Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Itkillik River-Brooks Range Packraft Trip, July 28-Aug 2.

Drove to Toolik Field Station with Eamon Oregan, Nia (my dog), Bailey and Scout (their dogs) to meet his wife, Anja Kade. We then drove back south to the Yager R. Valley to start our hike. We hiked about 2 days to get to the Itkillik River, going over a 5,000 ft pass. We then floated for about 2 days and hiked out on the 5th day. Anja stayed at Toolik to work and Eamon and I made the 8 hr or so drive back to Fairbanks that same day after hiking out some 8 miles. Whew!! Awesome trip. Some rain, some sun and wind to our backs on the river. Lots of fun. Thanks Eamon and Anja!! Nia had a great time too!
Photos are here:

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Morocco- Solo Bicycle Tour- Jan. 24-March 14, 2011

The photos are here:  https://picasaweb.google.com/naberda/MoroccoSoloBicycleTourJanuary24ToMarch142011#
Use the slideshow button to view the photos. They look better that way!

I flew to Casablanca from Anchorage, Alaska after driving from Fairbanks. 
49 day trip. 37 days on the bike for a total of 1615 miles (2600 km), average of 43 miles/day. I averaged about US$20/day. Cheap hotels were from $5 to $20(Casablanca). I could buy a meal (bread, cheese, boiled egg, a vegetable/piece of fruit) in the shops/market for about two dollars. I would say you could go cheaper by sleeping in a tent every nite. The camera I used was a Panasonic, DMC FZ8. Nothing fancy. I finally started using the manual settings. That helped and was much easier than I thought it would be. I always used manual on my film camera but got lazy when I went digital. Also had a rotating polarizing lens. That helped alot with the harsh light of the day.
     The bike:  a Bruce Gordon BLT (Basic Loaded Touring).  My first tour on a leather saddle from Brooks.  Awesome!  I didn't have time to break it in before the trip but had no trouble with it.  I really liked the springs in the back.  A bit heavier but worth it for the comfort and easier on the back.  The tires were new by Continental, Travel Contact.  I didn't have any flats except for one I sort of caused on my own.  The tires did not wear very well.  Granted the road surfaces were rough (chip seal, not smooth asphalt).  The rear tire was getting pretty thin at the end of the tour.  The tires were quite a bit cheaper than Schwalbe tires but I guess i got what I paid for.  They road very well and got me thru a day of nasty piste riding altho I had very little weight on the bike.
  My tent was a Squall 2 by Tarp Tent.  I am not impressed by these single wall tents.  It does not do well in moderate to high winds.  The condensation inside is very heavy in humid/rainy conditions and sand/dust/dirt sticks to the sil nylon fabric like velcro.  You CANNOT brush it off.  These tents are best in fair weather conditions or as survival tents.  Next time around i would sacrifice a few grams/ounces and get a very light double wall tent.  My shoes:  Keens!  Newport H2s  They were awesome.  Cool, didn't get stinky and had enough sole support.  My feet did not get sore and there were no rub/friction spots.  I was impressed.  I only wanted to take one pair of shoes.  These worked great.  On cold mornings/days I wore thin socks.  Only on a couple of morning, when it was near freezing, were my feet very cold.
    A perfect time to be in Morocco for a bike tour.  The temps were not too cold or too warm unless you were in the mountains.  The mountains would be best in middle to late March and later but most of my trip was not in the mountains.  There were minimal tourists.  Temps on the coast, 50-70 F.  In the desert, 35-80 F and very dry.  The coast was humid and occasionally rainy.  It is a windy country.  There did not seem to be a prevailing direction but many times the strongest winds were coming from the south or the west but south of the mountains you could get strong north winds.  It is quite variable.
Well, if you have any questions send me a comment!

      Use the slideshow button to view the photos. They look better that way!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Bering Sea Healy Cruise. April 2-May 10, 2009

This spring I flew to Dutch Harbor to board the US Coast Guard Icebreaker Healy for a 5 week cruise in the Being Sea. This cruise followed the same transects as the cruise I took last spring. Here are a few photos of this cruise.

Mt. Redoubt erupted 4 or 5 days before I left for Dutch Harbor. The ash clouds from the first eruption and subsequent ones delayed and canceled many flights in and out of Anchorage. Luckily, the day I flew the volcano was not erupting in such a manner as to cancel flights. But as you can see there was ash and steam coming out as we flew past.

For the life of me I can't find the name of this volcano. Pretty neat one. It is along the south side of the Alaska Peninsula.

