USA | Portland Head Light

USA | Portland Head Light

Portland in Maine is known for it’s food scene, but a short drive away from the city is the Portland Head Light. It was completed in 1791 by order of George Washington, making it the oldest lighthouse in Maine.

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South Africa | Tsitsikamma NP Waterfall Trail Hike

South Africa | Tsitsikamma NP Waterfall Trail Hike

Tsitsikamma National Park lies just east of Plettenberg Bay, and is most famous for the Otter Trail, a multi-day trail 44km long which follows the coastline. We only had half a day, so did the Waterfall Trail, which is actually the first few km of the Otter Trail and leads to a waterfall (the name kind of gave that one away!) There wasn’t much water flowing when we got there, but it’s a beautiful hike (and relatively challenging) with stunning coastal views along the way.

South Africa | Bottlenose Dolphin

South Africa | Bottlenose Dolphin

Boats… not exactly a love affair of mine. I have a few too many stories involving uncomfortable or dangerous ferries, large waves, and, well, vomiting! This one wasn’t all that different! I took a boat from Knysna on the coast of South Africa; the harbor is in a very calm lagoon, with only a narrow passage out to the open water (known as the Knysna Heads). As soon as we got out – big swell accompanied by the usual nausea!

But it was worth it – we saw seals, an African penguin, plenty of bird life, and a pod of bottlenose dolphins feeding in the waves just off the beach nearby. It was difficult to take pictures with the big waves, but I managed to get the timing and framing just right with this one.

South Africa | Robberg Pensinsula Beach

South Africa | Robberg Pensinsula Beach

The Robberg Pensinsula is a tongue of land sticking out from the coast of South Africa just next to the town of Plettenberg Bay. It’s a nature reserve and has three hiking options – a short, medium and long trail. We took the long trail, which goes around the entire peninsula and is 9-10km in length. It’s a stunning hike – beautiful landscapes with seals, bird life, fynbos – and secluded beaches like the one above. It was winter when we were there, but that didn’t stop one guy from trying out the cold water!

Ngapali Beach: Fishing Nets

Ngapali Beach: Fishing Nets
At the end of my trip through Myanmar, I spent a few days relaxing at Ngapali Beach, a short flight west of Yangon. A brief walk south along the beach was a small fishing village; one morning (before it got too hot to do anything!) I wandered down the beach to take a look.

The men who had been out fishing during the night were busy packing up their nets and equipment, mooring their boats, and preparing everything for the next night of fishing.

Jökulsárlón Ice

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Jökulsárlón Lagoon is on the coast of eastern Iceland.  It is a glacial lake, formed by the retreating Breiðamerkurjökull glacier.  As icebergs calve off of the glacier, they drop into the lake below.  These large chunks of ice gradually melt down until they are small enough to leave the lake, taking the short trip to the Atlantic Ocean.  With incoming tides these icebergs are often washed up on the beach, which is also covered in black volcanic sand.  The contrast of the ice sitting on the black beach is spectacular, especially with the light from either sunrise or, in this case, sunset.  Unfortunately, the glacier is continuing to retreat, and the lake is estimated to have already quadrupled in size since the 1970’s.  In the next few decades the lake and beautiful nature that it presents will probably become “just” a new fjord.

The beach with the icebergs is a very popular destination for photographers in Iceland – when I turned up there were several dozen cars and vans parked there already, and the beach was crawling with people with cameras and tripods.  The picture makes it seem very peaceful, but unfortunately it wasn’t!  I assume sunrise is a little quieter!  This picture is a single shot, taken with low ISO and high f/ number for a slow shutter speed (0.6s).  This is long enough to get a little bit of blur in the waves washing up on the beach next to the ice.