We’ve Got Power! Announcing the new, expanded UK Puffins and Gannets 2018 IPT with the Bempton Cliffs pre-trip. And Computer Help Needed. « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

We've Got Power! Announcing the new, expanded UK Puffins and Gannets 2018 IPT with the Bempton Cliffs pre-trip. And Computer Help Needed.

Please Don’t Forget …

Why start today’s blog post with this feature that is included in most every post? Because most folks do not realize that if they use my B&H links for stuff like Wimberley Heads and plates that they are costing me a pretty penny (while at the same time thinking that they are doing their best to help me and help BAA). Not only will we match B&H’s great low prices, but if they offer free shipping to your location we will do the same provided that you place your order by phone.

As always–and many folks have been doing a really great job for a long time now–please remember to use the BAA B&H links for your major and minor gear purchases. For best results, use one of our many product-specific links; after clicking on one of those you can continue shopping with all subsequent purchases invisibly tracked to BAA. Your doing so is always greatly appreciated. Please remember: web orders only. And please remember also that if you are shopping for items that we carry in the BAA Online Store (as noted in red at the close of this post below) we would of course appreciate your business.

Stuff

Jim and I drove into town yesterday. At Lowe’s I picked up three more 5-gallon gas cans and four 50-foot extension cords. I was finally able to get spring water at Publix. Then we filled all seven of our gas cans and topped off my Sequoia. We were preparing for the long hall, perhaps a week or two more without electricity. As we got close to home I joked, “Wouldn’t it be a pisser if the utility trucks had arrived and were repairing the downed utility poles and lines?” (There were actually two poles on the ground, not one as we had previously thought.) When we turned onto Orange Avenue we saw many utility trucks in the vicinity of the drainage ditch that runs past my backyard.

After a short visit we learned that the crew was from Mississippi and that we would have our power restored within a few hours. And that is just what happened. Clemens Vanderwerf and his wife arrived at 1pm for a “Power’s Back On” pool party and barbecue. We enjoyed Sockeye Salmon with barbecued Brussels sprouts and goat cheese and fresh blueberries for dessert.

After lunch Clemens fired up his chain saw and — in a matter of moments — polished off some of the six-to nine-inch thick branches that were impeding our backyard clean-up progress. We estimated that if Jim and I had done what he did with a two man saw it would have taken us about ten hours … After piling up the logs — anybody need some free firewood? — we removed and packed up Clemens’ air conditioner and got it into his car. After a short swim, Clemens took off and headed back to West Palm. They had learned while they were visiting their daughter in Tampa that their power had been restored.

It is good to have wonderful friends.

I drove around the corner to thank the Mississipi crew. I offered them two hundred dollar bills to pay for a nice dinner for the guys. They politely refused saying that they were not permitted to take any tips.

The Bad News and Computer Help Needed

When I asked about the phone lines one of the guys on the crew said that they had needed to cut the phone lines to restore power as the phone lines had been all tangled up with the power lines. So I called our phone company, Frontier — they had taken over from Verizon about a year and a half ago, to let them know that we had no phone service for a week and that we currently have no phone service. After eventually speaking to a supervisor I was told that business account or not, they could not have a repairperson here until September 25. Two things are pretty clear:

  • 1-It is likely that we will not have any phone or internet (we have DSL through the phone lines) until at least September 25.
  • 2-If you have choice of phone service providers, avoid Frontier at all costs.

Computer Help Needed

I had never realized until Jim informed me this morning that our two Windows desk top office computers are not wi-fi enabled … I had hoped that we could get both of the office computers online via my Verizon Mobile Hotspot on my cell phone. If anyone knows a workaround, please leave a comment asap. with love, artie

The Streak

Today marks fifty-five days in a row with a new blog post — Irma be damned! This one took about ninety minutes to prepare. With all of my upcoming free time (or not …), the plan right now is to break the current record streak of (I think) four hundred eighty something … Good health and good internet connections willing.

