The climbfish have now evolved to cover my life in the US - including very exiting life in downtown Baltimore (aka the wire) and ocean research expeditions with NOAA. I don't promise frequent updates but I will try and cover the most and least exiting times here. Enjoy!
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Monday, December 17, 2012

BMore Xmas

Short video with some clips from Hampden 34th Street and the Christmas parade on the Avenue.
The password to watch the film is "tomten" (having some issues managing my vimeo videos at the moment)

Christmas celebration are in full force in our neighborhood Hampden. Lights in every house and Santas driving around in cars and motorcycles... 3 blocks away from us is "The wonder on 34th Street", were the residents have gone slightly crazy on the decorations, and its drawing hords of people every day of the week since it started in late November, on Saturday nights you would think there is a rock concert on the area judging from all the people, but it is simply an effect of 34th street.

My kind of parade
Baltimores Roller Skate Girls in their best Xmas outfits
Even the Mayer took a spin on the annual Christmas parade on the Avenue

Lots of old American cars out on the roads
Bambi American size
The Wonder on 34th Street. My first interactive 360 Panorama Image (you can pan around in the image, zoom out first and it looks better). There are rooms for improvement but its a start!

Anna visiting one of the houses on 34th street
Weel Cap Christmas Tree
Better post my letter soon! (isn't there an email address these days?)

Happy Holiday!  Time to find my elf costume

Saturday, December 1, 2012


Winter is here, or is it?
Snow in the Appalachian mountains of Western Maryland and ice cold winds on the coast. You would almost think winter is here. But no, tomorrow we will have 20 C / 68F and sunshine again. Oh Bmore!

Camping in Savage River with Trevor, and the Canoe! Great wilderness area out there.
An old friend
Trevor is improving his flyfishing, but still got some skills to work on...
Now to the important part. Sr Kågesten came to visit from Sweden for 10 days over thanksgiving. Very exiting! Also, the first person to come and stay in our basement. Turns out it is very handy to have your dad living in the basement, lots of things got done that I have been putting off for a while (accomplishments include fixing our fence and stirring the compost... now that I think about it I should have made him do more work, have to be better prepared next time he comes around!).
First time for dad in the Baltimore/DC area so we did some sightseeing, and went to lots of good places to eat and drink.
Anna and dad sharing their common passion, their ipad,
after a filling brunch at Woodberry kitchen
Tasty apples at the Mt Vernon Farmers Market conveniently situated under the highway 
Dad making new friends, I turned around and
found him selling chocolate at a stand... 
Bob explaining the rules at the Annual thanksgiving American Football game  
Two clueless teams running around chasing the ball like lost turkeys
Bob serving their home made Glögg (kind of a mulled whine).
Very traditionally Swedish, and dangerously  tasty 
Dad digging in to the delicious thanksgiving food served by Bob wife Michael 
After some very heavy eating activities on Thanksgiving (I almost had to throw up because I ate to much of the delicious desert..) we picked ourself together, packed the car and the canoe (you always have to bring the canoe), and headed for the coast for a few days to walk off the food.

Sea level rise having turning car into boats in Annapolis
Sleepy horses welcoming us in the Chincoteague wilderness 
Wilderness (meaning a gravel road instead of a paved one) Walk 
Sleepy lunch in the sun 
MC Anna
Who are these people?
Due to Sandy we found an amazing amount of beautiful conk shells on
the beach, some  were still alive and feeling sorry for them I threw them back
in the ocean, poor little (tasty) snails!
Its cold.. But if you want lunch you have to dip your feet
Another guy grabbing a snack
Dad trying to spot sweden on the other side 
Bird paradise (if it wasn't so damn cold that is)
An alternative way to explore the wilderness and spot some birds at sunset
Morning swim
Small, clean and very refreshing (freezing)
Thanks dad for coming over! I almost forget just how much I miss my family over here. The basement is now awaiting who ever want to come over next!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Election Night

With a feeling of excitement to be in the US Capitol on election day I went down to the White House to see if there was anything going on the last few hours before election. And I found... an empty house! However, there was a small but very hopeful crowd of people outside in the park doing their best to support Obama with whatever godly powers they could assume. It got pretty amusing after a while, people sure are involved here! Supported from the heavens or not, I sure hope he wins.

