Glacier Bay Alaska with Wendy Shattil

Glacier Bay – Unlike the cruise ships, we spend days rather than hours exploring what John Muir called “the grandest place on earth”. No other location has the diversity of wildlife and dramatic scenery so easily seen from our decks and from land. Spring brings black and brown bears out of hibernation; whales return to Alaskan waters, migrating birds begin to nest, moose and wolves may be seen in the valleys, and of course we’ll see the glaciers themselves, up close and personal. Walk among beached blue icebergs of countless shapes and textures. Glaciers are great subjects where patience is often rewarded with dramatic calving events – the ice cracks and house-sized chunks crash into the ocean. Icebergs beached at low tide invite photos only limited by your imagination. Birds and mammals we encounter in the unspoiled wilderness are likely to be seen by us alone.

Benefit from Wendy Shattil’s 30+ years of field experience as a professional wildlife and conservation photographer. The remote wilderness we’ll explore from our comfortable wandering home evokes a quiet solitude and reminds us of our place in nature.

Whatever the skill level, you’ll learn tips, techniques and strategies to create memorable images. In the comfort of Westward’s salon we’ll project our images and review the day’s experiences in a friendly group setting. Sea kayaks and a zodiac add to the opportunities for up close and personal encounters with nature. Rather than snapping pictures and hurrying to find the next encounter, we’ll take time to savor each moment. Every scene is constantly changing, each animal is an individual and every behavior has a purpose.

Built in 1924 and thoughtfully restored to comfortably accommodate eight passengers in four staterooms with private bathrooms, the historic wooden boat, Westward, features a wood paneled salon, mahogany trim and multiple viewing areas. Meals and snacks are sumptuous and delicious, prepared with fresh, natural ingredients, many locally sourced.

Captain Bill Bailey and his crew of gourmet chef, Tracie Triolo and an accomplished naturalist, genuinely care about the quality of their guests’ experience on this unique small ship cruise.

Whales of Southern Baja California with Diana McPherson

Each year, gray whales travel thousands of miles from the Arctic Ocean to the warm waters of
Baja California’s lagoons to court, mate, give birth, and care for
their young. Capture images of these magnificent creatures, along with unique vegetation, stunning landscapes, birds, and other wildlife of the arid Baja Peninsula, all under the guidance of professional photographer Diana McPherson.

PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS
• Encounter gray whales at close range during multiple
excursions aboard small panga boats.
• Experience the crystal-clear waters, pristine beaches, geology, and wildlife of Coronado Island in the Sea of Cortez.
• Enjoy opportunities for kayaking and hiking.
• Take a special excursion in search of whale sharks, the world’s largest fish.

Channel Islands National Park – America’s Galapagos

Story and Photography by Jerry Ginsberg

 

Camping on Anacapa will allow you to capture a great sunrise from spectacular Inspiration Point at the island’s east end.  © Jerry Ginsberg

                               
We are accustomed to driving to our national parks. This is definitely not the case with Channel Islands National Park. This little archipelago of a half-dozen rocks jutting out of the Pacific Ocean a few miles off the coast of central California is reachable only by a short boat ride. This rather contradictory blend of remoteness and accessibility offers some unique opportunities for us photographers.

The Channel Islands are called America’s Galapagos – and for good reason. A wide variety of birds and pinnipeds are in plentiful supply. Western gulls find safety here. Continue reading