Expeditions Alaska http://www.expeditionsalaska.com Visit The Wild Sat, 28 Mar 2015 07:16:44 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Image of the Month, April 2015 – Aurora borealishttp://www.expeditionsalaska.com/ramblings/aurora-borealis-white-mountains/ http://www.expeditionsalaska.com/ramblings/aurora-borealis-white-mountains/#comments Sat, 28 Mar 2015 03:05:54 +0000 http://www.expeditionsalaska.com/?p=5311 Hey Folks, Here’s the image for this month, from a crazy month chasing the aurora around Alaska. We had some phenomenal nights this year, absolutely incredible auroras. Great group of folks for the trip, we all made some nice images, and had a bunch of fun. Cheers Carl

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The northern light, or aurora borealis, tower above the White Mountains of arctic Alaska.

The northern light, or aurora borealis, tower above the White Mountains of arctic Alaska. Please click on the image above to view a larger version of this photo.

Hey Folks,

Here’s the image for this month, from a crazy month chasing the aurora around Alaska. We had some phenomenal nights this year, absolutely incredible auroras. Great group of folks for the trip, we all made some nice images, and had a bunch of fun.

Cheers

Carl

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Coastal Wildlife Tourhttp://www.expeditionsalaska.com/ramblings/coastal-wildlife-tour/ http://www.expeditionsalaska.com/ramblings/coastal-wildlife-tour/#comments Thu, 05 Mar 2015 04:28:38 +0000 http://www.expeditionsalaska.com/?p=5308 Hey Folks, In case you’re thinking otherwise, the Coastal Wildlife and Brown Bear photo tour is NOT all about the bears. Well, it’s definitely mostly about the bears. But we’ll also dedicate a good chunk of time to looking around for, and photographing, some other creatures as well. One of the primary ones we’ll see […]

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Harbor Seal (Phoca vitulina), Alaska

An adult gray Harbor Seal (Phoca vitulina), Katmai Coast,Katmai National Park, Alaska. Click the image above to view a larger version of this photo.

Hey Folks,

In case you’re thinking otherwise, the Coastal Wildlife and Brown Bear photo tour is NOT all about the bears. Well, it’s definitely mostly about the bears. But we’ll also dedicate a good chunk of time to looking around for, and photographing, some other creatures as well. One of the primary ones we’ll see will be Harbor Seals. And, short of donning your scuba gear and swimming with the pinnipeds, there’s not many better opportunities than this one for some really, really cool Harbor seal images.

If you’re a subscriber to the newsletter, check out the trip special in the latest newsletter I just sent out. A pretty sweet deal for this trip, with limited space available.

If you’re not a subscriber to the newsletter, you probably should be. It’s legendary! Fill in the details in the form on the sidebar of the blog post, and you’re good to go.

And if you’re thinking about what photo tour you might want to take this summer, look no further. This Alaska Coastal Wildlife and Brown Bear Photo Tour is the ticket.

Cheers

Carl

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Polar bear week – Day 1http://www.expeditionsalaska.com/ramblings/polar-bear-day/ http://www.expeditionsalaska.com/ramblings/polar-bear-day/#comments Tue, 24 Feb 2015 00:13:43 +0000 http://www.expeditionsalaska.com/?p=5276 Hey Folks, International Polar Bear Day is right around the corner; Feb 27th. So I’ll make this Polar Bear Week. I’ll try to post a picture a day of these ridiculously awesome animals. Starting with this one. Tweet it with #polarbear This curious young cub approached our group, and by carefully positioning where we were […]

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A cub of the year, approximately 8-9 months of age, walks toward the camera over the fresh snow of arctic Alaska. Polar Bear (Ursus maritimus), Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, ANWR, Alaska.

A cub of the year, approximately 8-9 months of age, walks toward the camera over the fresh snow of arctic Alaska. Polar Bear (Ursus maritimus), Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, ANWR, Alaska.

Hey Folks,

International Polar Bear Day is right around the corner; Feb 27th. So I’ll make this Polar Bear Week. I’ll try to post a picture a day of these ridiculously awesome animals. Starting with this one. Tweet it with #polarbear

This curious young cub approached our group, and by carefully positioning where we were set up, we got nice clean backgrounds, a great low perspective to shoot from, and some really nice images.

This one is one of my new favorite polar bear images. You can see a collection of my polar bear photos on my stock site, Skolai Images.  For info and a look at the polar bear photo tour I run, click here.

