SCUBA Gear

Nothing spectacular. Just having fun playing around the SCUBA gear with my Leica QP. I am loving this little camera!. I shoot RAW+JPG. I use the monochrome JPG setting. The JPGs never need adjusting. I crop them a bit here and there and that’s about it. The colors are great too. I just love the Leica black and white.

Mid-Winter Warmup and SCUBA!

Albert’s Christmas present for 2018 was finally making a decades old bucket list item happen. PADI Open Water SCUBA certification. Mission accomplished! We picked the coldest week we’ve had in years to go to Maui to make this happen. Lucky us.

Lucky, LUCKY Me!

Out of the billions of options on the planet from which to choose, this amazing person picked me to join him on his journey through life almost 21 years ago. Sometimes I still wonder why. It involves every aspect of the word “love.” That’s all I need to know. My friends can legitimately say that I married up! Not offended in the least. No question he’s enjoying our sail around the Aegean Sea. Many wonderful additions have been made to our museum of memories. 

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Talk About Patience! Wow!

Near Kusadasi, Turkey and not far from Ephesus, we were treated to an amazing carpet making demonstration/experience. Each one handmade. The silkworms that feast only on mulberry trees are harvested and their silk made into stunning creations, some taking years. Scores of carpets were rolled out and we were “required” to remove our shoes and walk around, lay down, experience these beautiful creations up close and personal. Tempted, we escaped without making an investment.

Amazing Coffee Spots.

Hard to pick a favorite coffee spot in Greece but it would be nearly impossible to top this one! Bastione Malvazia Cafe is at the upper end of the “Main Street” in the beautiful town of Monemvasia on the east coast of the Peloponnese. And the coffee was also exceptional!

Santorini

As my friends know, I really don’t like beer! When its tag line is “HIP HOPPY KICK ASS ALE” and it’s the pride of Santorini, one should at least give it a taste. I did. Almost finished the whole bottle. Sorry. Still not a fan.

Patmos

Patmos, you created exceptional memories. A sensational sunrise as we docked. Spectacular views, stunning vistas, the delightful whitewashed buildings AND caramelized calamari. And now we’re sailing to Santorini.

Honesty...Best Policy?

I lived in China. These types of items in popular tourist spots are pretty common. I never saw them “advertised” like this in China. I found this above a shop in the tourist trap shops at the entrance to ancient Ephesus. Couldn’t resist.

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This was in a shop in a back alley on Mykonos.

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Ephesus, Turkey

We enjoyed aprivate dinner last evening in the courtyard in front of the Celsus Library among the spectacular ruins of ancient Ephesus, Turkey. I have no recollection of what was on the menu. My plate was clean so I assume it was delicious. Contemplating walking on the same marble and in the footsteps of so many “celebrity” ancients in such a place was seriously magical, unforgettable!

Mykonos

The iconic windmills of Mykonos. We got lost roaming the narrow streets and alleys...it’s the thing to do in Mykonos and we nailed it.

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Wind Star

The Wind Star, a four masted schooner, was our ride around the Aegean Sea. Here she is docked while we were roaming the streets in Nafplio, Greece. Nice ride!

The Athens Dimotiki Agora (public market) had interesting delicacies on our Athens food walking tour today. Exceptional! A great part of travel is experiencing the food and we certainly did that in a big and delicious way! Thankfully, we did not have an “opportunity” to try out the bull parts.

National Museum United States Air Force

The National Museum of the United Stated Air Force is spectacular! If you’re an aviation buff or a military aviation buff you’re going to want to spend a lot of time here. We spent four hours here last Thursday and still didn’t see it all. I suppose you’ll accuse me of the camera slowing us down...you would be correct. Brace yourselves for a few posts of military aviation porn.

How to. How not to.

I couldn't help it. I watched this guy fiddle with his smartphone throughout most of the whale watching. The other two? They had a wonderful time at the front of the boat taking it all in. 

How would you whale watch?

The Pacific Whale Foundation

We went whale watching with the Pacific Whale Foundation. This is a wonderful organization. All profits support Pacific Whale Foundation’s research, education and conservation programs to save whales, dolphins and our oceans. Every trip is led by certified Marine Naturalists who provide a truly unique, educational and fun adventure at sea. It was a spectacular adventure! We were there right in the peak of whale season. Whales in every direction. It was an amazing experience that we'd do again and again. 

I have learned over the years not to let my cameras spoil the experience. I am not the kind of photographer who spends the whole day looking through their camera. It's fine if you do that, it's just not my style. As a result I miss getting images of some things. By that I mean I miss catching it on camera. I'm OK with that when I have experienced it with my own eyes. I prefer that to constantly waiting for the perfect shot while missing the total experience. We did see the iconic whale breeches. Several of them. I'm glad I didn't miss seeing them because I was waiting for them to breech exactly when my camera was aimed. Someday I'll go back and approach it differently now that I've experienced it. Maybe I'll get lucky and catch a breech with my toys. 

PS: Why the moon with the whales? We left the dock before sunrise. We arrived early. I grabbed a shot of the moon while were waiting.

Winter Warmup

Since I rarely post when we're traveling it's gonna take several days to get caught up so stay tuned.

We spent several days in Honolulu and then on to Maui for 5 days. We have friends in both places so it's difficult to take a 9 hour airplane ride and not try to see friends in both places. While on Ohau we spent one day exploring the island and one whole day at Pearl Harbor. Stay tuned for more Pearl Harbor images of the inside the Missouri battleship and the Bowfin submarine.