Sep 022015
 

I’ve often written about my fondness for the window seat on an airplane.  For me, it’s like unfolding a map and seeing it come to life.  From our normal vantage point on land, we don’t see that Italy is shaped like a boot.  But from 38,000 feet in the air, unique geographic features are readily identifiable.

On a recent flight from Bonaire to Houston, we took a route that followed uncharted territory for me (presumably to avoid a tropical storm brewing in the mid-northern Caribbean).  Here are some shots from my window seat.

The mountains of northern Venezuela

The mountains of northern Venezuela

Venezuelan mountains, just off the Caribbean coast

Venezuelan mountains, just off the Caribbean coast

The northern coast of Venezuela

The northern coast of Venezuela

The aqua-tinged Caribbean coast of Venezuela

The aqua-tinged Caribbean coast of Venezuela

And moving on to another Caribbean country…

Cozumel from the air

Cozumel from the air

Mexico's Riviera Maya from the air

Mexico’s Riviera Maya from the air

Another view of Mexico's Caribbean

Another view of Mexico’s Caribbean Coast

Leaving Riviera Maya

Leaving Riviera Maya

If you like my aerial shots, here are some others-

Cuban Reefs from the Air

The Glory of the Pilot

St. Thomas from the Air

An Aerial Tour of Fiji

Islands from 38,000 Feet – including shots from Australia & The Great Barrier Reef, Maldives, French Polynesia, and Dominican Republic

Nov 052014
 

Being that I’m from the United States, I’ve never really researched Cuban reefs or dive resorts.  What’s the point if I can’t visit?  But on a recent daytime flight from Bonaire to Houston, I was mesmerized by a series of gorgeous reefs in the aquamarine waters below.

Photo of Maria la Gorda from the Air

A quick look at the flight path told me that I was looking at Cuba.  I was floored.  Yes, I know that there is diving in Cuba, but I never envisioned reefs this extensive or beautiful.

Bay of Maria la Gorda Cuba from the air

As I gazed downward, I sighted a lone resort perched on the edge of a glorious bay.  My travel-curious mind went into overdrive.  What resort could this be?  Remote, on a reef with a deepwater bay, white beach – what else could you want in a resort?  It has to be a dive resort, I thought.

Maria la Gorda reef from the air

Here’s a closer look.

Maria La Gorda Cuba

Obsessed, I immediately googled cuban dive resorts upon landing.  A few minutes of research, combined with the knowledge of our flight path, told me I was most probably looking at Maria la Gorda.  Located on the Guanahacabibes Peninsula (a UNESCO Biosphere reserve), resort literature boasts that “Experienced divers rave about the diving, ranging from vertical walls to coral canyons, tunnels, and caves, and even the remains of Spanish galleons.”

Perfect!  So I’ve scouted a remote dive-haven that I can’t visit.

To the rest of the world, have you dived Cuba?  Can you confirm the identity of the mystery resort?  Been to Maria la Gorda?  Is it as beautiful as it looks from the air?  Should I apply for a permit to visit Cuba?

Apr 112014
 

Hawaiian drone videographer Eric Sterman has captured incredible aerial footage of humpback whales enjoying the waters of the north shore of Oahu.  Watch closely, and towards the middle of the video you will spot a pod of whales surfing the waves at the famed Pipeline surf spot.

To see more of Eric’s amazing work-

http://instagram.com/ericsterman/

http://www.ericsterman.com

Feb 212014
 

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you’ll know that I am slightly obsessed with quite fond of photographing islands from the airplane window.  Despite sometimes receiving strange looks from both flight attendants and passengers, I’m not shy about whipping out my camera during take-off and landing.

Here are some shots from a recent Bonaire departure.

Lac Bay Photographed During Takeoff

Lac Bay Photographed During Takeoff

Another View of Lac Bay

Another View of Lac Bay

Shortly after I snapped the second photo, I noticed that a strange (and very beautiful) reflection had appeared out the window of the right side of the aircraft.

Airplane Rainbow

It was a reflection of our aircraft, encircled by a rainbow halo, and it stayed with us for over five minutes.

Pilot's Glory

Despite being a fairly frequent flyer, this was my first time witnessing this stunning phenomenon.  A subsequent google search unveiled more information.  The circular rainbow is called Glory, and the aircraft shadow is called Brocken spectre.  Together they are sometimes called The Glory of the Pilot.  Apparently, I was lucky enough to witness to a rare sight that some pilots never see.

The Glory of the Pilot

The Glory of the Pilot

Have you seen this phenomenon for yourself?

You can find more of my aerial photos here.

Oct 262013
 

One of my geekier hobbies is taking aerial photos from the airplane window seat.  I guess you could say I like to photograph things which fall well above, and well below, sea level.

Charlotte Amalie

Charlotte Amalie

Charlotte Amalie Harbor - cruise ship docs on the lower right

Charlotte Amalie Harbor – cruise ship docks on the lower right

East End, St. Thomas

East End, St. Thomas

Approaching Puerto Rico

Approaching Puerto Rico

If aerial photos are your thing, you might want to check out these posts-

An Aerial Tour of Fiji

Islands from 38,000 Feet