Cheers

Carl

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Sea kayaking Icy Bay Videohttp://www.expeditionsalaska.com/ramblings/sea-kayaking-icy-bay-video/ http://www.expeditionsalaska.com/ramblings/sea-kayaking-icy-bay-video/#comments Thu, 19 Feb 2015 02:26:01 +0000 http://www.expeditionsalaska.com/?p=5138 Hey Folks How glassy is “glassy”? Here’s a short clip I put together of clips I made playing with a new GoPro last summer. It’s so different to shooting with a regular camera or video camera, there’s a lot to learn. But kinda fun, all the same. Icy Bay isn’t always this glassy, but it’s […]

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Screen shot of Icy Bay sea kayaking.

Icy Bay sea kayaking.

Hey Folks

How glassy is “glassy”? Here’s a short clip I put together of clips I made playing with a new GoPro last summer. It’s so different to shooting with a regular camera or video camera, there’s a lot to learn. But kinda fun, all the same.

Icy Bay isn’t always this glassy, but it’s unusual either. And it’s an absolutely amazing experience to go out on the water, among these countless icebergs, and just drift along on a kayak, or paddle gently up the fjords. Really, really great fun.

The tune I used here is “Dear Ellen”, by Shane Theriot, from his album, “Highway 90″. I met Shane years ago, when I was in college studying guitar. Shane was teaching there at the ripe young age of 21. He’s awesome. He left the school shortly after my studies ended, and has been playing and writing and producing music since then. He’s currently the guitar player for Hall & Oates, and just last week won a Grammy award. How awesome is that! If you’re interested, you can buy Highway 90 on iTunes.

There are quite a few articles on the site about Alaska Sea Kayaking trips, from types of trips, to gear, locations, safety and so on. Read up if you’re interested!

Enough from me; I hope you enjoy it. Here’s the video

Cheers

Carl

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Alaska Sea Kayaking Photoshttp://www.expeditionsalaska.com/ramblings/alaska-sea-kayaking-photos/ http://www.expeditionsalaska.com/ramblings/alaska-sea-kayaking-photos/#comments Wed, 11 Feb 2015 03:01:37 +0000 http://www.expeditionsalaska.com/?p=5025 Hey Folks Here are few images from our sea kayaking trip to Icy Bay last summer. Awesome conditions, we had a blast. Icy Bay is one of the coolest areas for sea kayaking in Alaska; great camping, great beach hiking, spectacular scenery and absolutely unparalleled sea kayaking and paddling. Icebergs, glaciers, seals, dolphins, brown bears, […]

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Hey Folks

Here are few images from our sea kayaking trip to Icy Bay last summer. Awesome conditions, we had a blast. Icy Bay is one of the coolest areas for sea kayaking in Alaska; great camping, great beach hiking, spectacular scenery and absolutely unparalleled sea kayaking and paddling. Icebergs, glaciers, seals, dolphins, brown bears, bald eagles, falcon, murres and murrelets, and Mt. St. Elias towering above everything. It’s pretty tough to beat.

Hope you enjoy the photos below. I’ll try to get some video of the kayaking online soon; nothing quite like paddling through all those icebergs across that glassy water!!

Mt. St. Elias towers in the background, behind the landing strip at Icy Bay as a bush plane with our pilot makes a perfect landing. The glassy waters of Icy Bay make for great Alaska sea kayaking adventures. It doesn't get much calmer water than this! Icy Bay at its finest. Wrangell - St. Elias National Park. Tsaa Fjord in Icy Bay and the Yahtse Glacier, Wrangell - St. Elias National Park, Alaska. harbor seal sits on a iceberg haulout in Icy Bay. Icy Bay is home to several thousands Harbor Seals. This one is hauled out on an iceberg in front of Yahtse Glacier. Chuck pauses for a minute in his sea kayak. Campsite with an electric fence around the tent to deter any pesky bears from tearing up our gear.

If you’re interested in a sea kayaking trip this summer, give me a yell! 770-952-4549

Cheers

Carl

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Image of the month: grizzly bear in the fallhttp://www.expeditionsalaska.com/ramblings/grizzly-bear-in-the-fall/ http://www.expeditionsalaska.com/ramblings/grizzly-bear-in-the-fall/#comments Wed, 04 Feb 2015 02:10:57 +0000 http://www.expeditionsalaska.com/?p=4948 Hey Folks Welcome to Feb, 2015! Here’s a grizzly bear, or brown bear, image from our Grizzlies in the Fall photo tour. I know it’s not really grizzly bear season right now, they’re hunkered down for the winter, but I haven’t been shooting much around Alaska lately as I’ve been gone a while. It’s great […]

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A young grizzly bear, or brown bear, takes a drink early in the morning, fall (autumn) (Ursus arctos) Katmai National Park and Preserve, Alaska.

