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Newfoundland Expedition 2022

May 11, 2022

I'll be enjoying a photo and nature expedition to Newfoundland May 20 to June 20, 2022. This is my fourth trip to Newfoundland and my third photographic expedition.

Newfoundland is absolutely the best place in Atlantic Canada for photography; nature, scenery, culture, wildlife and birds. There is no better place to see birds nesting in the millions. One small islet east of Fogo Island hosts over one million nesting sea birds.

This will be my personal diary and log for this trip. I will post daily updates when I can. WIFI hot spots are hard to come by in Newfoundland especially on the Great Northern Peninsula, a must trip for alpine and arctic wildflowers, icebergs and L'Anse aux Meadows, the restoration of a viking settlement.

When the weather is foul I will travel to my next destination so the following guide to my trip is tentative and will change as the weather changes.

My transportation is a Fraserway Overlander, a four wheel drive diesel truck, that totes a home with all the amenities including an on board generator.

Everything you need to know about the Overlander is here: https://www.fraserway.com/rentals/vehicles/overlander

Overlander

. OverlanderOverlander Newfoundland and Labrador is a large province with narrow roads and few places to pull off and stop when a scene or wildflower appears. Gros Morne National Park is a highlight but the provincial parks are very impressive as well with polite and professional staff. Here is a list of the provincial parks: https://www.parksnl.ca/

Newfoundland

Newfoundland MapNewfoundland Map

May 20-21

I leave Bedford, Nova Scotia early on May 20 and head north.

This day's highlights are;

-Fortress of Louisbourg, my first stop,

-Dominion Beach Provincial Park, my first bird photographic challenge.

I line up at the ferry line at the North Sydney ferry terminus at 9PM for my voyage to Channel-Port-aux Basques The ferry leaves at 11:15PM and I will sleep on board in my state room.

After arrival in Newfoundland I will drive north from Channel-Port-aux Basques to Notre Dame Provincial Park for an afternoon of photography and a good night's sleep.

Newfoundland Map Part OneNewfoundland Map Part One

May 22-26

May 22-26 will be an exciting time as I look for icebergs at Twillingate and enjoy my first visit to Fogo Island for culture, scenery, sea birds and a herd of caribou.

Newfoundland Map Part TwoNewfoundland Map Part Two

May 27-June 2

I will drive from Fogo Island(after a short ferry ride) to Le Manche Provincial Park. Highlights include:

-Bay Bull and Witless Bay for millions(no exaggeration) of nesting, floating and flying seabirds, and with luck a few whales;

-Trails of Le Manche Provincial Park;

-Cape Spear;

-St. John's;

-Cape Race;

-Cape St. Mary's for jaw dropping nesting colonies of sea birds.

Newfoundland Map Part ThreeNewfoundland Map Part Three

June 3-16

The drive from Cape St. Mary's to the south side of Gros Morne National Park is the longest drive of my trip, likely close to eight hours so I may stop at Notre Dame Provincial Park if I get tired on route.

Highlights here are plentifull:

-south side of Gros Morne National Park;

-north side of Gros Morne National Park, with a major side trip up the Great Northern Peninsula;

-boat tour of the fjords of Gross Morne National Park;

-the Great Northern Peninsula with many scenic stops on route;

-L'Anse aux Meadows;

-Burnt Cape Ecological Reserve loaded up with arctic and alpine wildflowers.

Newfoundland Map Part FourNewfoundland Map Part Four

June 17-20

I drive south from Gros Morne National Park to Blow Me Down provincial park a new visit for me. I'll try to add a day or two at this park if the weather turns nasty at Gros Morne National Park.

After I visit Blow Me Down provincial park I will continue south for my final visit and overnight stay at J. T. Cheesman Provincial Park.

I board the ferry for a 11:45 AM departure and a 6PM arrival in North Sydney. I'll drive south as far as I can and hope to make Dollar Lake provincial park or Caribou/Munroes Island Provincial Park for my final overnight stay of this expedition.

