The Drrons shoot a killer and other delights.

drron

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The excursion was to have a walk on the Dungeness spit.The longest sand spit in the USA.However there was only about an hour so you could not possibly walk the whole length and truthfully that looked a bit boring.We had a different plan.A little research showed a few nature trails on the top of the cliff so we would walk to the path leading down to the spit,I would descend and take a few photos then come back and we would explore the nature trails.I felt it was a good decision.
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That could be Victoria,BC over the water.
Now down on the sand.
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DontGetMeStarted

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All will be explained in due course.But it is just 2 weeks until we leave on our next adventure.
First the flights.
BNE-SYD-SIN-NRT-LAX-PHX-MZL.
Then-YVR-YYJ-SFO-NRT-BKK-SIN-SYD-BNE.
2 nights in SYD,overnight in SIN then 3 nights in Phoenix.The maps already printed with the outlets,Nordstrom Rack and the Dillards clearance centres.

Overnighting in Mazlatan,Mexico where we board the Silver Explorer for B2B cruises to VancouverThe major hope for me on this trip is finally to see orcas.Have been in several places where they can be seen but I have had no success On one occasion I flew into DPO to find that on the front page of the local paper was a picture of an orca in the Mersey River the day before.So hopefully will use my camera to shoot an orca.
They might be seen on the first part of the cruise around the gulf of California.They might then be seen as we cruise up the west coast of the USA.We will be following the last of the grey whale migration and orcas follow them.Then cruising around the San Juan islands where orcas are frequently sighted.As an insurance policy then spending a week on Vancouver Island.

Then the trip back.First 2 days shopping in San Francisco.
3 nights at the Prince Gallery Tokyo Kioicho hotel-a points stay.
Our usual end of trip time in Bangkok and a couple of days in Sydney before home.

The flights are the BA return deal to BKK with the BA sectors in F.
SQ F awards SIN-LAX.
LM award for NH F SFO-NRT then TG J to BKK.
Plus the odd paid flight in North America.


Would love more info on the Dillards Clearance Outlet
 

drron

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Posts
29,246
The second part of the excursion was going to a farm for tastings.Turned out to be ciders and pizzas but they were both pretty good.
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Then you got to walk around the farm.It is a community farm with a covenant that it is always to remain farmland.
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I started talking to this goose and he invited his mates over to join in.
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As it is a cider place there were several varieties of apples.
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drron

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Posts
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A nicely set up place.
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Fortunately both these places were easy to understand because the local guide was just on work experience.She knew nothing.Her answer to any question was-that's a good question.
The scenery as we left Port Angeles was great.
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Time for dinner.A problem with B2B cruises is the menu repeats.The benefit though is you know which menus dont measure up so you order from the room service menu.
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drron

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Posts
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We passed the Spit.
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Then sunset.
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The next morning we were well down Puget sound anchoring a couple of miles short of Olympia.The day was overcast and cold and rain was forecast.The main excursion was Mt.Rainier.We had been 30 years ago and got good views so decided against that.I went on the Mima Mounds tour whilst Rojaan had a day off.
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I was on the first zodiac so had to wait a while for the next group.There were some nice gardens.
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drron

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They were also setting up for a Farmer's Market.
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Some different signs around the market.
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Then there was this little fellow hopping around.Turned out he was making his rounds and collecting donations.
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And a restaurant I wouldn't have minded trying.
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The Mima Mounds are an extensive area of mounds the cause of which isn't known.However the people who lived here for thousands of years have a story of a great flood and the mounds appearing afterwards.The mounds were part of a vast prairie.The natives had regular burns that kept it so.When they were displaced and regular burning ceased the forest gradually took over.The Trustees of this area now do regular fall burns.This also stimulates the wildflowers.
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drron

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At the mounds there was a short walk of 1 mile or a long walk of 1.9 miles.I realised that the number of species of wildflowers were limited and a mound is a mound so I decided on the short walk.It was signposted and maps were on signs at intervals.I now rejoined the main path and was waiting for a bird to appear(the one in the last post).The stragglers accompanied by the one expedition staff now appeared from the main path.Unfortunately the one staff was the dipsy Historian.She asked where the local guide was.I said he has gone on the long pathway but as there is only about 30 minutes left here you should take the short path and showed them.No we must catch up to the guide.But it is an extra mile and you have taken over 30 minutes to do half a mile.No we are going to catch the guide.Idiot.
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So the main path is obvious.The short walk is the small unformed track.I was standing at the signpost.
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Another bird who posed.
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Now there were volunteers at various spots around the mounds.I asked one how many species of orchids were there.He said just one.I said I must have seen it.He then said but it is only leaves now and is called the painted rattlesnake orchid.It wasn't what I had seen.Here are those leaves.
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I then showed him what I had seen.
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A classic microtis orchid with typical small flowers in a spiral up the stem.
So I doubled the number of known orchid species at Mima mounds.It pays to look down.
 

craven morehead

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On the drive back to the ship we saw an osprey return to her nest.No time for a photo.Back at the port it was busy-
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Astoria is one of the biggest grain ports in the US.But we were back to the Explorer.
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A large number of Caspian terns-vermin according to our guide as they ate too many salmon fry.
A nice Indian curry for dinner.
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We cruised up the Columbia river to Rainier that night.
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How many PAX on the Silver Explorer drron ?
 

craven morehead

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The next day was a sea day.Success at last.
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But it got better.Three Pacific white sided dolphins joined us.
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Hope you can make them out.But whilst everyone was looking at them I noticed something in the distance.
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Reinforcements.
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Another group arrives.
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They had opened up the bow on deck 5.
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Then yet another group came in.
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This lasted for quite a while and I am sure most thoroughly enjoyed the day.There were many more sightings though none as good as this.

Spectacular !!
 

drron

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The Explorer on our 2 legs had 102 and 104 pax.Capacity is 142 but usually some singles so between 120-130 would be a full ship.
The size is just right for us.She handles rough seas very well for her size.
 

drron

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Yes Denali halibut is beautiful fresh.We had a week on the Inside Passage on an 8 pax boat.I caught my 2 halibut limit every day-and much to her annoyance would get Mrsdrron to pull in the 3rd and 4th.:D
 

drron

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So because of our dipsy staff member we were 40 minutes late leaving the mounds leaving that much less time at our next stop at the Nisqually wildlife reserve which was a much more interesting stop.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Billy_...ildlife_Refuge
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With lots of birds.
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This one was my favourite-the song sparrow.He just sat there continuously singing.This is a different one.
Evidence of beavers.
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And tortoise and funghi.
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drron

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Reflections and frogs.
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There were lots of big frogs.
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And salmonberries.
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And little creeks.
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Even a couple of barns.
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Because we had run out of time we now had to turn around and go back.We saw more birds.
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