Everybody’s Doing It…

Everybody’s buying and selling used gear on the BAA Used Gear Page. Sales recently have been through the roof. Selling your used (or like-new) photo gear through the BAA Blog or via a BAA Online Bulletin is a great idea. We charge only a 5% commission. One of the more popular used gear for sale sites charged a minimum of 20%. Plus assorted fees! Yikes. They recently folded. And eBay fees are now in the 13% range. The minimum item price here is $500 (or less for a $25 fee). If you are interested please e-mail with the words Items for Sale Info Request cut and pasted into the Subject line :). Stuff that is priced fairly–I offer free pricing advice, usually sells in no time flat. In the past few months, we have sold just about everything in sight. Do know that prices on some items like the EOS-1D Mark IV, the old Canon 500mm, the EOS-7D, and the original 400mm IS DO lens have been dropping steadily. Even the prices on the new 600 II and the 200-400 with Internal Extender have been plummeting. You can see all current listings by clicking here or by clicking on the Used Photo Gear tab on the right side of the yellow-orange menu bar at the top of each blog post.

Latest Used Gear Kudos

via e-mail from Robert Blanke

Hey Artie. Thank you again–the 5D s sale makes four cameras sold at fair prices and commissions, with the first three going in one day! Cheers Robert

Used Gear Sale from the past month

Robert Blanke sold his Canon EOS 5Ds body in like-new condition for $2249.00 in early September.
Ron Paulk sold his Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM lens in like-new condition for $9,899 with lots of great extras in early September.
Lisa Tri sold her Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM Zoom lens (the original IS version) in near-mint condition for the BAA record low price of $898 in early September.
IPT veteran Joe Messina sold his Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Lens with Internal 1.4x Extender in excellent plus condition for the BAA record-low price of $7,900 in early September.
Ivan Kuraev sold his Canon 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM lens in near-mint condition for $1699 and his Canon EOS 5D Mark IV in excellent near-mint condition for $2499 in early September.
IPT veteran Mike Ross sold his Canon EOS 7D Mark II with the Canon BG-E16 Battery Grip all in mint condition for $1,099 on the first day it was listed in early September.
Ray Stranagan sold his Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM Lens in excellent condition for $3999 in early September, just three days after it was listed.
IPT veteran Richard Bohnet also sold his Canon EOS 5D MK III (with an L-bracket) in near-mint condition for $1449 and his Canon EOS 7D in excellent condition for $279 in late August.
IPT veteran Richard Bohnet sold his Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM lens (the “old” 1-4) in excellent condition for an even $500 in mid-August.
Multiple IPT veteran Carlotta Grenier sold her Canon EOS-1DX camera body in excellent condition for $2358 and a never used Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Sports Lens for Canon EF in better than like-new condition for the BAA record low price of $998.
Eric Karl sold his Canon EOS 5D Mark III body in very good plus condition with extras for $1,300 in mid-August.


Booking.Com

I could not secure the lodging that I needed for last year’s UK Puffins and Gannets IPT in Dunbar, Scotland, so I went from Hotels.Com to Booking.Com and was pleasantly surprised. I found the rooms that I needed with ease at a hotel that was not even on Hotels.Com, and it was a nice hotel that I had seen in person. And the rates were great. If you’d like to give Booking.Com a shot, click here and you will earn a $25 reward.

Thanks to the many who have already tried and used this great service.



Gear Questions and Advice

Too many folks attending BAA IPTs and dozens of folks whom I see in the field, and on BPN, are–out of ignorance–using the wrong gear especially when it comes to tripods and more especially, tripod heads… Please know that I am always glad to answer your gear questions via e-mail.

UK-Puffins-2017card

Images and card design copyright: Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART. All images were created on the 2017 UK Puffins and Gannets IPT

Please click on the card to see a larger and inexplicably sharper version.

The new, expanded UK Puffins and Gannets 2018 IPT. Monday July 2 through Tuesday July 10 (on the ground; fly home on Wednesday July 11.): $7,499. Limit 10 photographers/openings 5, all sign-ups are in for the Bempton Cliffs pre-trip; please see the info below. Co-leader: Peter Kes.

Join me in the UK next July to photograph Atlantic Puffin, Common Murre, Razorbill, Shag, and Northern Gannet, all at close range. We will also enjoy great chances with Arctic and Sandwich Terns, both with chicks of all sizes; Black-headed, Lesser-Black-backed, and Herring Gulls, many chasing puffins with fish; Black-legged Kittiwake with chicks; plus Grey Seal. Not to mention lots of great flight photography. As on all IPTs, if you pay attention, you will learn a ton.

