Archive for March, 2010

Another Richter With a Camera

March 25th, 2010 at 12:35 pm (AST) by Jake Richter

One of the pleasures we enjoy during our varied trips is photography – both the act and the art of taking interesting pictures, and then later the reminiscing that occurs as we review and apply our imagery in various ways after our trips.

It appears that the youngest member of The Traveling Richters is now also looking at photography more seriously. While we have tried to engage him with both point and shoot cameras as well as video cameras, his enthusiasm for them waned quickly. He said that the point and shoots were too small and boring, and he didn’t want to deal with editing video after he shot it.

However, when I lent him one of my DSLRs on the very last day of our voyage into the Antarctic and sub-Antarctic, he became captivated with using the camera, and kept at it for a couple of hours, working the angles, the subjects, and lighting.

Bas working the angles while taking photos of moss on a post

Bas working the angles while taking photos of moss on a post

We were on New Island, in the West Falkland Islands area, visiting a rookery featuring Rockhopper penguins, King cormorants, black-browed albatross, as well as caracaras and turkey vultures.

Bas with camera in hand at New Island

Bas with camera in hand at New Island

I helped him sort through his images later in the evening so we could submit three shots to use as part of the cruise slide show. Below are those three final images – all of which are very nice shots.

A rockhopper penguin in the rookery at New Island

A rockhopper penguin in the rookery at New Island

Some of the splendid scenery on New Island in the West Falklands

Some of the splendid scenery on New Island in the West Falklands

A striated caracara sits atop a wreck at New Island

A striated caracara sits atop a wreck at New Island

Bas now says that New Island was the best part of his entire trip, mainly because he had a real camera in hand. I have promised to let him use one of my DSLRs at home so he can practice with it some more. It will be curious to see if his interest remains stronger with the better equipment.

 

A New Antarctica Article

March 22nd, 2010 at 12:02 pm (AST) by Jake Richter

I was asked by Lindblad Expeditions if I could write an article for their blog about our trip on the National Geographic Explorer. I immediately agreed, and only realized later how challenging an effort it was – we just saw and experienced so many wonderful “firsts” on our trip. After a third attempt I finally came up with as good a summary as I possibly could without writing a book.

You can find it at
http://www.expeditions.com/blog/index.asp?Display=336.

 

The Traveling Richters in The Bonaire Reporter

March 18th, 2010 at 9:19 am (AST) by Jake Richter

Our local English-language newspaper on Bonaire, published every two weeks, is The Bonaire Reporter. The paper has a regular feature which shows a photo of a Bonaire Reporter reader holding a copy of the newspaper in an exotic location.

In the current issue (March 19 – April 9, 2010), The Traveling Richters are the featured readers of The Bonaire Reporter.

We’re pretty sure no one else has ever taken a Bonaire Reporter as far south on the globe as we have.

The clip from the newspaper is below:

The Traveling Richters with The Bonaire Reporter on the Antarctic Peninsula

The Traveling Richters with The Bonaire Reporter on the Antarctic Peninsula

 

From ZZ Top to Brad Pitt

March 18th, 2010 at 8:55 am (AST) by Jake Richter

My experiment with untamed hair growth as part of our Antarctic experience was interesting. I decided in mid-December that my haircut at the time would be the last I would have until I returned from cold climes. Likewise, I stopped trimming my beard at the same time.

The rationale was that more hair on my head and face would keep me warmer. That part was certainly true. I think my face and head were warmer during the few cold spells we encountered. What I hadn’t figured on was that having a huge mass of fur on my chin would get to be really annoying after a while, but for no tangible reason – it just was annoying.

While in Stanley, in the Falkland Islands, I decided I needed a barbershop to get rid of the facial growth, and bumped into Andrew Evans, fellow blogger and passenger, who was looking for exactly the same thing. His beard was bugging him too.

Andrew and I showing off our manly face fuzz in Stanley

Andrew and I showing off our manly face fuzz in Stanley

Andrew and I were unsuccessful in our barbershop quest – all we could find was a beauty parlor in a supermarket and just seemed like the wrong place for a beard-cut, so the beards stayed until the end of our trip.

At the end of our journey, nearly a week after the above photo, I looked like this – almost a member of ZZ Top:

This is Jake after two and a half months of no haircuts or beard trims (at the airport in Ushuaia)

This is Jake after two and a half months of no haircuts or beard trims (at the airport in Ushuaia)

As soon as we got to Miami, I bought a cheap beard trimmer and whacked that beard right down to size, and a week later, after we got back home to Bonaire, our friend Barbel came over and gave all the Richters nice, short, haircuts. I took care of my own beard trimming, though.

A freshly shorn Jake back home on Bonaire

A freshly shorn Jake back home on Bonaire

So maybe not quite the Brad Pitt look, but at least life is now back to normal (more or less). And I feel well groomed once again.

Andrew ended up getting his trim too – check the photos in his Tweet.

 

Super-Large Panorama of King Penguin Colony

March 14th, 2010 at 4:52 pm (AST) by Jake Richter

Now that I’m back in the world of real Internet connections I can upload another panorama I created during our recent trip to the Antarctic region.

While at Salisbury Plain, South Georgia, we witnessed a King penguin colony numbering in the many hundreds of thousands of penguins. I already uploaded one panorama from that day, but have an even larger (and more astounding) one to share today. If you look at the image closely, you can even see skuas flying above the colony looking for easy prey.

Click on the image below to get to the full panorama. Warning – it is 42,043 pixels wide, and nearly 20 megabytes in size. No guarantees that your browser will allow you to view an image that large, but give it a try.

A close-up panorama of the King penguin colony at Salisbury Plain, South Georgia

A close-up panorama of the King penguin colony at Salisbury Plain, South Georgia

Once (and if) the larger panorama image appears in your browser, you may want to right-click on the image and save it locally to your hard disk and use a better image viewer to look at it in detail. You can also use the “Download the Original Size” link to accomplish this.

 

Back Home Once Again On Bonaire

March 13th, 2010 at 4:59 pm (AST) by Jake Richter

After almost exactly five weeks of travel The Traveling Richters finally made it back home, in a trip that spanned the South American continent twice, touched below the Antarctic circle, and went as far north as Atlanta, Georgia, where we connected from Miami this morning.

It’s going to take a while to get used to the humidity and heat here on Bonaire, but it will be welcome.

Even more welcome will be hooking up with friends visiting Bonaire this week, including new friends Doug and Erin whom we met in Charleston around New Year’s, and old friend Todd with his significant other Jenna (whom we’ve not met in person but corresponded with) when they come in via a cruise ship later this week.

I had hoped to post a GPS track from Miami to Bonaire, but we didn’t have a window seat from Atlanta, and our GPS wouldn’t read satellites from the middle of the plane.

I am still planning on getting more photos from our travels posted here in the coming week. Now that I have a real Internet connection I should be able to get more photos on Flickr too. So please stay tuned.

And for those of you who asked about our next big trip – no idea yet. Krystyana is off to China for most of July with National Geographic, and we’re not sure what we’ll be doing, but if you have suggestions, let us know.