Tuesday, May 22, 2012

A tough job, but somebody has to do it

As we chugged across the Gulf of Mexico, day 2 of a 3 day trip, I did what I do most days when I'm on a tug. I grabbed my camera and headed outside hoping to catch a glimpse of some sort of sea creature activity.
While scanning the endless blanket of blue all around us, I noticed out of the corner of my eye, the tell tale sign of one of mother natures coolest of all sea creatures.

Focusing my camera on the general area, I waited.  Oh yeah baby, this was going to be a good day.

 I felt a connection to the sailors of those whaling ships of long ago. The only difference is I didn't grab a harpoon, chase it,  kill it, drag it on board and butcher it. Instead I went to the galley, got a coffee and a cinnamon bun.
Ok, I guess there isn't a connection between me and the whale hunters, but that's ok.
Seeing a whale in this environment, meaning anything other than Sea World, well, it just makes my day.
 I only took about 150 frames of this beautiful beast, but it was more of the same. I was praying she would perform a breach, but she did not.

A few hours later it looked like this out here in the Gulf.

Two days ago, we were about 60 miles or so from the nearest hunk of dry land, so I was quite shocked to see, off in the distance a bird heading our way. Of course I had my camera, what do you think, I'm an amateur?
I aimed and opened fired.

For some strange reason this beautiful little bird, left the rich fertile marsh of the Gulf Coast to fly 60 miles out to our rusty old tug. She perched herself on the stern for quite a long time. I was waiting for her to fly off so I could get an action shot, but after about 15 minutes, she refused to leave, so I went back inside to get some work done. It was like a staring contest...and I blinked.

About 2 hours later I thought I'd go back outside and see if my friend was still there.
She was.

What's even stranger, she invited her friends!

I enjoyed watching them for a while and then really pressed my luck to see if I could get closer, to get an even better photo. I scared them and they took off.

I just can't figure out why they would fly all this way to land on a tug boat. Just when you think you know an egret, they go and pull a stunt like this.


SueAnn Lommler said...

Beautiful photos! Love the setting sun. And the hitchhiking egret was amazing. Got me wondering now too!!

Melinda Owens said...

You have the best job in the world. That whale...that sunset...the birds and the beautiful Gulf. Best office window ever.

Cait Throop said...

Stunning photographs!! Wow!

Denise at Autumn Sky said...

What good fortune to see that whale, and also to capture the beauty of the egrets on your boat. There is no topping Mother Nature for great photo opportunities.

beth said...

wow mark....all of these photos are GREAT...seriously fantastic !!

i think you have this photography thing figured out!!

that sunset is spectacular and the flying bird....WOW....and even if it's only the tail, you got to watch and see something most of us only dream of !!

bon bon said...

what a honor to see a whale in it's natural environment like that. simply breathtaking...

missing moments said...

LOL ... freeloaders! Great shots and love the ones of the whale!

Marilyn said...

Nice egret photos! Really nice!
Love, love seeing whales no matter where I am. Lucky you getting to see this one.

Jerral Miles said...

Mark, I wish I could trade places with you for a couple of days... Or better yet, I wish I could hide away for a couple of days and just watch what goes on out there where you work. Love the whale... and all the other pictures. By the way, have you ever read Joseph Conrad's long short story... or maybe it's a novel... "The Secret Sharer"? If you haven't, do. If you can't get your hands on a copy, let me know, and I'll send it to you. My wishing I could hide away on your boat for a couple of days made me think of it.