Some of the Best Days of My Life

The Galápagos Islands are magnificent. I’m guessing they are a lot like Hawai`i once was. I got to spend ten days on a boat going from island to island, and during the voyage, there was a full moon.

Magic.

While sailing I read The Beak of the Finch by Jonathan Weiner, which upped the trip’s coolness factor by 100%.

Next week Galápagos: Birdie Edition.

Some critter’s tracks.
These two fellows were scraping.
It’s the law to stay at least two meters from critters, but it’s almost impossible. I mean, this is the pathway.
That would be a seal having a beach day.
The pleasure of warm rocks.
Solitario Jorge, the last known Pinta Island tortoise.
Upward dog.
Post Office Bay is how people used to communicate – if you saw a letter there addressed to someone who lived near your home, you were supposed to take it and deliver to them. Nowadays, people just write graffiti or stick stickers.
Me and a Galápagos racer. One of the boat’s crew really wanted my hat (it says University of Hawai`i), but I wouldn’t give it up. I told him I’d send him one, but I never did. I’m sorry.
Iguana art.
These iguanas are gorgeous and freaky at the same moment.
I could totally live here.
Iguana spa.
Critters all hung out with each other.
Next week is Galapagos Birdies Edition, but I felt that I couldn’t post a post about the Galapagos without at least one shot of a Blue-Footed Booby.

Live all you can. It’s a mistake not to.

ANTARCTICA: CRITTERS EDITION

So, with the first photo below, look for the reddish mark on the lower left of the berg. It turns out it’s a thing for captains to push their ship’s bow into an iceberg and leave a mark. This took a few hours. When done, we pulled away and sailed on. It was weird. To me, anyway.

I hope you enjoy the photos. Next week: the Galapagos Islands! Seems like this is turning in to a Friday thing.

The ship had a former life in the Chilean Navy.
Dangerous critter!

I took this photo from my own Zodiac. Climbing down the side of the ship on a rusted, rickety ladder to get in the Zodiac was an adventure in itself.

Live all you can. It’s a mistake not to.

This Just In From The BBC

I made up “cloudbow” and now I know the scientific term – if you can’t read the caption, it’s “An upside-down rainbow, more technically known as a circumzenithal arc, fills the sky in Burnley, Lancashire. Photo by Weather Watcher Syed Bukhari.”

So that’s in England, and I also got a report of a sighting in Buffalo, New York. Cloudbows are trending!

For more loveliness from the BBC:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/1sMtbgQKBf0BtB4vPNHDFMg/pic-of-the-season-summer-2021

SIMULTANEOUSLY SEEKING SAFETY AND SANITY

I’m going (more) nuts. I want to get on a plane and go soak in a Kyushu hot spring, hike Taiwan’s Dongyanshan National Forest, wander Hanoi, float along the Mekong, sit still in Siem Reap, sleep in a 4.5 star Hilton in Kuala Lumpur ($57 a night!) and take in Singapore’s Chihuly exhibit. I want to circle Sri Lanka, dive The Maldives, safari in southern Africa. But instead I remain here in front of my computer, scrolling through old trip photos, now too scared even to venture to Kona, what with the mutants and maskless.

I’m revisiting old trips for their use in distracting me. I’ve come to realize that my normal method for staying mentally steady (and un-grumpy) is travel-related activity: checking out guidebooks from the library, subscribing to travel newsletters, imagining trips, planning trips, taking trips – the possibility of flight. But lately it’s been about canceling trips (fact: I’m supposed to be in Paris today, at a hotel near the Gare de Lyon, in the 12th arrondissement, steps from the Seine).

The photos I’ve been scrolling through the last few days are from a trip to Antarctica. You may think of it as a white place, but there are so many shades of blue and green.

With travel out of the question, I’m seeking equilibrium through laughter. Have you something that makes you laugh out loud? If yes, please do share. Awkward Family Photos, BBC’s Ghosts, and Los Espookys are providing that service for me at the present, but I welcome suggestions. Cuz without distractions, I’m consumed by this depressing time of stay-homedness, taking photos like this instead of the Seine:

MY FIRST CLOUDBOW

Spectacular sunsets are pretty much a daily given from my lanai, since I live near the ocean on the west side of an island. Once I even saw a lightning storm over distant O`ahu. Whales, dolphins, Coast Guard ships, fishing boats, canoes, SUPs, scuba divers, blue skies and fluffy clouds are the norm. But lately we’ve had some weather, and I captured some serious clouds and offshore rain. Then, lo and behold, my first cloudbow! It was as stunning as the sliver moonbow I once saw on the North Shore of O`ahu.

Lucky I live Hawai`i.

I’ve included a photo of a vociferous family that visits daily, more photos of my neighborhood, and a couple more West Hawai`i roadside attractions.

I also get treated to dreamy moonsets.
There was just one narrow downpour near the center of the horizon
Mauna Kea in the distance.
This plant has hollow flowers about three inches long.
If the weather’s just right, I can see Maui from here, but my camera can’t capture it.
Near the entrance to Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park, looking east.
POOP.

Stay safe. Read the real news. Wear a mask. Get vaccinated. Look at pretty photos.