(Rob) The highlight of today was an encounter with a few eagles on nest in Whittier. To get to Whittier from Anchorage you have to go through a small tunnel that plows right through a mountain. In fact, the tunnel was built for a train originally so its very narrow and you must share it with trains, and the cars coming the other way. For 15 minutes every hour, the traffic going in your direction is allowed to pass.
Once in Whittier, we then had 3 hours to wait for the boat to leave the harbor. I decided that I'd walk around and get some good waterfall shots in the meantime. As I was shooting this gorgeous waterfall, I saw Deb and Joseph come up to me to tell me that there was a great nest full of Eaglets around the corner. I was excited and quickly walked over to beneath the nest. I put on my long telephoto lens and filmed the young chicks while waiting for the adult to come back and feed them. I couldn't wait to get this shot.
An hour passed and nothing! I was begriming to wonder if the eagle was going to come back when Joseph spotted it flying around the bluff! Instantly turned the camera on, but by the time I got it rolling it was too late. I missed the feeding dump and only got the bird flying away. DAMN. I figured I'd just wait till it did it again. It might be awhile but then again I had time.
Another hour passed and we were getting a bit impatient. I couldn't obviously keep the camera on so I had to keep the camera in the off position. I knew that from the off position to the focused-and-ready position would take me 12 seconds. That's a lot of time when an eagle is on a beeline to the nest. Because of this fact we had Joseph walk down the road so that he could yell back to us if it came. Another 15 minutes passed and we thought it wouldn't come. We only had 15 minutes to get to the boat and we were about ready to leave when I saw the eagle swoop in over the tops of the trees instead of around the bluff like it did last time. ...GO GO GO, get it on; get it on! I couldn't get the camera on quick enough and when I did, I hit the button twice instead of once (resulting in the camera not recording at all). DAMN!
We had to get on the ship now and take the tour. It was still a rainy day, like the last boat ride we went on, but we were able to see some awesome glaciers. It was such an awesome experience.
When we got back, I told the guys that I really really wanted to stay and try to get the eagle one more time. I told them that this time I would leave the camera on until the battery died and I got the shot. I waited patiently for just over an hour when it happened. I saw it coming and quickly hit record and then refocused the camera. The eagle landed ... beautiful! What a shot! That was about the time that I noticed I hadn't actually pushed record at all! DAMN again! I didn't actually say that though. My words were far more vulgar. I did get the camera on for it to fly away, but I ruined my sequence. Oh well. To see the sequence click on the EAGLE VIDEO.