Newfoundland Map_crNewfoundland Map_cr

I will create a daily running diary of my adventure and hope to upload same where I can. This guide is an outline of what is possible but the final result will likely differ due to weather.

I will have over 10,000 photos to sort through and edit.

Here's four photos from previous expeditions:

Northern Gannet at Cape St. Mary's

NFLDay7-59NFLDay7-59

Viking lodge at L'Anse aux Meadows

NFLDay4-146NFLDay4-146

The Cheerful Colours of St. John's

St. John's, Newfoundland and LabradorSt. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador

Iceberg

The Great Northern PeninsulaThe Great Northern Peninsula

 

 


CCGS Hudson, Fond Farewell and Memories

February 18, 2022

This photograph was taken several years ago as the CCGS Hudson sailed past our home in Portuguese Cove, Nova Scotia. The vessel is now due to be decommissioned due to a catastrophic mechanical failure. The CCGS Hudson was the coast guard's principle oceanographic blue water research vessel.

When I left university, UBC, in engineering physics, my first job was as part of the scientific crew of the CCGS Hudson as she berthed and worked out of Victoria, BC. during her circumnavigation of the Americas.

The CCGS was the first vessel to circumnavigate the Americas, from Halifax, NS, around Cape Horn up to Victoria, BC and thence through the North-west Passage and finally back to Halifax, NS again.

CCGS  Hudson

CCGSHudson4CCGSHudson4SONY DSC

Courtesy of Wikipedia

CCGS Hudson[a] was an offshore oceanographic and hydrographic survey vessel operated by the Canadian Coast Guard. The ship entered service in 1963 with the Canadian Oceanographic Service, stationed at the Bedford Institute of Oceanography, called CSS Hudson. The ship made several significant scientific voyages, among them the first circumnavigation of the Americas in 1970. The ship was transferred to the Canadian Coast Guard in 1996 and decommissioned in 2022 due to non feasible upgrades and issues. A replacement is not scheduled for delivery until 2024–2025.

Description

The first Canadian ship built specifically for hydrographic and oceanographic survey work, Hudson was designed by the Montreal firm of Gilmore, German and Milne.[1] Hudson is 90.4 metres (296 ft 7 in) long overall and 80.8 m (265 ft 1 in) between perpendiculars with a beam of 15.4 metres (50 ft 6 in) and a draught of 6.8 metres (22 ft 4 in)[2][3] The ship has a tonnage of 3,444 gross tonnage (GT), 1,150 tons deadweight (DWT) and a 1,033 net tonnage (NT).[2][3][b] Hudson is certified as Arctic class 2. The ship is powered by a diesel electric DC/DC system composed of four Alco 251D diesel engines and two Caterpillar 398 generators. The system, rated at 6,469 kilowatts (8,675 hp), drives two fixed pitch propellers and bow thrusters, giving the ship a maximum speed of 17 knots (31 km/h; 20 mph). The ship is also equipped with one Caterpillar 398 emergency generator.[2][4] The ship has a fuel capacity of 1,268.00 m3 (278,920 imp gal) of diesel fuel, giving the ship a range of 23,100 nautical miles (42,800 km; 26,600 mi) at 10.5 knots (19.4 km/h; 12.1 mph) and an endurance of 105 days.[2]

The ship is outfitted with a 138 m2 (1,490 sq ft) flight deck and a 28 m2 (300 sq ft) hangar and is capable of operating one light helicopter of either the MBB Bo 105 or Bell 206L types.[2][4] Hudson is equipped with one RHIB and has four laboratories. There is one 40 m2 (430 sq ft) geo-chem lab, two 20 m2 (220 sq ft) labs, one hydrographic and one oceanographic and one 18 m2 (190 sq ft) general purpose lab. The ship has a complement of 31, comprising 11 officers and 20 crew, with 23 additional berths available.[2]

