Friday, July 29, 2011

A Once in a lifetime Whale Watching Adventure.

In Juneau it was my turn to do the whale watching. We always have to do the whale watching, it’s a main attraction for Alaska.

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I think I am becoming…more professional. Before I use to be like “oh I don’t want to bother people with a mic, or bother them by asking them anything” blah blah blah. Now, I think like… ”If I don’t ask them I’m gonna have a shitty edit.” Lol

So, I sought out the naturalist and mic’d her up. She was good with her narration. I used a great del with it.

I’ve done too many whale watching edits with just music. If I get bored watching damn right other people are gonna. Lol. I mean part of the tour is learning about the animals we are desperately trying to see. A little educational narration helps keep it interesting…also let you know what the hell you are seeing. Lol.

The tour started out with one Male Orca whale. By himself….which is not the norm with Orca whales. They’re usually in large pods. I got some okay shots. My editing made them better. Lol. I thought “okay Orca whale….off to a good start.” I got a little bummed because This tour was packed!! I had to battle to get a spot…which I normally don’t have to do.

We moved on to see a number of Humpback whales chilling out. The naturalist counted 6 whales. They started bubble net feed. Which is always cool to see. I could not for the life of me get a good shot of this. It happens at random. You don’t know where they’ll pop up. I had passengers in my way. I kept missing where they popped up. I was getting frustrated. I mean Yeah I got some good tails and fins and al that jazz. I couldn’t get the great stuff. I missed the ONLY whale breeching because a passengers head was in the way. I was bummed! I was determined. At this point I started praying. Lol. No lie. Whale watching to me is a by luck thing- at least I think so.

We move on to a different area. We hit a pod of Orca Whale. YAY! Prayers were answered. I got a Spy Hop, and a few jumps. I was happy. We left the area, and stopped at this island where Habor seals hang out. We start to head back to the dock. The end of the tour was approaching. I thought well I got some decent stuff. By this time it was still a really good whale watching tour. Better than most I’ve had. We stop again, I was like ok last chance to get something good. There were a crazy amount of whales. I got a spot in front thank God. At this point I didn’t know what was gonna happen since there were so many I just kept recording. All of a sudden right in the center of my frame 14 humpback Whales come up to gulp all the fish from bubble netting!! I was shocked. I didn’t zoom, move the Camera or anything. I left the camera there to record. Lol. They were so close.

I thought to myself “yes, that just made the best whale watch, and the best edit I’ll do.” Than a “Thank You Lord” quickly after. Lol.

I felt extremely lucky that it happened right in front of me. The only thing I wish I did was have my boom mic attached not just the lav mic for the narration, just so I could have gotten the noise from the whales. They were that close that I could have picked up some crazy epic whale audio.

My whale watching edit has gotten a lot of attention. I am lucky!! I did some cool zooming in and slow motion in the edit to kinda slowly relive what happens. When I was watching it I felt my self wanting to see that part once again….and again. So I did one regular run through, than scaled in and slowed it down. Worked out really good.

I don’t think I’ve ever have such a great whale watching experience. Orca whales, breeching, spy hop, and a crazy amount of Humpback Whales bubble net feeding…I don’t think it get better than that.

Oh but wait…it did. We pull up the dock and the passengers are disembarking. I always get off last. I was just chilling, than this passenger says to me “hey if you want a free shot there is this eagle right on the shore.” I said “REALLY?! I rushed upstairs on the boat, and there was a Bald Eagle eating a salmon right on the shore. I couldn’t get a steady enough shot on the boat. Finally I get off, and I get a great close up of the Eagle.

Great day! ☺

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Snorkeling in Alaska?!


I know I haven’t written about tours in a while. Funny story… I got lazy and didn’t dump my photos from my memory card to my hard drive. And they got … well deleted.

No pics … If I don’t have any I don’t feel like talking about the tour.

Back to the tour. Snorkeling in Alaska? Well I saw it on the tour excursions list and I thought “well that has to be interesting, exciting, cold, but most likely worth it.” So, Casey granted my wish, and put me on it this cruise. I was scared, and very Excited!!

I took the GoPro with me instead of taking the underwater cam with the underwater housing. I thought “oh this should be great.”

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I was running late... late is just before on time. Lol. I always seem to be in a rush for tours. Tsk tsk. But I grabbed the GoPro…without a dam memory card. I didn’t sweat it I had a 16Gb in my own camera. No problem. I took a few shots. Than it was full. WTF?! I had to delete all my photos that I had on it in order to shoot my tour.

I don’t think it’s a big deal. I did the lumberjack show, Mendenhall glacier, and the Alaskan Husky mushers camp, which I’ll do all again guaranteed. Shame on Amber for not staying on top of her blogging.