Why go all the way to Machias Seal Island in Maine, endure a two hour boat ride, and have to photograph Atlantic Puffins from a cramped blind usually in bright sun (and well off sun angle) when you can hop a red-eye flight from Newark, NJ and be in Edinburgh, Scotland early the next morning, get driven down to Seahouses, and have hundreds of puffins posing at close range all day, every day (usually in cloudy bright conditions) after only a short boat ride?

While we are in Seahouses we will do six planned puffin/seabird trips, all weather permitting of course. In four years we have averaged losing ½ day per year to bad weather. We land at Staple Island in the morning and then sail over to Inner Farnes for our afternoon session. In addition, we may enjoy a session or two of photographing nesting Black-legged Kittiwakes at eye level from a rocky beach in Seahouses.

On the morning of Monday, July 9, 2018, we will finish packing, sleep late, and head up to Dunbar Harbor for lunch and an afternoon gannet boat chumming trip: flight photography until you cannot lift your camera. The next morning, Tuesday July 10, we will enjoy our second gannet boat chumming trip. On both trips we will enjoy great views of Bass Rock, a huge gannetry. Included will be two nights lodging at the Pine Martin by Marston’s Inn in Dunbar. Early on the morning of Wednesday July 11, we will leave early and drive up to Edinburg Airport so that everyone can make their flights home in time. We will need to leave as early as need be to get those on early flights there on time. No moaning please. Try for a flight that leaves no early than 8:30am if possible.

The Details

This IPT is all-inclusive except for your airfare and alcoholic beverages. All lodgings, all meals, your National Trust membership, and all boat, entry, and landing fees are included. Weather permitting we will enjoy six full days on the puffin boats, one amazing afternoon gannet chumming trip, and one spectacular morning gannet chumming trips. Plus an afternoon castle and perhaps some nesting kittwakes in the town of Seahouses (if ya’ll are not too, too tired.)

The trip cannot be finalized until I have at least six deposits as I will be renting a lovely 15-passenger bus with our private professional driver who happens to be my web-master, Peter Kes, who is also a skilled photographer 🙂

In Seahouses, we stay 7 nights in gorgeous, modern, upscale, country cottages with Wi-fi. They are beyond lovely with large living areas and lots of open space for the informal image sharing and Photoshop sessions. The shared rooms are decent-sized, each with a private bathroom. See the single supplement info below.

We cook our own breakfasts each morning and prepare our own lunches to be brought on the five boat trips. On our mid-IPR gannet day we will enjoy lunch at the wonderful Dunbar Garden Center. We will do a barbeque or two at the cottages but most dinners will be in excellent local restaurants. We stay two nights at the Marston’s Inn in Dunbar. We will enjoy a fine-dining Thank You dinner at the Dunbar Hotel on the Tuesday evening before we fly home.

gannet-incoming mike poole

Incoming Northern Gannet, Bempton Cliffs, UK. Image copyright and courtesy of Mike Poole

Please click on the card to see a larger and inexplicably sharper version.

The UK Puffins and Gannets 2018 Bempton Cliffs Pre-trip. Free Instruction with cost sharing (from Edinburgh, Airport). Wednesday June 27 (from EDI) through the morning of Monday, July 1 (ending in Seahouses, UK). Limit 10 photographers. Co-leader: Peter Kes.

This is an offer that you might not be able to refuse … Why travel to Europe and not add on five great days of photography and photographic instruction for barely more than the cost of your food and your room?

I have been hearing about Bempton Cliffs for years. It is about 3 hours by car south of Seahouses, less than five hours from Edinburgh Airport. It hosts the only mainland gannetry in England and also the largest kittiwake colony in mainland Britain. In addition to the gannets and kittiwakes we will get to photograph Razorbill. Much of the photography will be of birds in flight with both incoming birds and top shots (dorsal views of birds flying below us) being especially attractive. My understanding is that sunny afternoons are best; with the right winds, they can be mega. There is a good chance that we can get in a short photo session on our first afternoon.

gannet-flight-grass-v2 mike poole

Northern Gannet with nesting material, Bempton Cliffs, UK. Image copyright and courtesy of Mike Poole

Please click on the card to see a larger and inexplicably sharper version.

