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Everything posted by masterdrago

  1. When we did Misty Fjords with Island Wings, we had spectacular weather in mid May except that the flyover of Soule Glacier which was cancelled due to clouds over it. We also had spectacular weather on Denali with the glacier landing at base camp with Talkeetna Air Taxi. We had the 10am flight and by noon the mountain was beginning to get obscured by clouds. So the luck of the draw sounds about right. Our several days in Denali gave us the best and outstanding views prior to mid to late day. I don't know what the stats are but that was our experience. Weather could not have been better when we were in the air both days just b4 noon.
  2. As to mosquitoes, We've been in mid May and late August. On land portions had none in May but nearly carried away in late August in the Kenai peninsula. Never had any issues on board ship.
  3. Aurora in Alaska depends on where and when. For instance Whittier on Sept 7th gets nearly 5 hours of dark time between 11:27pm and 4:13am. It also receives another 2+ hours of astronomical twilight which is pretty danged dark. Be aware that city lights or ship lights may make it difficult to view aurora. Also if your taking a train or drive up north to Fairbanks, you'll be in a better latitude to get aurora but have less true dark time - 2hr 29min from 12:34am to 3:03am. One other thing to consider is that we are still near the bottom of the solar cycle but are turning back up, so activity might be sketchy. There are plenty of resources to get aurora alerts on your phone. I use a resource to determine when the dark time is at https://www.timeanddate.com/sun/@5878018
  4. We were on a starboard side balcony for our Seward to Vancouver cruise. I know that it is most likely not written in stone but all but one of our port stops had us facing the dock. Not what I wanted. And I expect that the decision may not be made until the ship is near port. I took a look at some of the services that give the positions of the cruise ships and it appears to be a real crap shoot on how they are positioned in port. We clearly wanted to watch for sea life while on our balcony when in port on the ship. Just didn't happen. Not even sure it is even possible to determine which cruise parks which way. Next cruise for us, getting a stern cabin or will skip the cruise. The best exterior scenery we had was after leaving Hubbard Glacier on way to Juneau looking east from the port side upper deck. Of course the trip in and out of Yakutat and Disenchantment Bay was amazing from anywhere on the boat.
  5. We did the trip up to Emerald Lake via van with Dyea Dave's driver Rose (excellent), then back to Fraser where we picked up the WPYR (White Pass & Yukon Route) small gauge railroad to finish to Skagway. We had prepaid for the rail tickets which Rose made sure to stop at the depot and pick up. At the end , she made sure we were all boarded together b4 she finished with those that did not take the train. I thought it was a great combination as we got many, many great photo stops while in the van. Then the 45 minute train pull back to Skagway. A 3 1/2 minute compilation of the train ride https://vimeo.com/345258416 We stopped at the Iditarod Musher Camp A stop at a tiny little desert A break for lunch And bunches of awesome scenery Spent 6+ hours on the van tour + train and took over 200 images of some of the most beautiful country I've ever seen.
  6. To go with Michelle of Island Wings is a true delight. We got to hang out on the alpine lake for about 15 minutes. It was pretty surreal for us Texans. And hey bottom-dragger, I was always confused about that spelling also..... always want to spell it like on the topo🙃 fjord or fiord (fyɔrd, fyoʊrd, fiˈɔrd, -ˈoʊrd) n. 1. a long narrow arm of the sea bordered by steep cliffs usu. formed by glacial erosion. 2. (in Scandinavia) a bay. [1670–80; < Norwegian; see firth] fjord′ic, adj.
  7. I'm thinking you are going this year.... 105cruise may be referring to the issues with 'Rona. If it is for next year, otherwise.
  8. DW is the same way about flying. Totally white knuckled on the several commercials we took last year. She had the best time ever on the 2 we took in the 14 days. Best was around Denali - way spectacular. We did have to cancel one due to RCI screwing up our time. She had absolutely no issues with the float planes and ski-planes at all.
  9. We did the flight with Island Wings. We landed on a small alpine lake known as Lake Manzoni. The views were impossible to describe and better live than photographed. Michelle is an amazing host/owner. Here is a sample of what you will see from the air.
  10. I was taking shots of a Humpback last May in Juneau. My trick is to use one eye to watch for action while I use the other to center it in the camera FOV quickly when it happens. When ever a Humpback would rise up, I would easily center and fire burst frames. When I got back home and examined the shots, I noticed what I missed in live action from onboard. What does this set of one second burst tell you?
  11. The only reason I keep one of my FX Nikon format is that I have it set up with a bellows and 55 micro nikkor to duplicate the hundreds of 35mm slides from yesteryear. I've got a great collection of Nikkor lenses from way back and new that all work great for all the DX bodies. Have been tempted by the mirrorless Nikons but it appears they just don't measure up. Cannot justify the $$$
  12. For all of my general purpose images that I want to share on the web, I quit PhotoBucket when they began charging a huge fee and went to Imgur. I don't use them for any large archiving but only web photo sharing. Usually less than 500Kb files. For video, I started using Vimeo and DropBox paid services. For large storage offsite that are crucial to keep, I use Amazon paid services, but normally use external HDD at home.