A young grizzly bear, or brown bear, takes a drink early in the morning, fall (autumn) (Ursus arctos) Katmai National Park and Preserve, Alaska. Please click on the image above to view a larger version of this photo.

Hey Folks

Welcome to Feb, 2015! Here’s a grizzly bear, or brown bear, image from our Grizzlies in the Fall photo tour. I know it’s not really grizzly bear season right now, they’re hunkered down for the winter, but I haven’t been shooting much around Alaska lately as I’ve been gone a while. It’s great to be back!

Summer will be here before you know it, and this year I’ve a number of trips I’m looking forward to. Stay tuned for some fun stuff!

Click here for info about this photo tour.

Cheers

Carl

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Happy New Year, all!http://www.expeditionsalaska.com/ramblings/happy-new-year-2015/ http://www.expeditionsalaska.com/ramblings/happy-new-year-2015/#comments Tue, 30 Dec 2014 13:11:19 +0000 http://www.expeditionsalaska.com/?p=4173 Hey Folks, Wishing you all the very best for the coming year. Cheers Carl

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A cub of the year, approximately 8-9 months of age, walks toward the camera over the fresh snow of arctic Alaska. Polar Bear (Ursus maritimus), Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, ANWR, Alaska.

A cub of the year, approximately 8-9 months of age, walks toward the camera over the fresh snow of arctic Alaska. Polar Bear (Ursus maritimus), Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, ANWR, Alaska. Please click on the image above to view a larger version of the photo.

Hey Folks,

Wishing you all the very best for the coming year.

Cheers

Carl

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Bald Eagle Silhouette; Image of the Month, Dec 2014http://www.expeditionsalaska.com/ramblings/bald-eagle-photo-iom-12-2014/ http://www.expeditionsalaska.com/ramblings/bald-eagle-photo-iom-12-2014/#comments Sun, 07 Dec 2014 07:17:56 +0000 http://www.expeditionsalaska.com/?p=4149 Hey Folks, A quickie before I take off? I’m not really that kinda guy .. but here’s a photo from our recent trip to Haines, taken the last morning of the trip. I was pretty stoked to see this pop up on the viewfinder. Heading down under to see my folks, so not sure how […]

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A soaring bald eagle silhouetted against a gorgeous Alaska sunrise.

A soaring bald eagle silhouetted against a gorgeous Alaska sunrise. Please click the thumbnail above to view a larger version of the photo.

Hey Folks,

A quickie before I take off? I’m not really that kinda guy .. but here’s a photo from our recent trip to Haines, taken the last morning of the trip. I was pretty stoked to see this pop up on the viewfinder.

Heading down under to see my folks, so not sure how much I’ll be able to post over the next month, I’ll try to post something though. You all have a wonderful holiday season.

Cheers

Carl

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The Lost Coast Hikehttp://www.expeditionsalaska.com/ramblings/lost-coast-hike/ http://www.expeditionsalaska.com/ramblings/lost-coast-hike/#comments Thu, 06 Nov 2014 17:45:14 +0000 http://www.expeditionsalaska.com/?p=3886 Hey Folks Now that summer and fall has wound down some, I’ve got a little time to catch up on image processing and maybe blogging as well! We’ll see how far we get with that. One of the trips I was really looking forward to this summer was a hike along the coast, the southern […]

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The Lost Coast in Wrangell - St. Elias National Park and Preserve, with Mt Cook and the Saint Elias Range rising in the background.

The Lost Coast in Wrangell – St. Elias National Park and Preserve, with Mt Cook and the Saint Elias Range rising in the background. Please click on the image above to view a larger version of this photo.

Hey Folks

Now that summer and fall has wound down some, I’ve got a little time to catch up on image processing and maybe blogging as well! We’ll see how far we get with that.

One of the trips I was really looking forward to this summer was a hike along the coast, the southern reaches of Wrangell – St. Elias National Park and Preserve. I’d hiked part of this area previously, some of it a couple of times, but I’d never hiked the eastern section, below the Malaspina Forelands. So it was a great experience to finally get down to this area and walk the coastline, completing what is really a cool walk.

We did the hike as an exploratory trek this year, and took a bit longer for the the hike than I normally might, as we wanted to explore a few things along the way, look for the best campsites, and so on.

Packrafts are a necessity along this route; some of the rivers that have to be crossed would be foolish to cross without a packraft, unless at super low water. So we carried a couple of Alpacka Packrafts, and all the gear to go along with that. It’s a bit of “extra” weight to haul, for sure, but it’s so worth it to open up so much of Alaska’s awesome backcountry that would otherwise be impassable.