Service history

Hudson was constructed and funded by the Canadian Department of Energy, Mines and Resources on behalf of the Canadian Oceanographic Service.[1] The ship was built by Saint John Shipbuilding and Drydock Ltd at their shipyard in Saint John, New Brunswick with the yard number 1046. The vessel was launched on 28 March 1963 and completed in December later that year.[3] Named for the explorer Henry Hudson[2] the ship entered service as CSS Hudson,[c] in February 1964.[1][5] The ship is based at Dartmouth, Nova Scotia at the Bedford Institute of Oceanography.[2]

During the 1960s, Hudson performed five surveys of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge as part of the world-wide study of continental drift.[5] The ship took part in Expo '67 and had satellite navigation installed, becoming the first ship outside the United States Navy to have the technology.[1] In 1969, Hudson circumnavigated North America.[6] From November 1969 to October 1970, the vessel circumnavigated North and South America, starting in Nova Scotia, travelling south to Antarctic waters, around the southern tip of South America, north through the mid-Pacific and back to Nova Scotia through the Northwest Passage. Hudson was the first vessel to circumnavigate both continents.[4] While transiting, the ship carried out several experiments, among them studies of marine life along the east coast of the Americas, tidal current surveys of Chilean fjords and geographic discoveries in the Pacific Ocean.[1] This voyage, in which over 100 scientists participated during various stages, was documented in the 1973 book "Voyage to the Edge of the World" by Alan Edmonds ISBN 0771030673.

During surveys of Canada's Arctic, Hudson employed a helicopter for the first time.[7] During the early 1970s, Hudson performed surveys of the Bay of Fundy and Gulf of Maine.[1] In March 1976, Hudson rescued the entire crew of the fishery patrol vessel Cape Freels, which had been abandoned on the Grand Banks of Newfoundland after catching fire.[5][8] In the late 1970s, Hudson carried out the first survey of Baffin Bay.[5]

Hudson searching for debris from Swissair Flight 111 in foreground

In the 1980s and 1990s, Hudson took part in large surveys that were part of international programs such as the Joint Global Ocean Fluxes Study and World Ocean Circulation Experiment.[5] In 1980, Hudson circumnavigated North America.[1] Hudson contributed significantly during recovery operations during the aftermath of the semi-submersible mobile offshore drilling unit Ocean Ranger that sank in Eastern Canadian waters on 15 February 1982. Hudson saved all 24 crew members of MV Skipper 1 in the North Atlantic on 29 April 1987. On 28 April 1988, an explosion was spotted by the crew over the horizon. When Hudson arrived on scene, they found the tanker Athenian Venture on fire and in two pieces. Hudson recovered only one body from among the wreckage.[1]

In the 1990s, Hudson performed surveys in Greenland waters, Rankin Inlet and Chesterfield Inlet. During operations in Greenland waters, ice tore a 15-foot (4.6 m) gash in the hull of the ship. Hudson was forced to return to Canada for repairs. In 1996, Hudson joined the fleet of the Canadian Coast Guard.[1] Hudson contributed to the recovery operations during the recovery operations of Swissair Flight 111 in the waters off of Peggy's Cove, Nova Scotia, Canada during the autumn months of 1998.[1][9] From 1999 to 2001, Hudson performed surveys in the Sable Island region.[1]

