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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Saturday, October 26, 2013

Rocking' N' Rollin

Will keeping an eye on a local storm cloud
Caribbean happy relaxing times at the beach, with some great snorkeling thrown in for a bit of fun? Not quite. Its been more like the deadliest catch the last few days, just a lot warmer temperatures... Ok, Yes, some great free diving on payed time have taken place too. But all in all we have worked up to 12 hours a day collecting and storing data at some rough hard to get to offshore locations. I have been falling asleep at 9 exhausted and starting work at before 6 am. We have been successful though which feels good, and part of me triggers when the pressure is on. No sleepy cubicle work for a while to come. Today we where chased around by circling storm clouds throwing wind and rain in their way, its almost like mountain weather out here, turning very quickly (just a lot warmer...). Tomorrow we have a day off and I have been invited to go sailing with some locals. Looking forward to that. 

Completed Video locations (red dots) so far around Culebra Island

Heading out for a near shore snorkel at a remote key. No sharks yet unfortunately. 
Captain Pedro!
Will recording the ID to identify yet another video site (best so far 73 locations in a day)
Pedro with some isolated offshore rocks in the background

Monday, October 21, 2013

The Great Niagara Falls and Beyond

Olle, Ankan & me during a scenic stopover at the Niagara Falls (Juni is doing the Barrel thing in the background)

I am severely sleep deprived at BWI airport waiting for my flight to Puerto Rico for yet another 3 week field mission for NOAA in the Northeast Reserve. Its been a scramble the last week to get everything together as the Government shutdown kept us out of the building until this Thursday, but luckily it ended right on time for us to pull it off. I tried complaining to Anna about my excessive workload the last 3 days, and that I have been traveling quite enough lately, but got nothing back more then spiteful looks. And fair enough. On top of her regular superhuman Johns Hopkins workload she just got on a plane to Geneva for a last minute meeting with WHO (first but guessing not the last time someone pays to fly her half across the world for a 3 day meeting!). Myself I exploited the lower work pace during the furlough with impeccable timing and I was able to take some more leave time (just 3 days after we arrived home from Colorado) and travel with my visiting Swedish friends Olle, his wife Annika and their 13 months bird Juni - Yes she can actually fly! After a 24h guided tour in the Baltimore hoods and playing with as many toys as we found time for we hit the road to Toronto to visit our Swedish friend David living there. Limited by a baby's patient for car driving we took our time across the Appalachian mountains to the great lakes, rounded lake Ontario then back to Baltimore again.  Sights included Niagara falls, random towns deep in Pennsylvania, and an unexpected (? or was it part of a scheme...) river filled with landlocked pacific salmon in Upstate New York.

I have been fortunate to get away with all this, and getting the chance to hang out with one of my best friends. The cost? I am pretty sure Juni stole little chunk of my heart

Feeding the bird
One of many activities along the way (looking back at the trip, the arrow target may not have been the best use of car space... but we did get some good use out of it!)
Stop with a view
Time to clean the camera sensor... 
Planning the next Barrel drop with Juni
Olle trying to figure out the best place to go down
A treasure awaiting the brave
Not alone...
Hanging around Toronto with David and Alida
Learning new skills
Olles highlight of the trip, petting a 600 lb pig at the local zoo. Nöff!
Nice skyline! Though I preferred watching it from a safe distance on the traffic free island just outside town.
Why Swedes become such great soccer players, They start early...
Fall colors at the Salmon River, Pulaski NY
Some fun late night fishing to make up for lost time in the car (later learned that this was not allowed and got a hefty ticket by an officer for not properly reading the regulations book... You live and learn...my bad! They really did not have any signs up). Though we strictly did catch and release fishing (the fish released before we really got any close to us...), there were a ton of other people at this popular river catching dinner, and the river bed was filled with stinking fish carcasses and an immense amount of left behind fishing line in and beside the river, potentially ghost fishing and catching/entangling wildlife. It was not very nice to see what too many people hungry to get a fishing story to tell their buddies can result in.
Landlocked pacific salmon (Chinook, Coho, Steelhead and enormous brown trout) migrate into the river each fall from Lake Ontario to spawn putting on quite a show! 
Chinook Salmon taking to the air
A quick slack-line along the road
"Don't worry Juni, I got it under control... "
Just arrived to Culebra after a long day of flight - car - boat travel. Its moist, there are plenty of mosquitos and the water is like a bathtub. Great sunset under a thundercloud heavy sky with a soft breeze blowing. Its quite, not many tourists around. Its good to be back.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Fall COlors

At balance (?) in the Elk wilderness, CO
 So the Government shut down, lucky for me I am on scheduled leave and working as a contractor, and as I start working next week I get to tele-work as the NOAA building is down. My colleages though are forced to take unpaid (at the moment) leave. Knowing them they will likely make good use of the time. Still hope they can all go back to work soon. For example, I have a field mission to Puerto Rico coming up in two weeks that might get squeezed if not. With all that in the back of my mind, I didnt really have a hard time turning off my phone and my computer this week. The last few days in Colorado was nothing short of spectacular. I have been hiking and fishing in this mind blowing landscape every waken hour of the day this week. Anna had to do a bunch of work for school, but she still managed to camp out and join me for daily hikes in the mountains around Crested Butte. Also she spend her working time in cozy coffee shops serving locally roasted delicious coffee, they actually care for their coffee in Colorado (mum, you would be ok there!). When Anna studies I fished. So I fished a lot. Lots of pics again, but it was very hard to put the camera down so bare with me...
The largest Aspen forest in Colorado
Just one more shot...
A well needed nap after a scenic hike to Beckwith Pass
Me like

Camping at lost lake, best site of the trip!

Early morning fire, a little crispy out
Yet another photographic expedition up at dawn with their cameras out
Good time to go fishing instead
OK, I look a liitle dumb, but soo comfy!
Our (fishing) Cabin in Almont conveniently located in Annas Loop
Local gas station (the "town" of Almont have 2 flyfishing shops, one "gas station" and no convenience store, the town people sure know how to get their priorities straight!)

We saw lots of these, From my (Swedish) standpoint it feels crazy somebody can just block public access to a whole stretch of river.
But sometime you have to take some liberties...
There are some great fly fishing waters in the area!
The top portion of the Taylor river, filled with massive but very weary trouts and rainbows. Its a popular place for catch and release fishing so the fish knows all the trick...
When all commercial flies failed I found this fly I tied 15 years ago, Oh the memories...
Biggest (landed) fish of the trip, a nice rainbow

Some obstacles getting to Gothic campground

It get s dark at night... unless you have a home made IKEA lamp (put your headlamp on a water jug and put a plate on top, vola!)
Yet another fish life sacrificed for dinner.
Winter is here! Anna not quite so excited.
Didn't quite plan for a snow storm
Cold camping came with a reward as mother nature put some icing on top, time to retake all the photos...
a heard of cows enjoying the view

A dust of snow on Crested Butte ski resorts hungry slopes. Wont be long now...
CB city and its mountain
Now there is a downtown area I could live in (bikes triumph over cars there any day of the year)
Last night we caved in and went with the hostel. Good choice as temperatures dropped below - 10 C (10 F)
More snow, sure hope to come back here skis in hand

Back in Baltimore now. We left Colorado with temps around -10 C, and landed in Baltimore 3 hours later with temperatures around 32 C. Oh the humidity is back... Can't wait for fall to come back. Weird weather again!