Late night update...
Happy Obama supporters sharing glasses of champagne
with every one in our local "Bar Hon". Awesome! 

Thursday, November 1, 2012


So I got my (well deserved) small share of Sandy after all and got stuck at the airport in Puerto Rico for half a day on my way home. I am using the time to upload some pictures from the last two days. Meet "Turtle" and other new friends I made! Now it's time to change my shorts and straw hat for furry winter panties. Brrrrr. I leave rather reluctantly, but it will be very good to see the canoe, and Anna!

A Hawksbill turtle teamed up with me on my last snorkel at the local reef
Elkhorn Coral
Working in the Mangrove Lagoon. No motorboats allowed!
Lots of little fish hiding in the mangrove
Another little fish hiding in the Seagras
Big fish hiding in the sand...We were both very surprised
If I was a little fish I would swim elsewhere...
A pufferfish, not feeling like a balloon today
Going home, just like me!
St. Johns mouth watering northern coast line

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Saved by the Hat

Noon Fashion
Yet again I have avoided a major Hurricane by escaping to its origin in the Caribbean. While poor Anna is getting hit by the storm at this very moment back in Baltimore (and getting two well needed extra days off school) I am sipping on a cold beverage and looking back at yet another sunny day on the clear waters outside St. Thomas in US Virgin Islands. Some would call it unfair. I call it work.
Local fruit Juice  
Shit happens... Just not to us

Now before you stop reading because you already got sick of me telling you how great it is to work down here mapping coral reefs (and it is), I might make you a little happier by confessing that out of the 7 days I have been down here at least 3 of them have been long 10 hour days with me quite seasick (yesterday I fed the local fish population to much enjoyment of my colleague Bryan and our boat captain Kevin). Also, there is not much shade to be found at noon and the sun here turns you into a lobster in no time if you are not careful. Fortunately Kevin made my week by getting me a beautiful straw hat!

A new kind of commute
Looks like the end of that rainbow is our boat...
So what are we doing down here you might ponder? NOAA and other organizations has numerous projects that works towards restoring the health of the US Caribbean marine environment (although it is a daunting task). The coral reefs here have taken a very big hit and are only a shadow of what they once where. Climate change is one of the factors, but most likely development on land (which causing erosion and pollution) and overfishing have had the biggest toll on the reefs. On the bright side there are some coral comming back in areas where the environment have improved again, so its not all doom and gloom.
New recruitment of the endangered Elkhorn coral brings hope for the future.
It looks kind of lonely though...
Me and Bryan are currently collecting ground validation data (under water video) of shallow water habitats that we will later use to interpret areal imagery (ortophoto, laser survey and satellite imagery) to create detailed habitat maps of prioritized areas around St. John and St. Thomas. The maps can then be used as baseline data by local managers and partners to initiate further studies, plan restoration efforts and to better manage sensitive areas (hallelujah!). For us it means that we are zooming around in a boat to over 400 sites with a camera that we lower to the seafloor on pre selected sites, and when it is to shallow for the boat to navigate there is no choice but to hop in the water and go for a swim. Somebody HAS to do it.
Getting the camera ready
Habitat mapping in action - Seagrass on sandy bottom
Bryan collecting habitat info on a shallow reef
Just doing his job
Captain Kevin
No Tape No Science
My new cubicle

Swedish Fish?
One of the more colorful site we encountered, captured with my goPro
Camera while testing out high resolution photos for mapping.
Today we had two people from the The Nature Conservancy on board our boat so they could learn more about our work down here. It was pretty great as we got some extra hands to help us out and we also got to see some of their coral restoration sites.
Eric and Anne Marie from the Nature Conservancy helping us out for a day
Young Staghorn Coral in a TNC restoration area,  attached to
the rock with the help of epoxy and man power
Relatively pristine habitat with the endangered staghorn coral that used
to make up much of the reefs down here
Meeting with the Park Service to inform the local managers of our results
and get valuable feedback on how to make our products more useful to them
Sneaking around St. Thomas in search for GeoFix points (used to
control the areal imagery) in our not so camouflaged automobile...
The hat saved my day. Once again.
Do I want the water to be warmer or colder? Hmm.. I might just go with what we have
Who said you could not eat science?

Tomorrow awaits yet another day at work, this time we are taking on the mangrove lagoon by kayak. It might as well be me.