Saturday, October 29, 2011

Whale-watching off Santa Cruz

Lila was in town and we ended up in Santa Cruz for lunch.  Then Regina invited us to join her on Mike's boat for a little sailing.  They had heard that whales were sighted in the bay.  That's a bit of an understatement.  We saw whales non-stop for a couple of hours as we sailed and motored around, including one that popped up right next to the boat.  It was outstanding.

Excited to be out on the water. 
Look, whales!

This one popped up right next to the boat.  Absolutely amazing.

An example of the seal and bird feeding frenzy that surrounds the whales.

Brad takes a break from the helm.

Anne Marie gets her sea legs.
Look, more whales!

A lucky day to be kayaking in the Monterey Bay.

King of the world...

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Yosemite Day 2

Day 2: we braved the crowds and hiked the Mist Trail to Vernal Fall, on to Nevada Fall, then back to the valley floor via the John Muir Trail.  And it was crowded; we had to work hard to keep the hordes of people out of the shot.

First view of Vernal Fall.

On the first bridge over the Merced River.

The Mist Trail.

This guy sat there for at least 10 minutes, with his laptop out, posing for a picture that his wife was taking. 

Doing some trail maintenance.

Posing in front of Vernal Fall.

Dicier part of the Mist Trail.

The apparently calm top of Vernal Fall.  Just a few weeks earlier, three hikers were caught in the current here and went over the fall.

The Silver Apron; an inviting water slide that everybody warns you not to try (see above about hikers going over the fall).

Crossing the Merced River again.

Nevada Fall!

The trail to Nevada Fall features some impressive stone work.
Some all-stone switchbacks.

Looking down from the top of Nevada Fall.  It's 600 feet to the bottom.

Our lunch spot, just upriver from Nevada Fall.

Heading up and away from Nevada Fall.

A beautiful and well-maintained piece of the John Muir Trail takes us along a ridge and then back down into the valley.

Looking back to Nevada Fall.

Even the squirrels shop at Trader Joe's.

In awe of El Capitan.

A well-deserved cocktail at the Ahwahnee Hotel.

A climbing party on El Cap.

Swimming in the Merced River.