Well the tour started off with us putting on 7-mil wet suits. From head to toe we are covered, even out hands. Oh my lord it was a challenge in itself to get the suit on. Worst part of the tour. We headed to the site, and slowly approached the water, and it wasn’t cold at first because we were so hot from having them on for more than a few minutes. It became a bit shocking than soon I got used to the temp.

The first thing you see is a massive amount of jellyfish. Not just one kind either. Super tiny ones, big ones, these colorful ones. Crazy amounts. I was surprised to see so many in Alaskan waters. Than you notice all the starfish. Lots, and lots. Purple, red, orange, the ones you see all the time, and the ones you never get to see. I saw crabs, schools of fish, these cool plants… Kelp they’re called. Amazing colors. Snorkeling here blew me away. I def want to do it again.

I ran out of space on my card…even with deleting my photos. Turned out that the GoPro…I must have hit something I didn’t mean to while in the water. It took all these pics ended up taking massive space. ☹ I got a tiny edit out of it. Not my best underwater that’s for sure. I don’t like the Gopro for underwater…at least not for shooting tours. Def use the GoPro for fun underwater stuff though. It’s just not as crisp a shot like the Sony with the underwater housing.

I got stung actually. The only skin you have exposed is a small portion of your chin, and lips. I got stung under my lip. It hurt for a lil bit, but subsided after a few hours. You can’t avoid the jellyfish. Lol. It was amazing. I recommend this tour if you ever to Alaska. It was in Ketchikan. I think they have a site in Juneau as well. I wasn’t expecting it to be so clear either. I saw more in this one hour in the water in Alaska than most of my snorkeling in the Caribbean and Hawaii. Although seeing sea turtles is always cool. Lol.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The flip in my attitude

I joined the ship with such a not so much of a negative attitude, but I felt obligated to be here…ya know to live, basically to support myself…ya know the make the living. I hate feeling like I have a certain job because I HAVE to have it, rather than a job I would like to have, and enjoy. I always feel like I am trying to find a way out.

The funny thing is there is a lot of opportunities are knocking on my door. My restlessness I guess is subsiding, or I just have a different outlook on the job status. To be honest I hate being freelance. The constant looking for work gets old. Yes, it keeps things interesting in terms of “oh hey I don’t know what’s next,” but I crave some stability now and than. I like traveling, but I don’t want to keep looking for jobs, and uprooting myself over and over. So, I took a look at my job currently. I have been enjoying my position on the ship, like I use to. Maybe I finally found my routine, or whatever you call it. I get to go on awesome tours. I get to see shit everyday that most people will never in their life get to see! My skill on the camera is crazy better than what they were my first contract. Yes, always room for improvement though for sure. Things are better. But it may be due to my supervisor, and manager. They leave soon. ☹ So, I have to adjust to new peeps soon.

There were a lot of little things that were getting to me. And they all built up to where I had to talk to my manager. He suggested talking to my senior. Well the conversation happened after a formal night when I was cranky as fuck, and I was so tired of being talked to like a child. I kinda walked away from my senior to avoid a fight. But than we talked about a half hour later, and sorted everything out. After I talked to my manager, I was better, than after I discussed the issues with my senior that’s when my attitude changed for the better. I don’t mind talking to my manager…I’m comfortable talking with him about issues, even a personal issue I was struggling with. I don’t think I’ve had that before where I felt okay talking things out.

The only thing that sucks is I no longer have my own cabin. Mine, and Joe’s vacation is over. lol. But on a serious note… my new cabin mate makes me miss some of my old cabin mates. Nine-Because she was so tidy and clean, Yssa and Kathleen because we hung out and got along so well. I miss you guys!! ☹ Yssa especially because she didn’t have a problem with Joe ever being around. I mean with Amber comes Joe. That’s how it goes. Just because our cabin mates cant handle being social doesn’t mean we avoid each other. Fuck that. My cabin mate now- is like super touchy when it comes to … just about everything. Very anti-social. Her, and her BF on the team have this theory that management hates them and is sabotaging them. So, she doesn’t hang out with anyone really. We talked before. But ever since we became roommates she’s more stand off-ish. I’m not even in the cabin a lot. She basically has it all to her self. Oi! She has sooo much stuff. I don’t understand it, and its everywhere. I hate clutter! Maybe I’m too much of a neat freak. But just clean up…a bit…at least sometimes. But I guess I have it ok compared to what Joe has to deal with. That guy is an asshole. Very conniving. So, I think I might be switching cabins if I can finagle it just right when Casey leaves.

So far things aren’t horrible. Minor things, but nothing that has pushed me over the edge to just say “Fuck this.” It helps I have Joe here too. Lol.

Oh I almost forgot…Casey and I are the only Video Team in Alaska (there are 7 total I think in Alaska) making our budget, and turning a profit. ☺ Head Office did notice. Lol. So, with the new senior I hope we keep it going.

I’m happy I get a lot of great feedback about my edits, from crew and passengers. I def improved. That makes me happy. ☺

Amber is a Happy Camper.