Alaska Walkabouts

The adventures of an Alaska Wildlife and Nature Photographer.

Monday, March 28, 2016

A Storm Enters Prince William Sound

On March 1 2016 Storm made his first trip into Prince William Sound. This was a huge thing for us as I had no idea how he would react to the boat or the huge new world that will be a huge part of his life. So on a perfectly calm sunny morning we were off to Whittier for his first time. Friend Greg met us at the launch ramp, met Storm for the first time, and helped us launch the boat. He also got some pics of me and Storm. Storm was all decked out and proud in his new life jacket. The trip out was easy and uneventful. Storm took a nap for the hour and 10 minute trip so I knew he had no problems with boating. We'll see what happens when we get into bad weather some day!

A special occasion; Storm's first time boating!

Ready to go!

All spiffed out in his life jacket

Storm taking it all in

Storm aboard his floating dog house

We got out to our destination which was Pakenham Point. My intention was to stay out for several weeks. We settled in and then it was time for Storm to learn about the smaller boat, the Zodiac, and to go ashore for his first walk on a Prince William Sound beach.

Arriving at Pakenham Point. The ended up being Storm's favorite place to sit.

A bit unsure about the little boat!

Getting the hang of it

Hurry up and take me to shore!

Smelling a whole new world!
So we went ashore and he quickly found his first iceberg and some of the many seabirds that mysteriously died en mass this winter. Then we hiked all over Pakenham Point and he got to see where Bryn and I had spent so much time over the years. It was good to be back. And it quickly became apparent that all the training I had put him through at home paid off out here. Like not leaping out of the Zodiac until I said "OK". Just like when he is in the truck. And the "Leave it!" command came in handy all the time. I did learn one very important thing about Storm; he can swim! He fell overboard twice but aside from being cold and wet, he was fine.

Dead Common Murre (Uria aalge)

Storm's First Iceberg

Storm's not afraid of water. Bryn hated it!

On the Point Pakenham beach

Storm waits for me to let him get out of the Zodiac

Storm was my main photography subject this trip. I took every opportunity that came my way.

Taking it all one. One night we heard whales blowing while we were waiting for aurora.

One of my favorite shots of Storm this trip. All the sandy earth tones.

He loved running through the grass!

Storm's favorite thing to do! Besides eating that is.

All the room in the world to play stick!

After the first day we settled into a routine. Hike hike hike! We spent 13 days during March in this area. Initially we did four days then went home to dodge extended bad weather then returned for another nine days before calling it quits due to more bad weather. We hiked many miles of coastline and Storm got educated on the world out there. Photography wise I never found anything earth shattering but for this trip, training Storm was my first priority and he also became my best and favorite photographic subject. The aurora was pretty much a bust as there just weren't any powerful displays or else it was cloudy. There were a few weak displays that I didn't even bother with as my days were so full of hiking with Storm that I was too tired to stay out all night as well. So here are some of the better pics of the trip. I know there's a lot but I can tell you I really held back! Now March is almost over and I am turning my attention to the upcoming charter season. I have faith that Storm will continue to grow, learn, and let me do my job. It will be the final and most important step that we need to do together. Storm turns 1 on April 14. Puppy time is almost over already!

Storm loved the icebergs. He would climb on them and drink off them as well.

The Surface of an iceberg

Where's Storm?


Zonked out after a hard day hiking!

Arguably the best aurora shot I got this trip

A Little Red on Top

Selfies Rock!

My Favorite Model

Handsome Storm at 11 months of age

Stunning backdrop

Me and Storm up in the hills. He sure acted like deer were around. I saw plenty of sign.

Starry Starry Night! And light pollution from The City of Anchorage to the west. 50 miles away!

Subtle Beauty

Trumpeter Swan Tracks

Look at the size of these things!

He stays well but getting him to look at the camera is another story

Rain Forest Storm

Odd but pretty moss formations

Soggy Storm. Rainy days are best for photographing the forest but a bit uncomfortable!

So darn cute!!!

A Great Blue Heron with 9,646 foot Mt. Gilbert behind him

Moonlight at Kelly's Cove where we anchored for most of the trip

Bird dog Storm with a dead murre

Caught him running on a frozen pond. The best shot of the trip I think!

Our last morning with good weather. Just perfect for sipping coffee!

Hanging out on a perfect morning at Kelly's Cove

Signs of predators capitalizing on all the dead murres

Storm with a deer antler

Storm with a sea otter skull

Another Selfie!

Storm and an interesting iceberg

Storm Framed!

A peak through the clouds

Moonlight on the bay

Hiking Barry Arm

Part of the stunning shoreline we hiked along College Fjord

The start of another stunning day of hiking

Anchored in Kelly's Cove

Mt Gilbert pluming snow

I am so fortunate to see this stuff!

Cloud Makers