Its Breaching Whales and Hungry Sharks

The Whales are Breaching!

Breaching Whale off Cape Cod

Breaching Humpback Whale Stellwagen bank 2016

Last year was the first time I ever saw a whale breach here in New England. I’ve see lots of other behaviors but I always thought breaching was only in Maui, HI or Alaska. So with that in mind I went to Alaska but no breaching there. Finally last winter I spotted a breaching calf. A 2000 lb baby was leaping for joy. It was dawn and the day was still very gray. A good picture but not what I’ve been envisioning. My quest continues.

Breaching Humpback Calf

Breaching humpback calf in Maui, HI 2017

They were Breaching before my tour and after

I follow Captain John Boats on Facebook and all season I’ve been seeing posts about breaching whales on their tours. I finally got out on a tour last week but as you know from my last post, no breaching. In fact, right after my tour, there is was! Another post about a breaching whale. I know they aren’t trained performers but just the law of averages seem to favor my chances. How is it that I keep missing this amazing behavior?

Up the Stakes for a Trip that will be hard to top!

As I was sulking over my continued misses the Whale Watching trip to beat all whale watching trips hit my feed. How about whales and sharks? Yup, a recent trip delivered on the whales and then found a whale that had recently died from entanglement injuries. According to the news report it was a dead minke whale. Its always sad to see an animal that has died but nature is very harsh. But this time the passengers got to see how nature recycles. The death of one animal sustains another. What was being sustained this time? 2 Great White Sharks, that’s what!

Great White Shark

It’s Shark Week on Cape Cod

This is amazing. There is a tour company that advertises great white viewing but the folks on this whale watching trip never expected to to see a shark. This tour would be off the chart if you rated it. It delivered everything advertised and then dished up 2 great white sharks. What I would have given to be on that trip! Rating 10 +++++++ Way to go Captain John Boats!

Great White photo provided by Google Search

Vacation Planning

Anyone who has followed this space for long knows that my goal is to take a vacation in all 50 states.  Obviously that means two or more new states a year or I’ll be 90 or older before I manage to complete that goal.

I’ve gotten a bit side tracked lately because with each upgrade to my time share they’ve given me a vacation that includes airfare. Bottom line is I keep taking the bonus vacations and have gotten off track from my goal.

So I decided to organize my thoughts and future plans.

July is a brief visit to Maine to try to capture an Iconic Puffin Photo. Its only an extended weekend. (and I’ve vacationed in Maine-Loved it)

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I have a vacation to Maui all scheduled, if not completely planned, coming up in November.

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I’ve been to Hawaii twice before. Once to the Big Island and once to Oahu so this will be my 3rd visit to Paradise.

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In January my company will hold their annual convention in Las Vegas. I am seriously considering added a few days vacation on and staying at the Polo Towers. After all, my company is paying for my airfare. I’ve been to Las Vegas for vacation twice before but there are still things I’d like to see.

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February looks like another trip to Hawaii compliments of my time share. I have a choice of the Big Island (Kona side) or Maui.

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Right now I am leaning toward Maui again for the whale watching and snorkeling. February should be peak season for the whales.

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That will wrap up the commitments so far.

So where is my focus after those are done?

Jackson Hole Wyoming and Yellowstone National Park is still top of the list.

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Key Largo (John Pennekamp Park) (Even though I’ve been to Florida more times than I can count)

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Pacific Northwest (Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area)

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Central Idaho ( The Sawtooth Range)

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Channel Islands CA

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Katmai National Park, AK (Brook Falls) (Alaska is another repeat)

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I guess that will keep me busy for a while.

Mayor Stubbs

I haven’t heard too much about Mayor Stubbs since he recovered from the attach on his life by an assassin dog. So when I ran across this recent article I thought I’d share. He does look like he’s getting old. 🙁

Talkeetna’s feline mayor contemplates retirement

Stubbs the cat has faithfully served his constituents for 17 years, and his owner says it might be time for him to leave Alaska’s political arena.

A visitor cuddles Mayor Stubbs at Nagley’s General Store. (Photo: Cody Wellons)

