Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Meaford Harbour Feb. 4th

My first recent time photographing things at the Meaford Harbour was nearly two weeks ago now, and it was in the middle of our mild spell.  Temperatures had risen above freezing, and we'd had rain (Yuck!), so there was little snow left, and even the ice along the shoreline had mostly melted.

I started at the little park west of the harbour, where I've sometimes climbed over a 6 foot snowbank, and waded through 18" of snow to get winter pictures.  Today - no snow at all, and just a little ice on the outer boulders.

It was a sunny day, and a bit of a northeast wind, so the waves were rolling in.  You could easily see how the ice builds on these boulders when temperatures are below freezing.

And I was completely astonished to see a ship out in the bay - in early February!!  This would simply never happen in a normal year; last year it was solid ice for 2 or 3 months!

It was so easy walking with no snow that I went over to the main harbour and headed out to the breakwalls.  This view is the opening of the river mouth, the same view as the last view of this that I finished with yesterday - completely choked with ice floes, after the temperature had dropped later that week.

I walked to the west light first, just a small warning light for entering the harbour.  You would never walk here in a normal winter, because these rocks would be covered in treacherous ice, and it's about 20 feet down to the water.

By this time the ship out there had come in closer, and I could see it was a fishing tug, taking a chance with the weather on a good day I guess.

Then I turned back and headed out the east breakwall, to the taller small lighthouse.  You can see that the ice is completely melted away at water level.

Somehow I managed to get a picture when the flashing red light of the small lighthouse was actually on.  It's amazing how hard it is to catch it in a photograph.

Walking out there I had seen someone just standing on the rocks, but as I got closer I could see he was flying a drone, a small quadcopter.

I went to join him and got several pictures.  I've looked at drones for some fun photography, but hesitated because of the noise they make, and the price.  But I was quite impressed with this one, and had a good long chat with him about it.  He was still learning how to fly it, and out here away from people was a safe place to practice.  You can guess what I'm thinking! ...... That might be fun!

The drone is entirely controlled with a unit like this, both for the flying and the photography.  It has a built in gps system that will always bring it back to the point where it started, at least if you set it up correctly. The Canadian government announced new regulations for drones just this December, and they're pretty stringent.  If used for work or research, you need a license; if just for fun you still cannot fly them closer than 150 yards from people, vehicles, buildings, or built up areas.  That's a fair distance, and as long as people follow the rules it would get rid of the annoying use of drones at touristy locations where other people are there.  They'd still be useful for air photos out in rural areas - like wetlands that you can't walk through. In any case, I was impressed.

I stopped by to say hello to the retired Westport CCGS ship permanently on display here.

And found two more Coast Guard ships out of the water for the winter, at the small Coast Guard base.  The Cape Commodore and the Cape Rescue are both used on Georgian Bay as search and rescue ships, but I've never seen them here before.  Turned out to be a nice walk for a winter day after a mild spell when I couldn't go skiing!

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  1. It's just amazing what a guy will learn on a walk out by the water checking to see if rocks are covered with ice. Drones are fascinating things. I can't say I'd be interested in having one, but I know some people who would be. I'm glad you had a great walk in the mild weather.

  2. That sky usually is a harbinger of change in the weather. I wonder if that is true for you, too. It seems wrong for it to be so darn warm! :-)

  3. Those coast guard crews do a lot of good out there on the water.

    What a weird winter it has been.

  4. Looks like you're getting the mild weather we got last year!

  5. So it's thawing out for you there just as it's getting cooler for us, but I'm loving it :-)

  6. Great series and the red ship is such a pretty contrast.
    Oh yeah, I always enjoy the easy walk, when snow is melted...
    Greetings from Germany

  7. Ah, the wether was so beuatiful at the beginning of February, wasn't it? ;))

  8. I watched some of the entries for a films made with drones completion recently. Probably on the BBC website but likely available all over. Astonishing pictures. I think you would have a lot of fun.

  9. Nothing more beautiful than the sea against rocks. And the lighthouse just adds to the package!

  10. Love the water pictures.
    I'm thinking the drone would be lots of fun. : )
    Yes, that is a red bud on my post yesterday. There were many of those trees down where I used to live, though I haven't seen any up here.

  11. Lovely photos ! I can imagine the drones would be fun but yes pricey indeed . Thanks for sharing , have a good day !

  12. Wonderful photos. Interesting the change in the weather for winter. The red boats are striking.

  13. Thank you for visiting my blog and always posting sweet comments! I just sold a drone with a gopro camera setup. My husband bought it a couple of months before he died. If was a splurge that he wanted and he got to fly it once. I had a heck of a time selling it, but finally did to a fellow in Florida for about ⅓ the original price. There was no way that I was going to keep it. I wouldn't find it fun to do by myself and chase after it if it got hung up or crashed somewhere. They are so neat though. The US started strict regulations on them, including registration. That was another thing I wanted to avoid. And the US is a bit sue-happy if you accidentally cause any damage to property or if people think you are filming them without permission.