Monday, 20 March 2017

Opening Day Welland Canal, March 20, 2017

Annual opening ceremony took place this morning at Lock 3.
Lower Lakes Towing's Robert S Pierson was the first ship upbound and received the top hat for 2017.

 Above:  Well used Port Colborne fairleads.
Below:  Two seaway flags and two company flags on the foremast.

Above:  Dressed for the occasion.
Below:  Fences & Signs.

 Below:  Vacuum pad system in Lock 3.

 Two views of the ship waiting in the lock.

 Above:  Alternate transportation on the Robert S Pierson.
 Two more views.  
I had to get the Canadian Coast Guard flag in there somewhere!

 Clear of the lock and upbound.

 Above:  Moving under the Glendale bridge.
Approaching Lock 4 East.
I don't know if the vacuum system is complete on the west side.
If not, perhaps that is why the ship went up the downbound side.

Isla Tortugas, Costa Rica. February 17, 2017

The cruise along the west coast of Costa Rica continues.

Windstar often holds a party/BBQ on shore for their passengers.
This one was held on the last full day of the cruise.
We were able to snorkel, despite the rip tide along the shore, and explore a bit of the hinterland.
Above:  We, the Star Pride, are anchored waaaay over there.
The water was deliciously warm.
Below:  That's where we were.
Click on a photo to see a larger version.

 Above:  Looking west from the beach.
Transfers were done by Zodiac, in a surf.

The Zodiacs were beached bow-first and many crew were required to man-handle them;
an awkward operation.
Above:  View along the beach.

Below:  Massage on the beach.  Some would say "Ah, heaven!"  

As the BBQ wound down the question of what to do with the food scraps came up.
Problem solved.
These little piglets were like dogs, as they ate their tails wagged.

Below:  This is not a great photo but I cannot identify this bird, nor can my Merlin App.
Any ideas?


Sunday, 19 March 2017

Bahia Drake, Costa Rica. February 16, 2017

The cruise along the west coast of Costa Rica continues.

On this day we were to take a bird-watching tour along the shoreline but the sea was too rough.  Instead of returning to the ship we decided to walk along a path toward a beach.
Tide was an issue here.
Our boat from the ship came around the point on the left and bounced along the bottom.
There was also an terrific rip along the point.

 Above:  Bridge over the entrance.

Below:  Monkey hanging around the end of the bridge.
She had an infant hidden in the trees, too.

How did these boats get up there?
There is no passage through these rocks.
When we returned several hours later the tide had been on the flood for several hours, and the rocks were well submerged.

 The beach we found was very peaceful and offered jungle and lava rocks.
And Hermit Crabs.  Thousands of Hermit Crabs.
All little, the size of a thumbnail or smaller.
I watched for a while to see what Hermit Crabs do all day.
Wander about, that's about all I could see.

Below:  These two came out of the jungle.

Below:  Part of the facilities on board the Star Pride.
Great place to wash off the sand from a shore excursion.

Quepos, Costa Rica. Mangrove Swamp tour. February 15, 2017

Cruise along the west coast of Costa Rica continues.

Above:  Perhaps a Yellow-Crowned Night-Heron.
To id birds I downloaded Merlin Bird ID from i-tunes.
This app is from Cornell university and makes it simple to id birds.

Below:  There's an iguana on this tree trunk.

Mangrove root system.
These roots, and others that grow in the mangrove forest, are very important to prevent
degradation of the water and land.

Above:  Home for critters under the bark.
Probably a Little Blue Heron (centre) and a Snowy Egret (right).

Below:  Termite nest.  This variety of termites are much smaller than I expected.

Friday, 17 March 2017

Welland Canal. October 12, 2016

 Many different vessels are found in the Welland Canal on a daily basis.
The two pictured above do not require a Pilot for their transit.
 Polsteam's Isa below Lock 2.

 Approaching Lock 1.

Welland Canal. October 10, 2016

Four ships, two foreign and two Canadian.

Those trees are encroaching more and more into the canal.  I have seen a tug/barge combo rub agains this one.

 Will stop on the wall for a passing entry.

 Passing entry above Lock 1.