Replacement and retirement

In 2007 the Government of Canada announced several new shipbuilding projects for the Canadian Coast Guard, including a replacement for Hudson, expected to be in service by 2012.[10] The ship rescued the seven-man crew of the fishing vessel Ocean Commander which burned and sank on 6 July 2009.[11] The construction of the replacement for Hudson was delayed, forcing the Canadian Coast Guard to replace rusting plates aboard Hudson in 2012.[10] The repairs were completed in September 2015.[12] Hudson underwent a $4 million CAD refit beginning on 19 December 2016. The refit was performed by Heddle Marine at their shipyard in Hamilton, Ontario.[13] Hudson was towed out of Heddle Marine's shipyard to the Canada Centre for Inland Waters in Burlington, Ontario, a Government of Canada facility. The vessel's refit, scheduled to be finished in May 2017 was unfinished at the time of the ship's removal.[14] Hudson returned to the East Coast on 14 November 2017 to ensure that the ship was out of the Saint Lawrence Seaway before it closed.[15] The ship underwent further refit at Halifax, which included modification to the cabins and laboratories. The ship is scheduled to return to service in April 2018.[16] On 12 February 2019, St. John's Dockyard Ltd. of St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador was awarded the contract to extend Hudson's service life by another five to ten years. Hudson began the six-month refit on 25 February.[17] On completion of her refit in mid-2020, the ship's retirement date was estimated as 2024.[18] In 2021, further mechanical problems forced the curtailment of one mission and the cancellation of another.[19]

Due to non feasible upgrades and issues, the retirement of Hudson was announced on 19 January 2022. A replacement is not scheduled for delivery until 2024–2025.[20]


Ice Storm of 2022

February 14, 2022

I've posted some photographic memories of our ice storm of 2022. Some photos were taken while overcast the day the storm ended and others the day after in bright sunshine.

Ice Storm of 2022, Nova Scotia, Canada

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Bald Eagle

February 04, 2022  •  Leave a Comment

In my winter's travels the Bald Eagle has become by default the only bird that posed.

I have seen Bald Eagles, Peregrine Falcons, Red-tailed Hawk, Broad-winged Hawk, Rough-legged Hawk, Sharp-shinned Hawk, Northern Cardinal, Northern Mockingbird, Snowy Owl, several sparrow species, Horned Lark, Blue Jays, Ravens, Crows and Northern Harrier but only the Bald Eagle had time for me.

Bald Eagle

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Architecture and Snow

February 04, 2022  •  Leave a Comment

I always wanted to be an architect. I felt my spatial visualization and technical skills made me a good match but somewhere along the way I lost my bearings and became an engineer and a physicist instead.

These buildings are examples of good architecture in winter's snow.

Architecture and Snow

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Architecture and snow 100Architecture and snow 100 Architecture and snow 101Architecture and snow 101 Architecture and snow 102Architecture and snow 102 Architecture and snow 103Architecture and snow 103 Architecture and snow 104Architecture and snow 104 Architecture and snow 105Architecture and snow 105


My First Camera

February 04, 2022

Every photographer has a first serious camera. Sure I went through the Kodak Instamatics and the Polaroids but those cameras were little more than toys. My first serious camera was the Pentax Spotmatic with its standard lens, and the 500mm Takumar telephoto lens.

There is a story or admission about the Spotmatic. I was canoeing with a buddy at Alouette Lake in Golden Ears Provincial Park east of Vancouver, B.C. Alongside a creek leading into the lake was a rock ledge that dropped straight down into three metres of very cold glacier fed water. Well, Hans the intrepid adventurer, decided to step from the canoe onto the ledge. You can guess the rest. The canoe drifted away from the rock ledge but the rock ledge ledge itself remained stationary so Hans and his Spotmatic went into the frigid creek. I had to make a deep dive, for me, to retrieve my camera.

I dried out the camera without any special tools or chemicals, and sure enough it worked just fine. I eventually gave it to my brother and he used it for several more years.

My next camera was the Nikon F2 with the Nikkormat 58mm F1.2 (the fastest lens I've ever owned or used).

 

The Pentax Spotmatic refers to a family of 35mm single-lens reflex cameras manufactured by the Asahi Optical Co. Ltd., later known as Pentax Corporation, between 1964 and 1976.

All Pentax Spotmatics used the M42 screw-thread lens mount which was developed after World War II by Zeiss and Praktica. Asahi Optical used the name Takumar for their lenses. These were high-quality, progressively improved lenses, later versions of which featured multi-coating and were called Super Multi Coated Takumars.