  13. As SuperCrewBear mentioned, there may be plenty of light when you ride the train. I use the tool at https://www.timeanddate.com/sun/usa/anchorage
  14. This was a private short day cruise. One of the best families to work with (Shawn & Teresa McConnell). Absolute professionals that return emails and calls quickly with always complete information. They just had a new boat built for a larger (40' Catamaran) but still small (13 onboard) for their son Casey. It should be finished by the time the CV19 thing is down.
  15. On Radiance I found them on deck 6 near the Schooner Bar. . It was a large monitor with a slide show running. I took pix of all the maps. Here is one.
  16. This story crossed my browser today. Venezuelan Navy Vessel Sinks After Opening Fire on Cruise Ship. https://twitchy.com/gregp-3534/2020/04/05/video-has-emerged-of-the-venezuelan-patrol-ship-that-sunk-itself-after-ramming-a-cruise-ship-not-a-typo/
  17. Dave, I keep looking at your water cooled overclocked rig. CPU thermals should be okay with the CPU on water but how much air do you have running over all the rest? In my mind the board (mosfets, chipset, and m.2 ssds) and GPU are all on air (cannot see it all that well). So the board components will benefit from directed air flow. It might be okay in a closet but have you run a benchmark and check temps to make sure they remain in spec?
  18. I've only had my GP7Black for 15 months but I think I would use it head mounted. That would give you the option of capturing video of more than just the sled dogs and up front view. To get good stabilization, I've found setting on 1080p/120fps/linear works great with standard stabilization on. If you want to use Hypersmooth stabilization you can drop back to 60fps and shoot in 2.7k resolution. My 65" 4k TV does a superb job of up-converting the 1080p resolution. I found the 90 degree FOV (linear) was more than good enough (no need for wide or superview). When shooting at 120fps, then doing editing and playback at 60 or even 24fps, it gives the video an almost cinematic feel.
  19. For those wanting to read a plethora of reviews on binoculars, I ran into this feast just now. Prepare to become exhausted but the info is very complete with discussions that will give huge amounts of info. If for some reason the link is broken, search for "Binocular Mini Reviews" and then hit the cloudynights link. https://www.cloudynights.com/topic/4864-links-to-433-binocular-mini-reviews-in-this-forum/
  20. masterdrago


    I'm betting that the answer is yes since Island Wings Air Service runs flight seeing tours to Traitors Cove from August 1st and September 30th for the bear viewing observatory.
  21. We did a van trip from Skagway to Carcross/Emerald Lake and then back to Fraser. Had lunch in Carcross. We had bought passes on the WPYR and the tour guide with Dyea Dave stopped at the train station and picked up our tickets and made sure we were boarded on the train in Fraser. In our 16 days in Alaska, this day was one of the most beautiful and inspiring excursions we did. Many, many stops for photos and got some great video on the 90 minute train ride back to Skagway. For the 2 of us, it was ~$350 for the full day of exquisite beauty. The Dyea Dave tour guide picked us up at the train station when we got back and made sure we were back on the ship prior to departure. Again, I cannot speak more highly of this tour and the grand beauty we saw.
  22. You're not obsessing. We went on 3 - Harv & Marv's - Juneau, Glacier Wind Charter - Icy Strait, & Major Marine - Seward. For us, the most enjoyable was Glacier Wind Charters. Excellent personal service, great team, very well maintained boats and knowledgeable captains. I shot close to 500 pix from their 33' catamaran, the "Catabatic". Many, many looked similar to And the activity sometimes took place within 75 yards of the boat. Layers of clothing with a light weight rainproof jacket.
  23. We had a morning air flight w/Talkeetna Air Taxi to fly around Denali w/glacier landing. Things were looking swell – weather, schedule, and crew ready. We got really lucky. We were getting to land at the climbers Base Camp because we were picking up a hiker that had been there a week and dropping off one of the pilots and her daughter so they could ski a few days! Very cool! Also, on our Otter, was a young female F18 WSO. Thanks for her service. I got her to pose with me for a pix! The flight was just over 2 hours and it was surreal. The scale of the mountain is hard to comprehend. It always looked as if we were drifting by the snow covered peaks and passes in a hot air balloon in slow-mo. Clay, our pilot, said we were doing 120mph! Included a pix of base camp and one of the Otter we flew up in. Base Camp – consist of numerous tents, a custom heli-pad, and an igloo built by a Japanese climbing team. When we were there 63 had attempted the summit and all had failed for various reasons.
  24. We did 7 day southbound on Radiance of the Seas. I thought it was close to the perfect size but I'm not real big on shipboard entertainment. We have done several out of Galveston on Liberty. Found the Promenade a bit overwhelming when crowded. We are seriously thinking of one of the small ships with Seabourne, Alaska Dream or Lindblad.
  25. We originally wanted to take the full day ride. I'm happy we did not get to take it. They do not run on Mondays and we were there Memorial day. So we opted for the ride from Fraser back to Skagway on the train. About 45 minutes. I'm really glad we did it that way as we were able to take an incredible van ride Skagway to Emerald Lake/Carcross and back to Fraser with Dyea Dave. Truly awesome trip! I shot a bit of video on the train. 45 minutes was plenty.
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