Friday, March 25, 2016

Panama_Costa Rica Cruise 2016 - 14-24 Mar 2016

14 – 16 Mar 2016 Miami, FL and Sea

On Monday 14 Mar 2016 Robin and I disembarked on the Norwegian Pearl for a 10-day Panama Canal Cruise. We left Miami this afternoon after flying out of Detroit in the morning. The usual cattle drive of passengers at the Port of Miami was about the only negative thing that would discourage us from cruising again, but it wasn’t all that bad. It was just waiting with another thousand passengers too anxious to wait for their number to be called before boarding from the terminal area.

Once onboard it was a matter of finding our cabin, unpacking, and heading off for something to eat. The first day is always most hectic with “everyone” around. But after a quick snack, it was off to Sinking Practice (lifeboat drill) then time to pull out of port.

Laughing Gulls were ubiquitous and expected. A few Brown Pelicans flew by as we headed away from the port. The rocky pier housed dozens of Black-bellied Plovers and a few Royal Terns. But, the surprise for me was seeing 3 Magnificent Frigatebirds soaring off in the distant bay as we left Miami and headed toward Cuba.

Our itinerary is as follows:
14 Mar – Miami, Fl
15-16 Mar – At Sea
17 Mar – Willemstaad, Curacao
18 Mar – At Sea
19 Mar – Cartagena, Colombia
20 Mar – Panama Canal and Ghatun Lake, Colon, Panama
21 Mar – Limon, Costa Rica
22 – 23 Mar – At Sea
24 Mar – Miami, Fl

Day 1 (15 Mar) at sea was relatively uneventful. I did see 3 more Magnificent Frigatebirds following a fishing boat, but nothing else. I spent enough time on deck scoping the ocean to fry my arms and face. Worth it!

Day 2 (15 Mar) at sea was even quieter. The only highlight was a single white tropicbird soaring too far away to determine if it was a Red-billed or White-tailed Tropicbird. The former is more expected in these waters just off of Hispaniola. Flying fish were scattering from alongside the ship all day. I decided it was time to spend some time trying to capture them in flight. Not easy at all.

 *- I had the camera set to capture RAW files, and this old computer we brought doesn’t allow me to view the images until I get home. So, I’ve decided to set the camera to RAW/JPG with the 2nd slot of the camera recording JPG Fine images. I could at least review/delete images from each day’s shooting on this trip. I also reset the camera to shoot ISO AUTO up to 3200 ISO with a minimum 1/1600 sec. shutter speed. This will ensure (at the expense of increased noise) of getting sharper captures of birds in flight. I would be happy at the end of the trip that I went this route.

1 comment:

Cathy Carroll said...

Looking forward to the posts from your trip.

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