Dominica Expedition

In the final stages of packing for another expedition into warm waters in search of the largest predator on planet earth – the Sperm Whale. The stuff of legends especially well known to the New England whalers of our Cape Cod and the Islands region, these incredible creatures boast the largest brain on the planet too. If you watch the attached link you will learn a bit about where we are going and why. Dominica, in the Antilles, is one of the preferred locations for Atlantic sperm whales to mate and rear their young. We are fortunate to be linking up with a Canadian research team that will give us an up close an personal experience. We are praying for fair weather.

Underwater camera gear checked out and adrenaline is starting to flow. With only one flight a day into the island we are over-nighting in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico before we head south.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M0I_sythtn0

Will be checking out our new GoPro Hero 3 Black Edition cameras amongst the other gear we usually take. Dominica has some unique endemic birds as well and we will spend a few days hiking its mountainous forests.

Packing Details at T-12hrs

Female Sperm Whale

Read more.. Sunday, February 24th, 2013

The Year 2012 in the Rear View

For those that have followed our adventures both at home on Cape Cod and elsewhere in the world over the past year this will be a nice little review. It was fun to put it all together and throw in some family images as well. Hope you enjoy the show. Living life at full speed is absolutely exhilarating so while we still can….we go for it!

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Read more.. Wednesday, February 13th, 2013

Cape Cod Winter Journal: Storm & Aftermath

Winter Storm Nemo, the product of two merging winter systems,¬† converged on Cape Cod late afternoon on Friday, February 8th as the sun was setting. Barometer fell and the wind accelerated with temperatures still warmish in the high 30′s F. Sleet and rain fell in the mix as the wind continued to build to a raging gale shaking the house fiercely. Top gust in the wee hours was 84 MPH!

By 1200 midnight the temperature began to plummet and reached the low 20s instantly freezing everything and producing fluffy snow to add to the mayhem. The storm moved rapidly eastward but was large enough to affect the Outer Cape until well into Saturday evening. We stayed close to home but did manage to get out for a bit on Saturday afternoon to observe the “white-out” conditions in the still howling storm force winds and drifting snow.

Of course we worried about the birds and tried to keep them fed when we saw their precious forms getting blown about near our feeders.

Read more.. Monday, February 11th, 2013

Cape Cod Winter Journal: Storm Warning

Common Eider Drakes

Winter Storm Nemo at 1200 February 8

Bufflehead Drake

Black Duck

As an intense winter storm bears down on New England we are wondering how our wildlife will fare during the festivities. Hearty they are but still we wonder.

As we have reported on this blog many times, Cape Cod is an important migration stop for many species. In winter the outer Cape in particular is a destination for many waterfowl species which come to feed in our cold waters  before they return to the Arctic to breed in the North American summer . As a result we are blessed to have thousands of water birds grace our bays and estuaries until spring. It is pleasure to get out and observe them as well as our resident land birds as they all go about the business of finding food, dodging predators and generally biding their time until spring.

In preparation for the storm we have re-stocked our feeders and will be looking for opportunities to observe and record the experiences as the storm rages here over the next 48 hours.

Canada Geese on Black Pond

Stage Harbor, Chatham

Bufflehead Drake

Red breasted Merganser Drake

Red breasted Mergansers females

Red breasted merganser (young female)

Song Sparrow

House Finch

Chickadee

Carolina Wren

Read more.. Thursday, February 7th, 2013

Cape Cod Winter Journal: Chatham Bar

Chatham Bar

Chatham Bar

Chatham Bar

We are so privileged to live by the sea and witness the many moods of the ocean. We are especially enamored with winter when the gales come and for the most part we are forced to stay on the land and observe nature’s work. On this day we experienced very strong westerly gales at 25 – 35kts with frequent gusts up to 50kts. Temperatures were in the 10 degree range with the wind chill factor.

The series of images is particularly interesting when you consider that the Chatham fishing fleet must navigate across this bar to get out to the fishing grounds. With depths barely 10 feet of water in the deepest path across the bar it does not take much to get the surf to break across the channel. Needless to say it is very dangerous to navigate here and this day was a good day to remain tied up to the mooring.

Chatham Light from the south

Read more.. Monday, February 4th, 2013