Photographs and stories from my adventures travelling, SCUBA diving and photographing underwater and topside.
The diving in Komodo Marine Park is great! There are lots of small and large creatures on reefs with beautiful hard and soft corals. The coral reefs are very healthy, the epitome of the Coral Sea. There are many small colorful fish that live in coral. Huge schools of them hang...Read More
Here I go again, off on another adventure!
On this trip I will be visiting Micronesia, specifically Kosrae one of the Federated States of Micronesia and Palau (Republic of Palau) which is also part of the chain of islands known as Micronesia. Micronesia is comprised of thousands of small islands in the western Pacific Ocean. People at work keep asking me where Micronesia is so finally I printed a map and put it on a wall in my office. The easiest way to explain the location is to think of Hawaii, then head west almost until you get to the Philippines. There in the middle of the ocean are the islands of Micronesia.
Palau is known for its SCUBA diving, which is why I’m going of course. I’m hoping to see huge schools of fish, sharks, and reefs covered in a rainbow of colorful coral. Hopefully we’ll see manta rays and turtles also! I’ll be sailing with seven friends on the Palau Siren a beautiful sister ship to the Indo Siren that Randy and I cruised to Komodo National Park in Indonesia on a few of years ago. I’ll be joined by seven friends on the Palau Siren, all underwater photographers, looking forward to diving in the beautiful ocean there.
But first I’m making a stop at Kosrae Village Ecolodge where I’ve wanted to go for years, ever since I met Katrina and Bruce, partners at the ecolodge and NCUPS members from way back. At Kosrae I’m planning on doing some diving along the stunning reef known for its abundance of marine life and pristine hard corals. I’m also going to do some relaxing, read some books and do some walking around the island to take in the local culture. Generally take it easy and get rid of the stress from the busy fall and winter that I’ve had this year.
Keep an eye on Divermaiden.com where I will be updating with pictures and stories as the internet access allows.
Earlier this year my mom, sister and I decided to go on a mother-daughter trip to Hawaii. My mom had never been to Hawaii and my sister hadn’t been in years. I had just had my first trip to Hawaii in March and enjoyed it so when my mom expressed interest in going there I thought that would be a great idea.
Originally we had planned on going in early May but we had to cancel those dates and eventually ended up going in October. I had found a couple of good places to stay using Expedia and TripAdvisor and eventually booked us into a condo in Kailua Kona for four nights and a guest house in Volcano for two nights. The condo was perfect, one bedroom with a king size bed and a convertible sofa, which we never did pull out preferring to spread out sheets and blankets on the couch as is. The condo was very comfortable and we cooked dinner there several nights and made lunch and breakfast saving us some money on dining out. Wanting to make the trip special for my mom with the true feel of Hawaii I had booked us into an oceanfront room. That was a great idea providing us with beautiful sunsets each night. Our last two nights in Hawaii were at a guest house in Volcano, which is a story in itself that I will tell in another post.
But the greatest thing about this trip was the three of us getting to spend some time together. We talked about our lives and laughed a lot about things we’ve done in the past. We also made some memories together that will last the rest of our lives. Who could forget the huge manta rays swooping up from the dark water to within inches from us feeding on the krill exposed by the bright lights? There we were, in the ocean, snorkeling in the dark holding onto a “surfboard” as the mantas circled below us over and over again. We could see down their mouths and through their gills. It was an amazing experience!
On other days we walked through historic sites where ancient ruins mapped out villages, we walked down long trails to beautiful waterfalls and we went snorkeling in protected bays in one of which Mom and I saw a turtle! We drove to the southernmost point in the United States where the water was the blue of the sky only 10 times more saturated, and the shallow water a beautiful aqua color that I can’t find words to describe. Hawaii is beautiful and we enjoyed every moment. And who could go to Hawaii without shopping. I can tell you that several Christmas presents were purchased on the trip.
But being on vacation in Hawaii wasn’t my only reason for this post.
While we were on the trip I noticed how my mother was starting to seem a little frail. Well, maybe not frail; but I had always thought of her as so strong. She is still healthy and actually quite strong for her age, but by being in close contact with her for a week I realized that she is aging, and slowing down a bit. After I came home I knew that I wanted to spend more time with her. So more mother – daughter trips will be planned. Parents; and grandparents are special people that sometimes as we grow up and live our own lives we don’t see or talk to them as often as when we were younger. But this is the time when we should be spending time with them, if not in person then on the phone, on Skype or Facetime, with emails and letters. Don’t miss out on spending time with your mom or dad or your grandparents, take them on a vacation…
Or, just give them a call to say hello and I love you.
No longer will we be buying a box with a DVD in it or buying a license and downloading Adobe software to our computers, ours to use for ever and ever. The model has changed!
The world of photographers was rocked a bit when Adobe announced that Photoshop, in fact almost all of Adobe’s ‘Creative Suite’ is going to a cloud based subscription service. What! Subscription? How much? How does it work? How will we get it? Who thought this up?
These were all questions in our minds.
All this contemplation began for me after getting an email informing me that my Lightroom 5 beta was over. Lightroom 5 was now available for upgrade so I brought up the Adobe store to buy my Lightroom upgrade. Lightroom is one of the few Adobe products not being changed to subscription only. Usually I buy a boxed version but I couldn’t find that option on Adobe’s online store. Now what was I to do?
Like any other red-blooded American photographer I picked up my phone and called Adobe. After being asked to press “1” to have someone call me back in 5-10 minutes (yeah right) and pressing “0” (the smart choice) to be put on hold for the next available representative, I was eventually put through to a very nice person who told me all about the new subscription model and how it was going to work.
Yes, she tells me, the “Creative Suite” is no longer available as application(s) that you purchase once and get a license and that’s it. Anyone wanting to use part of the Creative Suite, now called the Creative Cloud, will have to subscribe. And the prices can be steep depending on how you use your Adobe products.
Generally, other than Lightroom, I have only used Photoshop… oops I mean CC so I didn’t get information on the whole suite, but I think it works pretty much the same, just more expensive.
I think I’m going to take advantage of the special for those with a currently licensed product newer than CS3 and sign up for CC only. At the end of my year at $9.99 I’ll switch to the month-to-month plan. I use Lightroom mostly anyway. I might miss the convenience of being able to use CC at will whenever I want to but it seems silly to pay a lot of money for something I only use occasionally.
I’m interested to hear what other photographers will do. Send me a comment and let me know.
Disclaimer: This post was not sponsored by Adobe or anyone else and no free software (or cloudware) was received by the author (unfortunately ;).
As mentioned previously Randy and I went on a “free” trip to Hawaii. It turned out to be not so free but that’s ok, we went and we had a good time. It was my first time to Hawaii so I was really looking forward to the trip. For a long time I had listened to people talking about how wonderful Hawaii was; the blue ocean, the white (and black) sand beaches, surfers hanging out in the waves, waterfalls and volcanos. All of it sounded so exciting! So when we got there it was late and we walked to a very modern American mall to find some dinner. Then the next day we picked up our rental car and started exploring. I must admit, I was a little disappointed. It seemed just like home. We were in a town with the same stores (even a Costco) and the same gas stations and restaurants. Where was the romantic tropical paradise I was expecting?Read More