The camera used Through The Lens (TTL) light metering, originally it was supposed to be a Spot meter but it ended up being a center-weighted meter. This camera allowed one to focus the lens at maximum aperture with a bright viewfinder image. After focusing, a switch on the side of the lens mount stopped the lens down and switched on the metering which the camera displayed with a needle located on the side of the viewfinder. The use of stop-down light metering was at the time revolutionary, but it limited the capability of the lightmeter, especially in low light situations.
Later models Spotmatic F, Electro Spotmatic, ES, and ESII were capable of open-aperture metering when used with Super Multi Coated (S-M-C) Takumar lenses with an aperture coupling prong in the lens mount.

Honeywell was the U.S. importer of the Spotmatic. Cameras officially imported by Honeywell were labeled Honeywell Pentax, instead of Asahi Pentax. The Spotmatic IIa was only available as a Honeywell Pentax; it was sold exclusively in the USA and had an electronic interface for specific Honeywell Strobon

 

Asahi Pentax Spotmatic

 

Pentax SpotmaticPentax Spotmatic

Takumar 500mm F4.5(four elements)

H5452-L240718702H5452-L240718702

 


Snowy Owl on Rock

January 03, 2022  •  Leave a Comment

This Snowy Owl was attacked by a Northern Harrier. The attack was likely a case of mistaken identity since the Snowy Owl is four times as heavy as a Northern Harrier. From overhead it must look like a Herring Gull or a Snowshoe Hare.

This Snowy Owl is eating which is a good sign. A chewed up gull carcass was nearby.

Snowy Owl

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Snowy Owl in Snow

December 29, 2021

I got an early start this morning to try and obtain better photographs of the Snowy Owl. To my delight and probably the owl's too it snowed. The fresh snow offers a more natural landscape for this large northern owl.

Snowy Owl

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Snowy Owl on Beach

December 28, 2021

Snowy Owls show up in Nova Scotia every year. There is no pattern to this movement from the north. Some think it may be instinctive or a search for food but no correlation exists that is definitive.

This Snowy Owl was a fair distance away so I had to make severe crops of my photos which is why I use a high resolution camera (62mp). I will continue to search the coastal barrens and fields all winter for Snowy Owls, Short-eared Owls, Hawk Owls, Snow Buntings (several today), Horned Larks and Lapland Longspurs.

The movement shown by this Snowy Owl is about one hour of travel. They tend to sit and watch for prey. The Snowy Owl is the strongest and heaviest of all North American Owls.

Snowy Owl

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Snowy Owl 100Snowy Owl 100


Comparison of Sony 200-600mm Lens to all the 600mm F4s

December 16, 2021

I always use digital lens comparisons before I buy a lens. The crops below do not tell the whole story but they do indicate that the Sony 200-600mm lens compares favourably to the mega expensive 600mm F4s from Canon, Nikon and Sony. All the lenses with their appropriate teleconverters autofocus at 1200mm. The Sony 200-600mm is slower autofocusing at 1200mm and loses about two stops at 1200mm compared to the larger glass of the 600mm F4s. The Canon 600mm F4 III is the clear loser in this comparison in image definition (sharpness).

The crops are from the centre of the test chart with the lenses wide open. 2X teleconverters are used to amplify the lenses' weaknesses and strengths and to provide a vivid comparison.

Crops courtesy of Digital Lens Comparisons.

Canon 600mm F4 III at 1200mm

Canon 600mm F4 III at 1200mmCanon 600mm F4 III at 1200mm

Nikon 600mm F4 FL ED at 1200mm

Nikon 600mm F4 FL ED at 1200mmNikon 600mm F4 FL ED at 1200mm

Sony 200-600mm at 1200mm

Sony 200-600mm at 1200mmSony 200-600mm at 1200mm

Sony 600mm F4 G at 1200mm

Sony 600mm F4 G at 1200mmSony 600mm F4 G at 1200mm