We will be staying at the Lobster Pot by Marston’s Inn in Bridlington, just ten minutes from Bempton Cliffs. Marston’s Inn properties are both fine and economical: $316.42 for the four nights (possibly plus 20% VAT).
Morning options may include one or two (optional) gannet chumming trips, a visit to the North Yorkshire Moors, about an hour’s drive away, to look for Red Grouse and possibly Red-legged Partridge if we are lucky., or, on cloudy or foggy days, photographing at Bempton Cliffs. I am looking to hire a local guide for one day (with that cost shared by all on the pre-trip).

rich-steel-Razorbill-2012-207

Incoming Razorbill, Bempton Cliffs, UK. Image courtesy of and copyright Rich Steel

Please click on the card to see a larger and inexplicably sharper version.

After our last afternoon session on Sunday July 1 we will drive up to Newcastle where we will be staying at the again economical Holiday Inn Express Newcastle Metro Centre — $116.02 (possibly plus 20% VAT). We will likely do a morning puffin boat trip that Monday after which we will meet the rest of the group (if any) at the cottages in Seahouses.

I am hoping that everyone who joins the IPT will fly over early to join the pre-trip. Those who opt to fly over only for the IPT will need to arrive at Edinburgh International Airport (EDI) on the early morning of Monday, July 2. (There are lots of red-eye flights arriving from around the world at that time). There, they will be met by a 100% reliable, professional driver from Executive Transfers for their transfer to our cottages in Seahouses; I have used their services several times before and they are simply fantastic.

Those who will be making both the pre-trip and the IPT will need to arrive at EDI on the early morning of Wednesday June 27, 2018. (Again, there are lots of red-eye flights arriving from around the world at that time). Interested folks from the UK who are considering driving their own vehicles are asked to e-mail for details.

IPT Details

If you are good to go sharing a room–couples of course are more than welcome–please send your non-refundable $2,000/person deposit check now to save a spot. Please be sure to check your schedule carefully before committing to the trip and see the travel insurance info below. Your balance will be due on February 29, 2018. Please make your check out to “Arthur Morris” and send it to Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART, PO Box 7245, Indian Lake Estates, FL, 33855.

Please shoot me an e-mail if you are good to go or if you have any questions.

Single Supplement Deposit Info

Single supplement rooms at the cottage are available on a limited basis. To ensure yours, please register early. The single supplement fee is $1575. If you would like your own room, please request it when making your deposit and include payment in full for the single supplement; your single supplement deposit check should be for $3,575. As we will need to commit to renting the extra space, single supplement deposits are non-refundable so please be sure that check your schedule carefully before committing to the trip and see the travel insurance info below.

Pre-trip Cost Sharing

Enjoy free instruction for five days by agreeing to share the following pre-trip costs equally (by all particpants and artie):

The cost of our vehicle pro-rated for five days.
The cost of gas from EDI to Bridlington and then back up to Seahouses.
The cost of Peter Kes’s food and lodging.
The cost of one or two gannet chumming trips (optional).

You will also be responsible for the following costs in full:

Four night’s lodging in Bridlington as above.
One night’s lodging in Newcastle.
All of your food and beverages.
The cost of your park entry fees.

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance for big international trips is highly recommended as we never know what life has in store for us. I strongly recommend that you purchase quality insurance. Travel Insurance Services offers a variety of plans and options. Included with the Elite Option or available as an upgrade to the Basic & Plus Options you can also purchase Cancel for Any Reason Coverage that expands the list of reasons for your canceling to include things such as sudden work or family obligation and even a simple change of mind. My family and I use and depend on the great policies offered by TIS whenever we travel. You can learn more here: Travel Insurance Services. Do note that many plans require that you purchase your travel insurance within 14 days of our cashing your deposit check of running your credit card. Whenever purchasing travel insurance be sure to read the fine print careful even when dealing with reputable firms like TSI.

I truly hope that you can join me on this exciting venture.

