
Statue of Magellian

Puerto Montt: While the town is not really much to see, once we were outside, there were volcanoes, waterfalls, and lakes! Plus an amazing lunch of local fish and pisco sours!

Osomo Volcano
Osorno Volcano
Petrohue Falls
Petrohue Falls
Trinkets
Trinkets

Valpairso, Chile: The sad part is leaving the ship — it was the best cruise I’d ever taken — but Valpairso is very interesting and close to nice beaches and a wine country that reminded me of Napa Valley.

Vina del Mar
Vina del Mar

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El Cuadro winery
El Cuadro winery

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Santiago, Chile: I think by now on my journey, I was getting tired and it was really hot — not a good combination for me. But I did see some interesting things and got a great sunset picture!

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And this ends part one of my travel year in review!

Ushuaia — Journey to the of the world!

I did not know what I would expect when I sailed to Ushuaia, Argentina. Officially, this is the southern-most city in the world.

Ushuaia signThis became one of my favorite places I visited during my last trip.  Here are some highlights of what I saw here.

Getting on a catamaran, I was able to see lots of birds, sea lions, and a sea elephant, a lighthouse, and beautiful scenery. You can easily arrange a catamaran tour at the port of Ushuaia.  There are several companies that arrange these.  The trips tend to take you out into the Beagle Channel to go by several islands that are homes to sea birds and sea lions.

Islands of Birds
Islands of Birds
Sea Lions
Sea Lions
Sea Elephant
Sea Elephant
Sea Wolf Island
Sea Wolf Island

This island was called Sea Wolf Island.  Not really sure why — but it had the largest colony of sea lions in this area of the Beagle Channel.  It was also home to several large colonies of different species of sea birds.  I got several pictures of interactions between the sea lions and the birds.  This one is one of my favorite pictures although I also have one the looks like a bird and a sea lion are actually kissing!

Sea birds taking off
Sea birds taking off
Lighthouse at the end of the world
Lighthouse at the end of the world

Finally, we sailed past the “Lighthouse at the end of the World.”  There are actually 3 that have this title in the area between Cape Horn and Ushuaia.  This particular one is the largest of the three.

Ushuaia is amazing!  More photos and stories to come as I write about sailing to Tierra del Fuego National Park and the Fin del Mundo Post Office.

Puerto Madryn Day 8

Puerto Madryn Day 8
I can have eggs benedict every day! I had to walk past the “feeding frenzy” at the front part of the buffet dining room and there it was –tucked away in a corner – a cook who makes “made to order” poached egg delights. No, he cannot make Eggs Pagan and he does not have back bacon, but there is Hollandaise sauce and he will give me extra (like Pagan does)!
Today, we docked in an interesting part of the world — Puerto Madryn. This city was founded by 150 Welsh immigrants and it was named after the estate of the trip’s financier, Sir Thomas Duncombe Love Jones-Parry after his estate in northern Wales. The immigrants wanted a chance to keep their culture, language and traditions alive – yet I think they may have been shocked at the desolate landscape awaiting them here at in the heart of Patagonia. Welsh is still taught and spoken in this area and you can see from some of the very simple churches and original buildings that there is still a very strong Welsh influence. There was also a native tribe living in this area, the Tehuelche, who were described as being very tall (the men around 7 ft., and women around 6 ft.), with very long, straight hair.
Puerto Madryn is also a gateway to the Valdes Peninsula, home of large colony of sea elephants, Punta Tombo, where you can see one of the largest colonies of Magellan penguins (upwards to 2 million), and Punta Loma, home to a large colony of breeding sea lions and sea birds.
I took a tour that included Welsh Tea in the little Welsh community of Gaiman, and then it was on to see the colony of sea lions – with a few coromonts thrown in for good measure! These birds are also called Rock Shags in this area. The tea was fun – and I now have a Welsh apron to add to the collection! And I got LOTS of pictures of the sea lions and birds – I’m even getting great shots of birds flying! It takes patience, something I seem to be exploring on this trip.
The landscape is very harsh – small shrubs, little water, and sand. But there is diversity in this landscape and some amazing plants. The weather is also very changeable – with the wind shifting quickly to the south, with brings much colder air. Seems strange to say that the cold air comes from the south!
I guess I should warn my friend now — You don’t want to know how many pictures I’ve taken …
While waiting for dinner, I saw a small group of sea lions at the pier, including one that was trying to get on the ship! OK, I tried to bring my new beau home, but security stopped him from boarding. It is all very sad and I will miss him.
Dinner was nice, as usual – crab cakes, broccoli-cheese soup, stuffed quail with mushrooms and truffle, and soufflé with Grand Marnier sauce, a special dessert from our waiter. Afterwards, I went to the show. It was a magic show “Kyle Knight & Mistie in Knight Magic” (www.knightmagic.com). The show was a lot of fun and very interactive.
Back at my bar, I got an Espresso Martini – trust me this will NOT keep you awake – and met a couple from Monterey California who are on their honeymoon and who travel a lot.