Some interesting shapes made of sea-ice around Bristol Bay.

Pogromni Volcano on Unimak Island at the end of the Alaska Peninsula.

Just outside the hotel I was at there are some open areas where the local fishermen spread out their nets and ropes to fix them and roll them up. The local bald eagles take advantage and pick scraps of meat out of the nets. Found out something recently that explained why juvenile bald eagles look so much bigger than the adults. Their feathers are larger.

There are hundreds of these birds in Dutch Harbor.

Just hanging out. I am taking this shot from near a dumpster used by the hotel. There is almost always a few eagles perched along the side of it or in it. But not today.

We had very nice weather the day after I arrived. This the view from the front of the hotel.

View out of my hotel window the nite I arrived. This direction is opposite from the one above.

Pyramid Mtn with snow on it. I climbed it in Sept. 2007 when it was covered in grass and blueberries.

This guy/gal stood still for us for a few minutes to get some good shots.

Leaving on another nice day in Dutch. I've been very lucky to have good weather at least one day when I've been coming or going out of here.

Early on in the cruise we came upon about 700 walrus over a several mile stretch. It was very foggy, thus difficult to get a good shot.

Some ice and sun shots.

We got off the mother ship again this year to sample the sea-ice.

Healy in the ice.

At the end of one transect we were out in open water, off the Bering Sea Continental Shelf, and over very deep water (about 8000 feet). We sent down the CTD to collect water samples. Tied to the CTD was a mesh bag with a bunch of styrofoam cups. Here are the ones I sent down.

We also had some rough weather out in the open water. Here are some shots from up in the crow's nest, 100 feet above the water.

On one of our passes by St. Matthew Is. we had a stow away. This McKay's Bunting spent a few days hitching a ride on the helo deck at the back of the shipl. He/she would hop around looking for bits of food and fly off the ship at time and then come back.
For birders this is one of the rarest song birds in N. America. It only nests on 3 or 4 islands in the Bering Sea, including St. Matthew. It spends the winter in SW Alaska, around the Yukon River delta. It is not endangered but there are less than 6,000 around.

Going thru some very thick and snow laden ice.

Coming into Dutch Harbor this old airplane was taking off. This plane and another like it are still being used out here to service remote villages that do not have runways.

A tugboat helping the Healy put into port.

A close-up of the front of the tug. Just a bunch of cut up and folded tires. Pretty neat.

A beautiful morning in Dutch Harbor, taken from the ship.

Here are just a few of the boats in the vast fleet that go out of Dutch to the Bering Sea.

These next photos are not mine. We had a multi-core on this cruise again. It is sent over the stern and down to the bottom of the ocean to sample mud. When the legs touch down, the weights above push those tubes into the mud as the cable goes slack. As the rig is lifted out of the mud, arms with round disks on the end spring down to keep the mud from coming out of the tubes on the long trip back to the surface. On deep casts this procedure can take several hours.

One of the casts brought up this bi-valve. It fit perfectly in the plastic tube. A fraction of an inch in any direction and the clam would have never gone into the tube. Pretty cool.

A better shot of the walrus we passed by. There were a number of other sightings besides the day of 700. Taken by Liz Labunski.

A Ribbon Seal taken by Liz Labunski.

A typical scene during our ice station days. Here I am helping Jessica Cross bag up some ice cores. Taken by Ned Cokelet.

Here I am taking water samples, one of hundreds I helped take from the CTD which went into the water about 240 times over about 33 days. Taken by Brandi.

On our way south, near the end of the trip we had some very calm days. The water was like glass. This surface bouy is on a mooring that my boss and I have instruments on. On this cruise we were passing by it and were asked to go have a look at it because the real time communications with it were not working. I did not get into the small boat to go have a look. Nothing could be seen that was wrong with the bouy. Photo by Chris Linder. If you would like to see other photos taken by Chris Linder of this cruise, go here: http://polardiscovery.whoi.edu/expedition5/journal.html

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

World Ice Art Championships March 2009

While my Mom was up here for a visit this March we went to the World Ice Art Championships. It was a frigid nite with the temps dropping fast to below zero. My camera bit the dust a few days before so Mom took all of these photos. Thanks Mom! It was another year of amazing sculptures. But some of them did not photograph as nicely as they could have because the officials had not blown the snow off the single block entries. Here is the website for the event: http://www.icealaska.com/
There are alot of photos here but there were so many great entries and some need more than one photo! Enjoy!