Breakwater North Light

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Good morning, spring is less than a month away. In May of 2006 we visited our daughter when she was running in the Burlington Marathon in Vermont. This photo was taken of the Breakwater North Light in Lake Champlain.

Lake Champlain - Burlington Breakwater North Light by John Poltrack on
Burlington Breakwater North Light



Beach Sunday

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Good morning readers, did you have your coffee yet?

The winter continues to be weird here in New Ipswich. It’s January 10th and it is raining, not snowing. Temperatures are comfortably above freezing. It’s not natural.

The photo theme for today is Beach Sunday. I’ve gone into the archives and picked a few analog photos that I took on the West Coast when I was in the Navy. In retrospect I wish I had taken notes about the exact dates and locations for these photos, I can only guess.

Click on any photo to open the Beach Album of photos.


California Girls by John Poltrack on
California Girls


La Jolla 1970 by John Poltrack on
La Jolla


Beach Stroll by John Poltrack on
A stroll along the Oregon Coastline


No Surf by John Poltrack on
No Surf


Driftwood by John Poltrack on
Pacific Northwest


Nootka Island and Friendly Cove

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Battered by savage storms on their voyage from Hawaii and seeking a place to make repairs and to find fresh water, Captain James Cook with his ships Resolution and Discovery, limped into this bay on March 29,1778. While the British anchored their ‘floating islands,’ the First Nations people shouted from their canoes: “itchme nutka, itchme nutka,” meaning “go around, go round” to a better anchorage at Yuqout, but Cook misinterpreted their shouts, believing they were calling out Nootka as the name of the area. Despite this initial misunderstanding, he and his men stayed for more than a month here, becoming the first documented Europeans to set foot in British Columbia. – Yuquot (Friendly Cove) Today

Of course it did not fare well for the First Nation People once the Europeans started showing up and claiming everything for their own.

MV Uchuck

The MV Uchuck III is a converted 1942 Minesweeper that services Nootka Island and multiple camps and settlements in the area. It carries freight, passengers and kayakers. This photo was taken in the 1970s but not much had changed when I returned in 2004.

Church at Friendly Cove

The first building one encounters is a Roman Catholic Church built in 1956 to replace the one built by Father Brabant in 1889.

Nootka Island Church

Stained glass window in the church

Friendly Cove

The real surprise is the interior of the church which now serves as a cultural center.  The altar and pulpit have been replaced with colorful native houseposts. Tucked away in the choir loft we found a few church remnants out of view.

Friendly Cove

Graveyard along the trail paralleling Friendly Cove.

Friendly Cove

Looking back at the Church along Friendly Cove. The beach is deceiving, it is not sandy, but made up of small polished stones. Walking along the shoreline is similar to walking on ball bearings.


We rented a cabin at the far end of Friendly Cove. We were unable to fasten the door because an earlier earthquake had shifted the frame. This was an issue because we were nervous that we might get a visit from a bear. We dined on fish the entire week.

Nootka Island in July

Our friends were hiking the trail while we stayed in the cabin. During the day we explored some of the tide pools and socialized with our relatives.

Nootka Island in July

It is an incredibly beautiful place

Long Beach on Vancouver Island

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Going through the archives I discovered some photos taken in the 1980s when we traveled to Vancouver Island to visit family. These are a good choice for the photo theme #CoastalThursday. Sadly like so many of my slides the dyes had deteriorated before I was able to scan them into a digital format.

Long Beach
Long Beach on the west coast of Vancouver Island. It is very typical to see a large amount of timber along the shoreline. This beach is quite popular with surfers. In this shot the mountains are obscured by the clouds.
Long Beach
Long Beach is the largest beach in the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve on the west coast of Vancouver Island.

Fogged in

We took a road trip to the Maine coast on a hot July day to see Cape Neddick Light, have lunch and enjoy the view.When we arrived we discovered what happens when you mix frigid water with humid air.

In spite of the fog, I rather like this shot of Nubble Light in the town of York, ME.


Fire Island Sunrise – September 21, 2014

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Good morning readers,

We attended a family wedding in September of 2014 at Fire Island in New York. It was a great affair, but I was especially taken with the beauty of the landscape. I would awake to watch the sun rise over the Atlantic. Wonderful place.

Photograph Fire Island by John Poltrack on 500px

Along the Pacific Coastline

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In the early 1970s I traveled up the Pacific Coastline from Imperial Beach in California to the Olympic Rain Forest in Washington State. It was an epic trip for me since I love the coast. This photo was probably taken somewhere in Oregon. In retrospect I wish I had taken notes about the photos. Unlike digital photography there are no time stamps or EXIF data.

I’m especially curious which lens I used to get this depth of field. I may have shot this at f/32.

I was dismayed to see that once again our beautiful coastline has been befouled by oil near the site of the historic spill in 1969 (Refugio State Beach). Plains All American subsidiary is responsible for the latest spill in California. It has been responsible for nearly $24 million in property damages in the last 10 years. For this they paid a paltry fine of $284,500 in enforcement actions.

I remember some of the effects of the Santa Barbara spill that occurred in 1969. In 1970-71 I was stationed 229 miles south of the spill at NAS Ream Field in Imperial Beach. I would walk the beach when I was off duty and would occasionally step on an oil blog, a tarry mess that needed to be removed with a solvent. This stuff doesn’t disappear.

Thursday Photo Themes (Happy Lunar New Year)

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Happy Lunar New Year, I glanced out the window to see we have a new coating of snow over the old layers of snow., how novel. I’ve posted some Chinese New Year photos on my other blog taken in Boston in 2012, a year without 6 feet of snow.

A new theme to work with #YellowOnThursday

Rural life (1972 scanned slide)
Not sure where this is, probably California

On the West Coast of Vancouver Island 

One for #TBT

Leaves on Thursday

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Throwback Thursday

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Good morning, awoke to see MORE snow falling. Yesterday I went to fill the bird feeders and had to wear snowshoes to negotiate the yard. I quickly realized that they are undersized when I sank about a foot. I also attribute that to the extra poundage I’ve been been accumulating. Seeing the first  photo makes me realize how far gone I am.

Outside of Olongapo City in the Philippines  – 1970
Check out my cool striped pants that I probably bought in the Navy Exchange
For a #tbt moment you can see a 8-Track player on the table to my right


Another vintage photo from the 1970s in Hong Kong
It was all over for Minolta in 2006 when it transferred it’s technology to Sony


An analog photo taken in Central Park probably taken in the 1980s
I tried to take a similar photo in 2011 when I was accosted by a very upset player who berated me in a heavy Russian accent for taking a photo. I learned to ask after that.


Another vintage shot from the 1970s from beautiful California
No snow there
The only digital photo in the collection taken of my Japanese Maple
Experimented a bit with the art filters
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