Posts Tagged ‘whales


cruising on by…

Another Time….

“American whale oil lit the world. It was used in the production of soap, textiles, leather, paints, and varnishes, and it lubricated the tools and machines that drove the Industrial Revolution. The baleen cut from the mouths of whales shaped the course of feminine fashion by putting the hoop in hooped skirts and giving form to stomachtightening
and chest-crushing corsets. Spermaceti, the waxy substance from the heads of sperm whales, produced the brightest- and cleanest-burning candles the world has ever known, while ambergris, a byproduct of irritation in a sperm whale’s bowel, gave perfumes great staying power and was worth its weight in gold.”
Eric Jay Dolin, Leviathan: The History of Whaling in America

Near Sitka, Alaska passing our 24′ fishing boat….ultimately turned and dove right under our boat. ©SwittersB


moving North along the Mexican coast…



whale tail…

“I quietly take to the ship. There is nothing surprising in this. If they but knew it, almost all men in their degree, some time or other, cherish very nearly the same feelings towards the ocean with me.” Herman Melville, The Whale

whale tail-Alaska-SwittersB


Photography: Beneath the Yaquina Bay Bridge

Engineering combined with Art Deco of the 30’s in the design and construction of the Yaquina Bay Bridge in Oregon. My son took this shot enroute to search for whales this past weekend out of Newport, Oregon. Wisps of clouds hung just below the span, this side of the arches.

Yaquina Bay Br TM


Fishing v. Vaquita’s Upper Gulf of Cali (Eco Conflict)

“I experienced first-hand what it is like to live in the upper gulf, an area frought with poverty and drugs, and the social and economic consequences that arise from each.

I spent time on the water documenting artisanal fishers setting gillnets from pangas in an epic desert sea brimming with life. I watched hundreds of shrimp trawlers dragging nets along the sea floor all over the upper gulf (including through the vaquita refuge and biopshere reserve), unregulated and out of control. And, I met face to face, the secretive porpoise everyone is talking about – the vaquita marina.

In the blogs I have written about “Expedition Vaquita”, the perspective of the local people is one I feel has not been adequately shared.” (more at Vaquita)

This is an interesting site re the ever typical conflict between enterprises that harvest, over harvest?, and the increasing loss of a non-targeted species (in this case the Vaquita/Porpoise). In short shrimpers and gill nets in conflict in the Upper Gulf of California. Buy outs, conservation education and conflict, amidst trafficantes. (more on the conflict)


Cruises & Small Ship Voyages (No Big Ship Party Barge…Nature is Up Close and Friendships are Meaningful on a Small Ship)

ssv_logo_rgbBritish Columbia, Alaska, the Sea of Cortez, the Galapagos Islands, Euro River Cruises on and on are the small ship voyage venues.  Small Ship Voyages offer the most intimate contact with the environment and  the rewards of nature at its grandest, travel at its most relaxed yet sophisticated, and friendships with seasoned, educated travelers that will expand your horizons.

I have traveled on both the big ship as well as the small ship. There is no comparison between the two if your focus is nature, relaxation and the destination. If you want the crowds, confusions, neon, herd instinct then by all means take the big ship or pretend and go to the mall at Christmas time or Saturday. They are similar experiences. But, if you want a genuine naturalist to share the flora and fauna with, then board that zodiac as it departs the Small Ship to explore. Listen to the glaciers calv or take a deep breath as your sea kayak glides along some tropical back bay. Whales, whales and more whales. Glaciers, coral beaches, Euro canals and rivers….it is there at an intimate level that a seasoned traveler can appreciate.

Mary Jo Muncy, the owner of Small Ship Voyages, knows the destinations, knows the ships and has traveled many of the routes. She knows what it feels like to sit on a small ship off Cabo San Lucas on New Year Eve and watch the giant fireworks display, to dive with sea lions in the Sea of Cortes, to travel by zodiac amongst the ice flows of Glacier Bay.  To paddle sea kayaks and snorkel with the fish. She has twelve years experience with small ships and enjoys putting together group tours and romantic getaways. Honeymoons, anniversaries, a surprise sweetie moons, or show the ol’ girl you still love her, the Small Ship Voyage is the intimate ticket! Oregon Girls, Holly Madison and Bridget Marquardt love Small Ship Voyages!!! 

Below @ “The Past” you can search back to 2008 month by month

August 2020

Please visit MUNCY DESIGNS (click)

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