Blue Planet II Inspiration

I’ve been in love with the Planet Earth and Blue Planet series for what seems like forever, and I’m not kidding when I say I’ve watched all the episodes about a hundred and eleventy times. The stunning images combined with David Attenborough’s sly narration – “He’s had an enjoyable lunch, but now it’s time to find a MATE!” will rivet me to the couch for hours. Really, David Attenborough could do the narration for someone breaking down the transmission on a 1997 Honda Element, and I would sit through the whole thing, completely enrapt.

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So in celebration of Blue Planet II being finally released in the U.S. – you lucky Brits got it months ago – I thought I’d revisit some of my favorite photos that I’ve taken of our watery world.

One of my goals this year is to improve my underwater photography, so hopefully by Blue Planet III I’ll have some images taken from beneath the surface.

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Until then, I’ll just continue to peer into ocean from the surface.

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A Place in the Sun

Still sharing some photos from my recent trip to Utila. Getting there is a bit of an adventure. You fly a regular plane from the US to San Pedro Sula, Honduras…

 

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…with an epic view of the coastal reef system as you come in.

Then you change plane in SPS’s tiny airport and fly a tiny plane to La Cieba, where you wait in an even tinier airport…

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…for an even tinier plane. I swear to god I saw someone lift the hood on this plane and check the oil, like it was a ’76 Toyota pickup truck. There were only 9 passengers and our luggage was stacked on the rear seats. At one point as we taxied down the runway the co-pilot had her arm hanging out the window, like we were just taking a drive. With the jungle looming behind it felt very Tales of the Gold Monkey.

That last flight is only 15 minutes and drops you off at the postage-stamp Utila airport. The pilot hands you your bag and you wander off – no security, unless you count the cows staring at you from an adjacent field – and pop out of the jungly backcountry to Utila town just in time for sunset.

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Worth the flights to be sure 🙂

 

 

 

 

Utila Blue

Just back from a bucket-list trip to Utila, Honduras, where I desperately wanted to see the Whale Sharks that famously migrate past the island.

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Despite going out with the dive boats every day of my week-long stay, this mural was as close to a whale shark as I got. I was reduced to drinking my own weight in pineapple juice and admiring the view.

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As you can see, I suffered horribly.

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But seriously, if you are a diver (or even a snorkeler, like I am) you should check Utila out. It’s an exquisite island and the dive culture there is amazing. There are reefs right off shore – I snorkeled several that were 100-150 feet off the beaches that had elkhorn corals the size of a table within two feet of the surface, but then a few yards away had 40-50 foot wall dropoffs. I’m not the world’s most experienced snorkeler but it was like nothing I’ve ever seen.

Will share more photos in the next few days…

En Route

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Currently an hour north of Miami on my drive down to the Keys, bike/snorkel/cameras etc locked and loaded. I managed to get my packing list (top pic) organized into the three bags you see in the bottom pic – each bag goes on one portion of the trip since I have to carry everything on my back for a good bit. So all my bike stuff is in the blue bag, the kayak stuff is in the middle bag (with my rain jacket tied to the top) and some extra dry clothes for the trip up and back in the duffle. Vamanos!

Windows & Doors

 

Today’s windows and doors are brought to you by the lovely town of Oaxaca, Mexico, where I spent a week admiring the graceful colonial architecture and shimmering colors, and showcasing my inability to take a photograph with a level horizon.

Some fun links for your Thursday….

Over the holidays I went to Florida to visit family, and for the second year in a row I was able to go snorkeling with the manatees at the Homasassa River. I went with these fine folks, who are very knowledgeable and also very careful of the manatee’s safety and wellbeing; I highly recommend them. I also highly recommend this Cressi dive mask; I snorkel whenever possible and I am always being driven crazy by leaky masks. Is my face a weird shape? Am I Max Headroom? Who knows. But this mask is the only one I’ve found that doesn’t leak on me and I think it was only about 50 bucks.

On the subject of safely snorkeling with manatees, and manta rays, and alligators – well, maybe those you just observe from a distance – my amazing friends Claire and Jeremiah have the first episode of their kick-ass webseries, Kickass Animal Encounters, up and running, and you should totally check it out, because it is – wait for it – kickass. You can also see more coolness on their blog! Go! Right now!

(And at the risk of blowing my own horn, if you watch the “Update” video, the huge map that Claire is pointing to is totally MY map, on the wall of MY den, so I feel I should get at least 12% of the credit for the awesomeness of that segment.)

(Although an argument could be made for 15)

If you need to chill out this chilly Thursday, I recommend Watership Song by User’s Atmosphere, which you’ll sadly have to listen to only on youtube because I can’t find a purchase link to it anywhere; or Clubbed to Death by Rob Dougan, which IS available on Amazon, and is the best thing about the third Blade movie, besides Ryan Reynolds’ abs.

If you’re into movies check out the Reel Snobs podcast! Sassy Chicks discussing Flicks. I love it. Reel Snob Kalena even got on CNN this week!

Finally, a quick shout out to my favorite instagrams of the week: @egzgiozcan, who I think is Turkish and fills her instagram with her quirky illustrations, which I love, and @javie.33, one of my favorite underwater/wildlife photographers on insta. His boat photo from yesterday is particularly gorgeous.

Enjoy! And have a great, safe weekend of adventures…

Oh, good grief, I almost forgot – I’ve written an ebook! As many of you know I work in film and television, and I wrote an ebook on How To Be A Movie Location, for anyone who’s interested in renting out their home/office/property to a film production. Money! Excitement! Craft Services! It’s all in there and it’s only $1.99 as a download so check it out!