I recently snuggled with the mayor of Talkeetna, Alaska.
He was friendly and quite diplomatic, making sure to give everyone who’d traveled to see him an equal amount of attention.
In return, we all gave Stubbs, a 17-year-old cat, a few scratches behind the ears. We could be some of the last Talkeetna tourists to do so.
The mayoral Manx has served Talkeetna, which is home to fewer than 900 people, since July 18, 1997 when he was still just a kitten.
It’s rumored that Stubbs was elected mayor following a write-in campaign by voters who opposed the human candidates. However, Talkeetna has no actual mayor and no election — the town is run by a community council.
Nagley's General Store in Talkeetna, AlaskaStubbs conducts his unofficial mayoral business from Nagley’s General Store, where he can often be found sleeping in a basket or sipping his favorite cocktail: water with a catnip garnish.
On the day we met, Stubbs was doing the rounds in and around the store, greeting his constituents, as well as tourists who were in town for Memorial Day weekend.
Eventually, he curled up beneath a picnic table for a nap.
Having recently turned 85 in cat years, Stubbs may soon retire from life in the political spotlight.
His owner, Lauri Stec, says she may move Stubbs into her house to take a break from the deluge of visitors who flock to the store each summer to see him.
She says Stubbs will likely hate being stuck at the house, but she’s concerned about his health — and his penchant for trouble.
“He’s definitely used up 100 lives,” she recently told the Alaska Dispatch.
In August, Stubbs was mauled by a dog, an attack that left him with a punctured lung, crushed sternum, bruised hips and a deep gash.
He was rushed to a veterinary clinic in Wasilla, Alaska, and eventually made a full recovery.
In addition to surviving the assassination attempt, Stubbs has also lived through being shot with a BB gun and falling into a cold fryer at the café attached to Nagley’s General Store.
If Stubbs leaves the store this summer, his fans — who hail from regions far outside his constituency, from the likes of Turkey, Australia and China — will still be able to keep up with his adventures on Facebook.

Read more: http://www.mnn.com/family/pets/stories/talkeetnas-feline-mayor-contemplates-retirement#ixzz34O4xvde5

Travel is Like A New Car

Have you ever bought a new car and then once you start driving it around you see the same car everywhere? You’d swear that you’d only seen 1 baby blue Prius in all the time you’ve been driving until you bought one. Now no matter where you look you spot another baby blue Prius.

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Well I’ve noticed a similar phenomenon with vacation planning. I remember the first time I went to Sedona, Arizona. That trip was a “leftover”. I needed to use my time share points or lose them and time was running out. Everything I tried to get was booked. Then I looked for vacancies and Sedona not only popped up but it was on sale. It cost me half the points it normally would so I was able to squeeze in Sedona and Florida for the price of one.

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About a week after I booked Sedona my Intervale International Magazine came with featured locations. Right there on the cover was Sedona! Red Rock Country! And it was the feature story inside.

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A couple of weeks later I was reading another magazine and the travel section in that one also featured Sedona.

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When we planned our Alaska vacation the same thing happened. I ran across articles about Alaska everywhere even when I wasn’t looking for something.

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Now I just booked my vacation to Tennessee and along comes my magazine Travel 50 & Over. I love this magazine. The cover didn’t give it away but inside I was reading the article about 50 Fantastic Hikes and there it was, Trillium Gap Trail, Great Smokey Mountains National Park, 3 miles.! Yes! I had read about this trail in my research. There’s a waterfall on it and the trail goes right behind the falls. It is one of the trails I want to try if my hip is feeling up to it.

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So it’s starting again. I wonder how many more times Tennessee is going to come to my attention before I leave for vacation!? I love these surprise tidbits of encouragement.

Picking a Destination

Anyone who has been following this blog for any time knows that my travel goal is to visit all 50 states and not just as a layover on the way to someplace else. No I want to spend quality time in each state.

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I was watching a travel channel program today and it hit my why I have such a problem with that goal. I mean , really, I set it. Why should it be such a difficult thing to work toward? The reason, because each state has so much to share. You just aren’t finished with a state with one vacation. Each state needs time to get to know it. Like a person… you don’t get to know someone by sharing a drink at a cocktail party.

I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve been to Florida. I don’t always spend the time at Disney either. That’s a nice visit but not a priority for me.

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But as I watched them talk about the Coral Castle in Homestead, FL I realized that I’m not done with Florida yet.

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I haven’t ben to the Coral Castle, or the Miami Zoo.

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I want to return to the Everglades and explore it in a lot more depth.

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I haven’t spent any time in the northern part of the state or Panhandle and only touched on the sights in St. Augustine.

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I’ve been to Hawaii twice but really want to get back there again. I haven’t been to Maui or taken the “Fast Ferry” between islands. I need to snorkel off Molokai and see Kilauea pour lava into the sea at night.

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I can’t forget Alaska. My first visit was on a cruise ship . A nice trip but too tame for my taste. I want to set up a “base camp” maybe in Anchorage and explore out from there. I want to visit Fairbanks and see- no not just see-the northern lights, but photograph them.

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One of the best trips I’ve done was with my sister to South Dakota but we didn’t get to see a pow wow or visit Sturgis or many other old west towns and there’s the whole eastern side of  the state.

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It’s hard to turn away from unfinished business. Every state I’ve visited needs a return visit to finish the exploration started on that first visit but if I always do that I’ll never get to the rest of the states. What a huge amazing country we live in!