Masked Booby At Sea

We had a day at sea after leaving Princess Cays, and while there are many activities on the boat, I was distracted from both activities and eating by a Masked Booby.

Cruise 2014, Bird, Moon,

The bird was tracking the ship, flying a zigzagging pattern going from one side to the other by crossing in front of the ship. Our room was on the front of the ship, so this worked out for me. 

Every once in a while it would spot something, and dive.

Cruise 2014, Bird, Moon,

I could not see the end of the dive  because we were in the middle of the boat. There were other Masked Booby that tracked the boat when we had a cabin on the side, but those shots are not as good as these. I did watch the bird dive, go underwater, come up with a fish, and take off again. 

I also saw what looked like a flying fish (it could not be anything else I could think of), but in both cases, I either had no camera with me, or the photos are for crap.

Cruise 2014, Bird, Moon,

Talk about high dives . . . I was 15 decks above the water; I’m estimating between 100 and 150 feet dives.

The bird is very streamlined. 

Cruise 2014, Bird, Moon, Cruise 2014, Bird, Moon,

All of the above shots, and the next two, were taken with the Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 lens.

Cruise 2014, Bird, Moon,

They are cropped a fair amount because the bird would drift quite a ways from the boat.

So, out came the Nikkor 80-400mm f/3.5-5.6 lens.

This is a touch and go thing, as the lens is fairly slow, and if you miss the focus, it hunts around for a bit. Still, I could not be happier. All of the next shots are with this lens, and the bird was a fair distance away (hard to judge in open water).

Cruise 2014, Bird, Moon, Cruise 2014, Bird, Moon,

For being a slow lens, it performed admirably.

Cruise 2014, Bird, Moon, Cruise 2014, Bird, Moon, Cruise 2014, Bird, Moon,

If you click on the photo, it will open a larger version on a new tab or window. You can also see the full size photos in SmugMug HERE.

I won’t post all the photos here, but you can go to the gallery to see them all.

Some of the photos are a bit grainy at full resolution, but I was shooting at a higher ISO to get sufficiently high shutter speed with this lens.

I did catch the guy checking out his anderwing.

Cruise 2014, Bird, Moon,

But mostly the guy scanned the water.

Cruise 2014, Bird, Moon, Cruise 2014, Bird, Moon, Cruise 2014, Bird, Moon,

After a while, he veered off, drifting far from the boat.

Cruise 2014, Bird, Moon, Cruise 2014, Bird, Moon,

All in all, a pleasant and unexpected experience.

That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.


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About disperser

Odd guy with odd views living an odd life during odd times.
This entry was posted in Cruising, Feathers, Photography Stuff and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Masked Booby At Sea

  1. sandra getgood says:

    What an elegant bird! That must have been one of the high points of your trip…you don’t have sightings like that often, not even if you are David Attenborough! Wonderful shots, especially one of the dives, which was really a piece of living art that you captured in an image. Simply beautiful!


  2. oneowner says:

    Sea birds always seem so graceful to me. I wonder if they were scouting the open air buffet.


    • disperser says:

      They have no choice; the indoor buffet has a low ceiling and little maneuvering room.

      . . . I wonder if birds sometimes just fly for the joy of it, or if it’s just something one does to get to food or mating . . .

      I suppose it’s a bit like driving; sometimes fun, often not.


  3. seekraz says:

    Very nice photography, Emilio…and yes, what an elegant bird, too.


  4. Carissa says:

    Amazing photos, Emilio. I especially love the one of him skritching his underarm.


    • disperser says:

      Thank you Carissa; I was happy with the results. That long lens started having issues with the focus right after that (I’ll have to send it in for service), so I was lucky it was working OK for these shots.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I love all the seabirds! :-) This is a pretty rare sighting!
    Wowza! Superb photos! Great job, Emilio! :-)
    HUGS!!! :-)


  6. Nancy Mehuys says:

    Great capture !!!


  7. AnnMarie says:

    Wow, E! What a piece of luck to get this guy/gal as an added bonus on your trip. You got some great shot!!!


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