Friday, February 15, 2008

Another Friday

This has been a busy and eventful week, not all of it good. On Thursday morning we found out that the son of good friends had been killed Wednesday night in an air collision. He was also a friend and he was one of our pilots for whale shark spotting so he had a long-reaching connection with many people in town. They have left town for a few days to deal with all of the things that must be dealt with in times like these and we are sending them our very best and most positive thoughts.

In better news, we continue to prepare for the upcoming whale shark season and Dave has the boat taped and ready for paint. Unfortunately, it's now extremely windy thanks to some more cyclone action up the coast, so we aren't sure when we'll be able to get her finished! Here are some action shots from the preparations and hard work that has gotten us this far:

The work station:

On Wednesday I had a shoot at the local daycare. We ended up with about 20 kids - I believe they are all under 3. Not the sort of thing you'd expect to see me doing, I know, and there were times when it was going just about as well as you'd expect:

My friend Mary was invaluable as a kid wrangler, package explainer, parent guider and child entertainer! We did get settled down, but we never did get all the eyes only on the camera! The individual shots were very diverse - some kids were just freaked to be there, some couldn't take a bad frame, some were happy and giggly and some told me "this is too hard" LOL I promise Mary and I were not torturing anyone:

Sometimes less really is more when it comes to smiling:

And then we had several who were just happy to be there!

The seas haven't been particularly wonderful lately, again thanks to the cyclone activity up north, but the conditions in the Gulf turned nice late Thursday afternoon so we scrambled the crew together and about 11 of us headed out to explore some new ground, shoot some dinner and take some photos. Of course, the visibility in the Gulf is usually pretty marginal and the big tides and swell didn't help - there were whacking great chunks of stuff floating around. But the marine life was outstanding. Tons of fishes, nudibranchs, sea whips, soft corals, crabs, eels...just beautiful. Can't wait to go back to these two sites and to explore more of this new area!
Wobbie shark

Moridilla brockii nudibranch

Chromodoris fidelis nudibranchs with egg spirals - there was a whole group of these guys from about 2cms long down to only a few mm long! It was awesome!

Phil found this huge bright red crab next to the anchor chain and kindly brought me over to see:

Of course, we've had lots of puppy action in the past few days, too. Tilly is still a mile a minute most of the time, though we've had a few moments of peace. We even had a little nap on the couch together one afternoon:

She's very cute when she's asleep:

And she's kinda cute when she has this flipped back ear thing happening:

Our new training goal is to learn to not come into the kitchen. It's a long road, I'm thinking! She gets this flipped back ear thing when she's been running like a maniac so we thought we were doing well to have her almost out of the kitchen! And yes, she seems to be growing like a weed - look at those legs!

Trashing my study had become a popular pastime lately. One morning I came in to find my new camera on the floor covered in puppy slobber and another day Dave found one of my lens hoods down the hallway - I still can't get all the embedded drooled on bits of sand off! After demolition, it's time for a nap - and she doesn't even pretend that she didn't do it - oh well, I guess it was good incentive to throw out the trash that's been in that basket for a month now:

Lobo knows how to handle the chaos:

We often find little surprises around the house. Today Tilly had stolen the little yapping dog Mary bought to distract the kiddies with from my camera bag...and gently placed him next to my camera rinse bucket, which doubles as a doggie water dish...

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