Monthly Archives: August 2013

The Pacific Northwest

The Pacific Northwest is one of my favourite places to spend time with a camera. The rainforest, beaches and beautiful sunsets are incredible. At night, in your tent, you can hear the sounds of the surf and waves on the beach, which is a calm rhythm that helps you to relax and fall asleep.

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Pompei of the North

” Travel is about the gorgeous feeling of teetering in the unknown. “ – Gaby Basora

Just off the southern coast of Iceland is a group of fifteen islands formed by submarine volcanoes, known as Vestmannaeyjar or the Westman Islands. I took a ferry to the town of Heimaey and hiked up to the top of the volcano Eldfell.  It was here, on January 23, 1973 at 1:45 a.m., without warning, a 1.5 km volcanic fissure split the eastern side of the island. Over the next five months 30 million tonnes of lava poured over the town of Heimaey and buried 360 houses. As the lava continued to flow it threatened to close off the harbour which would have destroyed the fishing industry. Firefighters hosed the lava with cold seawater and eventually the lava halted 175 m short of the harbour mouth. The lava created more shelter and actually improved the harbour. The picture below was taken from the top of Eldfell and shows the town of Heimaey in the background and the lava field. The Westman Islands are also home to about 10 million puffins who come there to breed.


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Land of Fire and Ice

I just returned from a three week visit to Iceland. During my trip I saw beautiful mountains, volcanoes, glaciers and waterfalls. Jokulsarlon is a glacial lagoon that is 250 meters deep and it has huge chunks of ice that break off the glacier Breiðamerkurjökul. Tourists can take a ride in one of the amphibian boats pictured below, but they can’t get too close to the icebergs because they sometimes roll over. I witnessed a number of icebergs the size of a house, slowly start to roll over and it was very impressive. I didn’t take the tour, choosing to save my money and explore on my own. Just me and several hundred noisy and divebombing Arctic terns. You can see more of my images from Iceland and Jokulsarlon in this gallery.

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This year three countries, Canada, Thailand and the United Kingdom competed in the Celebration of Light. When the fireworks end it’s a unique experience to walk with nearly 350,000 people as they exit the downtown area. I like this image because it was taken close to the beginning of the performance when the sun had just set and there is the shilouette of the mountains in the distance.

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