Here is a series of photographs of the January 31, 2018 SpaceX launch of a Falcon9 bearing a Govsat1 (aka SES-16) satellite for Luxembourg. The re-used Falcon 9 was in expendable mode. The photographs, taken from Cocoa Beach, Florida show the rocket rising above the city and port of Cape Canaveral, through cumulous clouds and into space.
There are the unedited “jpeg” files from the series. I need to crop out the dust spots and such.
One day before the 2019 Total Lunar Eclipse a full moon rose 4:25 pm above the Atlantic Ocean off Cocoa Beach, the “Space Coast” of Florida. We saw a power kite to the south, with the southerly winds there was time before he was on us. I took the following photographs with what was at hand, an iPhone 8.
At 50 minutes post moonrise, I included the orb in this frame as the rider tacked, rising a water crest.
A flick of the fingers to zoom in, the moon and rider are together as he rides toward shore.
This time of, Saturdays, the cruise ships depart Cape Canaveral Port. The kite is above the distant ship. It is amazing the kite allows sailing into the wind, his heading is southwest. The shore limits his progress, forcing a tack towards a southeast heading.
Or not, it seems he plans to tack to the northeast, continuing progress north up the coast. I have to wonder how he will return to the starting point?
Copyright 2022 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills
In the early morning hours of Sunday, September 10, 2017 as Hurricane Irma approached the Florida Keys, I cannot sleep, worried about family members north of Miami and in Daytona Beach. To pass the time, I returned to the golden hours of March 4, 2017 evening. On vacation, Pam and I walked Cocoa Beach starting from Lori Wilson Park, headed north.
The light was perfect when I decided to switch to Raw-Jpeg mode, feeling the extra space was worth it. I don’t know why I don’t shoot Raw 100% of the time, as always, in retrospect, I regret using jpeg only. The camera was the Sony Alpha 700 dslr with a DT 18-200mm f3.5-6.3 lens purchased 2008 after an expedition to the Superstition Wilderness.
After capturing a wedding photo shoot and surfers there was this set of two Kite Skaters going at least 20 miles an hour. The Sony Alpha was quick enough to capture some of the action in raw mode, I am not satisfied with the sharpness of the images as the lens was not fast enough.
We had never watched kite skaters before and were prepared to understand the vision from watching distant kite surfers out beyond the breakers. North winds are the best for any type of kiting on Cocoa Beach and, that day, the wind was northeast. These riders zipped by in less than a minute. The sport is low key, it does not exist on Wikipedia. Image that. These two are having a fantastic time and stayed upright, going on and on and on down the miles long beach.
1990 KiteSkate pioneers on the USA east coast experimented with four-line controllable parafoil kites powering in-line skates for exciting rides on asphalt surfaces.
The name “Wheels of Doom” suggest the danger of going this fast over a hard, rough surface.
These Cocoa Beach riders are outfitted for speed and safety: pads, helmets.
Barefeet?? Unprotected skin? They must know how to dress, though maybe not. He has never fallen?
The beach within the tide line is solid, the pebbles, broken shells and such unforgiving as asphalt.
Pam and I walked from Cheri Down park this morning of February 2020 to Jetty Park where we were fortuitous witnesses to the arrival of the Cunard ship Queen Victoria on an 84-day cruise around South America.
Click video to start. To do this from WordPress Reader, for best results first click the title of this post to open a new page. Ditto for the photograph
I used my IPhone 7 to capture the event. Understanding the context of a ship’s arrival opens a whole new world. Standing on the pier I researched the voyage.
Here is the list of ports on the itinerary. These include the Caribbean, Central America and many of the same ports visited on the 2016 Oceania cruise Pam and I enjoyed from Lima, Peru to Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Driving to Cocoa Beach from Ithaca, Pam and I missed a horrendous storm because we did a side trip to Louisville, Kentucky, avoiding I95 January 4th and 5th and a rare and treacherous ice storm.
We met people who were stranded overnight near Savannah, Georgia while, on the same days, we drove Kentucky Hill Country for an overnight at Macon, Georgia all in excellent, dry, cold weather. The storm itself, was a stroke of luck. The first Space X launch of 2018 was delayed by the weather until the evening of Sunday, January 7th. I was in place, in the dark, on Cocoa Beach with my Canon DSLR on bulb mode, securely mounted on a travel tripod. My choice of lens was the 24 mm “wide angle.”
Proximity to the Kennedy Space Center is a reason we return to Cocoa Beach. A year ago, March 2007, we did the “Launch Director Tour” offered once a month (if at all) and had a fantastic day. I’ll need to blog about it.
For now, here is a shot from the former Space Shuttle launch room.
I planned camera placement well for this night launch. The view held the entire parabola of the trail. Camera placement was based on researching the launch complex, finding it on Google Earth, using the line feature to determine the orientation of the complex from my location on Cocoa Beach.
Live, the start of the launch is like a dawn in the northern sky. I broke off the exposure to somewhat capture the effect.
The human eye, only the Falcon 9 flame is visible, as a single point of bright light ever rising, lighting the beach and clouds in a soft glow.
The long exposure blends the flame into a bright parabola, at one point the rocket engines throttle back, eventually the color changed to reddish from bright white. I held the exposure until the rocket flame, in the image, turned to blue and faded away.
We waited for six (6) or so minutes, the camera mount and orientation unchanged, and then the incredible returning booster briefly lit up to land at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. I missed the beginning of the burn. In retrospect, I should have timed the launch and opened the shuttle 5 minutes or so after “blast off.”
Followed by a TWO sonic boom finale. Kabooom….Kabooom.
We read in the news the secret military satellite, named “Zuma”, on top of the Falcon crashed into the Indian Ocean. SpaceX claimed the launch was a success (??), that the protective fairing jettisoned successfully. No mention was made of the secret payload. The failure was with the Northup Grumman built “Zuma” satellite? Hmmmmm.
Copyright 2022 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved.
A multi-day hatch of small fry around the time of a new moon triggered this Black Skimmers (scientific name: Rynchops niger) feeding behavior surf off Cocoa Beach, Brevard County on Florida’s Atlantic Coast.
Copyright 2022 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved
No, the Manatee mailbox on Atlantic Avenue is NOT the whale sighted….more of that later. February 3rd 2022 dawned with scattered clouds to fracture sunbeams.
Walking south I made the 2+ mile point where, up from the beach on South Atlantic Avenue, is a memorable facade.
Also exotic schefflera, paths to the beach through Sea Grapes.
February is the time for Right Whale sightings on the Florida Atlantic Coast. On the beach, near the blue dot on the following map, were lines of people facing the ocean, some with binoculars and cameras with long lenses.
About 500 feet out, beyond where the wave roll begins, a person sat on a paddle board looking to my right. In the following IPhone videos an occasional black hump, roiling water, a flipper and the signature spout are visible. It is too far for identification, I call it a Right Whale from their reputation for visiting these shores in late January/February.
An hour later, I left the beach at South 4th Street to capture the following local color.
Copyright 2022 Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved
A sequence of high speed shots of what the Osprey does best. For this, the sixth and final post of this series (Click me for the first post, “Endless Searching“), we follow the bird in a dramatic plummet into the surf until it rises, catch in claws.
Late morning of January 20, 2019 I headed out with the Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III mounted with the Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L USM lens for handheld shots. Many elements aligned for these shots: weather, equipment, placement among them. The angle of the sun at 11:21 am was not optimal, but the cloud cover made up for it.
Click any photograph for a larger view.
The dive impact happens in less than 2 seconds.
Less than one second from point of impact until emgergence and flight.
Copyright 2022, Michael Stephen Wills All Rights Reserved