We also took a side venture with the packrafts north, off the beachline, to Malaspina Lake, and then paddled part of the lake one glorious afternoon, then paddled back down one of the outlets from the lake to the beach, and made our way over to camp. A great day trip, and easily a good overnight as well, if desired; some really cool little islands in the lake would make fantastic campsites.

Bears a’ plenty, we ran into 3 grizzlies in 5 days. No problems or issues at all, but there are definitely a number of big ole brown bears (grizzly bears and brown bears are the same species) along the coast. Alaska Dispatch recently had a mic article about these Malaspina Brown bears.

What we didn’t run into is people. Nobody. We spent 5-6 days along the coast, then another 5 days in Icy Bay sea kayaking and hiking and photographing, and not a soul outside ourselves. How cool is that! This area is so little visited, in the summer of 2014, the Malaspina District, an area 150 miles in length, had fewer than 75 people visit the entire season. If you don’t count people hunting and fishing, the season had a grand total of 2 people along the Lost Coast. Chuck, from Florida and I were the only folks here all summer! Way cool.

Most of the hike is beach walking, sand and some small rocks, nothing problematic. The western end of the trek, we didn’t hike this time around, has a much rockier section along Sitkagi Bluffs (Or Sitkagi Boulders, as it should be more appropriately named). There’s no real issue with tides for the hike, other than river crossings, which are best dealt with via packrafts. The tide can come up pretty high on the beach, and I would be super careful about tent sites on the beach; in general, avoid it, especially once you are west of Sudden Stream.

We finished our trek with a very cool mile or 2 through the magnificent Sitka Spruce Forest, along a centuries old bear trail; how do I know it’s that old? Because the bear prints, imprints of individual footsteps (bears often will walk along in a trail stepping precisely in the footsteps of previous bears), are worn 6 inches deep into the moss and earth. How cool is it to hike along a trail like that, and step in those same footsteps!

Amazing views of the St. Elias Mountain Range, of course, definitely a highlight of the trip. And the Pacific Ocean is always a treat to walk beside. We saw river otters, bald eagles, various species of shore birds, ducks and other waterfowl, as well as sea birds like Oyster Catchers, gulls, etc, etc. Tons o’ stuff!

Les, our pilot, showed up on the beach right on time and flew us and our gear over to Icy Bay, where we sea kayaked and hiked for another 5 days before wrapping things up and heading back to Yakutat for a shower and a burger. Fun times.

I’ve got some GoPro video from the sea kayaking and packrafting sections, I’ll try to splice together over the winter and post it online as I can.

Great trip! If you’re interested, drop me a line about the summer of 2015; I’ll definitely be leading this trip again. Great for Beginners -> Advanced, a little something for everybody, if you will.

Cheers

Carl

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Brown bear and a Sockeye salmon: Image of the Month, Nov 2014http://www.expeditionsalaska.com/ramblings/brown-bear-and-sockeye-salmon-photo/ http://www.expeditionsalaska.com/ramblings/brown-bear-and-sockeye-salmon-photo/#comments Mon, 03 Nov 2014 04:42:22 +0000 http://www.expeditionsalaska.com/?p=3866 Hey Folks, Meet Little Otis, one of the most beautiful brown bears I’ve had the good fortune to see and to photograph. I’ve shot this guy for a number of years now, as he’s grown from a cute young cub to a cautious young subadult bear to a nearly full grown adult male brown bear; Little […]

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A mature male Alaska brown bear carries a bright red Sockeye Salmon by the dorsal fin, in Katmai National Park and Preserve, Alaska.

A mature male Alaska brown bear carries a bright red male Sockeye Salmon by the dorsal fin, in Katmai National Park and Preserve, Alaska. Please click on the image above to view a larger version of this photo.

Hey Folks,

Meet Little Otis, one of the most beautiful brown bears I’ve had the good fortune to see and to photograph. I’ve shot this guy for a number of years now, as he’s grown from a cute young cub to a cautious young subadult bear to a nearly full grown adult male brown bear; Little Otis is no longer quite so “little”, but always  treat to photograph. He’s definitely one of the most photogenic brown bears I’ve photographed.

Nearly full grown, he’s just as magnificent as ever, with a beautiful light brown coat, blond highlights and markings, and a playful, easy character. I’ve watched him play and wrestle with other young male bears, and never once seen him show aggression toward another bear. He pretty much (typically) goes about his day looking for salmon. He also has this rather curious technique of carrying salmon by their dorsal fin; he’ll often catch a fish in the stream, then grab it’s dorsal fin and carry it ward shallower water, where he’ll eat it. I’ve not seen a lot of other bears carry the fish this way, particularly big male bears and certainly not so predictably.

Little Otis is an awesome bear.

Cheers

Carl

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