If In Doubt …

If in doubt about using the BAA B&H affiliate link correctly, you can always start your search by clicking here. Please note that the tracking is invisible. Web orders only. Please, however, remember to shoot me your receipt via e-mail.






Please Remember to use my Affiliate Links and to Visit the New BAA Online Store 🙂

To show your appreciation for my continuing efforts here, we ask, as always, that you get in the habit of using my B&H affiliate links on the right side of the blog for all of your photo and electronics purchases. Please check the availability of all photographic accessories in the New BIRDS AS ART Online Store, especially the Mongoose M3.6 tripod head, Wimberley lens plates, Delkin flash cards and accessories, and LensCoat stuff.

As always, we sell only what I have used, have tested, and can depend on. We will not sell you junk. We know what you need to make creating great images easy and fun. And please remember that I am always glad to answer your gear questions via e-mail.

I would of course appreciate your using our B&H affiliate links for all of your major gear, video, and electronic purchases. For the photographic stuff mentioned in the paragraph above, and for everything else in the new store, we, meaning BAA, would of course greatly appreciate your business. Here is a huge thank you to the many who have been using our links on a regular basis and those who will be visiting the New BIRDS AS ART Online Store as well.

Amazon.com

Those who prefer to support BAA by shopping with Amazon may use the logo link above.

Amazon Canada

Many kind folks from north of the border, eh, have e-mailed stating that they would love to help us out by using one of our affiliate links but that living in Canada and doing so presents numerous problems. Now, they can help us out by using our Amazon Canada affiliate link by starting their searches by clicking here.

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Be sure to like and follow BAA on Facebook by clicking on the logo link upper right. Tanks a stack.

Typos

In all blog posts and Bulletins, feel free to e-mail or to leave a comment regarding any typos or errors. Just be right :).

12 comments to We’ve Got Power! Announcing the new, expanded UK Puffins and Gannets 2018 IPT with the Bempton Cliffs pre-trip. And Computer Help Needed.

  • Congratulations!!! Irma was quite the storm. I had no power all the way up in the NC mountains for 6 days so I feel your joy at having electricity again.

  • Hi Artie,

    You can also get a wifi extender that has 4 Wired LAN ports Linksys – AC1200 Dual-Band Wi-Fi Range Extender – Black Model: RE6500SKU: 7401006 At Best Buy for $69.00.

    I use one for my large format printer that is not wifi.

  • avatar Larry Brown

    We were without power for 4 days last week, here in Middle Georgia. Friday morning, a power company from New Jersey got us up and going. “Jersey Boys” rock. Electricity is a wonderful thing.

  • avatar Tim Smith

    Artie, I live in the UK and we visited Bempton Cliffs earlier this year. It is a fantastic place to watch and photograph sea birds. You will not be dissapointed when you visit next year.

  • avatar David Policansky

    Congratulations on getting your power back, Artie, and for surviving without it.

  • If you are only looking for temporary wi-fi connectivity, the USB stick route is probably quicker to set up. If you want something more permanent the wi-fi card will likely be more robust in the long term but you have to open the computer case to install it.

  • Artie – use a USB wi-fi stick. Get a 3.0 stick. We use them on the road to supplement the laptops. Many times we get double the speed from our laptop’s internal wifi. Amazon has them. I ‘ll email you with the specifics that we have….. and we fired Frontier for phone and went with our cable company this year. We have 2 separate numbers and saved $150 per month after they changed my plan. Had to have phone AND internet which I did not want.

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Thanks. How do I fire Frontier?

      With love, artie

      ps: if you give me a few specifics on the wi-fi stick, we might be able to get one in town this afternoon 🙂

  • avatar Clemens Vanderwerf

    Other option would be to buy wifi card or a USB wifi stick which you plug into the computer.

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Thanks Clemens. We will try to get one of those thingamajigs at Radio Shack this afternoon.

      And thanks a stack for your friendship and help this weekend.

      with love, artie

  • avatar Clemens Vanderwerf

    We are using these hotspots for our aircraft while they are on the ground. Works great. We even used them last week while we had no internet communication at our office.
    https://support.t-mobile.com/community/phones-tablets-devices/mobile-internet/t-mobile-4g-mobile-hotspot