the things I wish I carried

End of trip packing knoll

There comes a time in every trip when you have to empty out your luggage and sort the absolute necessities from the garbage you’ve re-packed in three different motels and not used once. I just did it for my suitcase, and it’s got me thinking about packing, and lists; what I forgot, and what I could have left behind.

First is the list of stuff I wish I’d remembered. I forgot my travel towel (don’t know where it is, in fact) and it’s super useful, even if the hotel/hostel/cabin/tent (etc) has a towel for every person. I especially miss mine when doing sink laundry. I also forgot to re-stock some of the consumables in my Dopp kit, notably the cotton pads I use for my face (I’m 32 years old and still have acne like a teenager; after a couple golden years in my 20s of low maintenance skin, it’s a wash and moisturize twice a day or I break out). That’s about it for things I miss. Total cost of about 6 oz. I also sort of wish I’d brought a water filter, but I haven’t been uncomfortable without it; the steripen has worked the one time I needed it, but the water still tasted pretty bad.

I also wish, just a bit, that I’d brought the larger camera bag. It fits my iPad and keyboard, and also a water bottle and a bunch of other stuff. The little bag isn’t the worst thing to happen, but I wish I had both options. That would also have bumped me up to my larger carry on, which would have meant I need packing cubes… etc. Oh: I also wished, several times, for a 10L dry bag to stash my camera gear in. And a non-GoPro waterproof camera. Again, I would have needed the larger backpack; I’m in a 30L daypack from Topo similar to this one; the big one is max-carryon sized, about 45L, from MEI.

Things I could have left at home: Binoculars, brought on the off chance that there would be clear skies and less light pollution. Neither of these things are true. Jeans: This was a guess on my part that I would be comfortable in them. The heat down here is way too much for pants. The tropics are an exception to my no shorts rule. Also: the 50mm lens; I haven’t bothered to carry it at all.

A few items I’ve picked up here that I’ll be bringing on my next trip to the tropics: A rash guard, made of wicking fabric, long sleeved. Gives about 30 SPF, very cooling when it’s wet, perfect for going in the water. Medication: I ran out of my prescriptions for blood pressure, and had to get them refilled here. The local pharmacy had two of the four, enough to prevent me from having an embolism or stroke or whatever.

Posted by Matt on 2017-04-27 21:08:54 +0000

beach walk Roatan

Two days ago now, I decided to go for a long walk down the beach. Adam, my friend that grew up here, said that the beach was contiguous, that you could walk the whole way to West Bay (not to be confused with west end, where we’re staying).

So, having decided against scuba instruction, I figured the walk would be a good afternoon’s entertainment. I could get a feel for the island and see what there was to see. I also managed to get mild heat exhaustion and a slight sunburn. Lesson learned (for probably the fifth time): when you go for a walk in the tropics, wear sunscreen and take a bottle of water.

From where we’re staying, it’s about a 10 minute walk to the end of half moon bay (no relation to the one in cali). There’s a point where the paved road stops, and the beach is the only way forward. I walked about 2/3rds of the way to the far tip of the island, and turned back because I didn’t have any water and I was tired. After all, this is a vacation, not a death march.

A note about the photos: I’m getting a little more used to the phone-only workflow. It’s still clunky, just because switching between apps is not as fast as it is on the desktop, and because I use 4 different apps to get them ready to upload (currently: camera+, ps mobile, photos, and flickr). Hopefully I’ve sorted the ordering; editing this way, over ssh, I have to publish the post before I can see.

Beach walk roatan Beach walk roatan Beach walk roatan Beach walk roatan Beach walk roatan Beach walk roatan Beach walk roatan Beach walk roatan Beach walk roatan Beach walk roatan Beach walk roatan Beach walk roatan Beach walk roatan Beach walk roatan Beach walk roatan

Posted by Matt on 2017-04-24 17:10:23 +0000

sunset at sundowners

I’m not sure what order these will show up in. after a couple of days’ recovery from the trip, i finally got off my ass to take some photos. we were at this bar, sundowner’s, which is known for its sunsets. and about half an hour before the main event, i parked myself in a lounger right on the water, and shot these with the 14mm on the Fuji.

some of them are of course after the sunset, but they were all taken within 20 feet of the lounger. if all my shooting went this easily, well, i could use this blog as a tax write off.the island here is treating us exceptionally well.

Power is out this morning, over a big chunk of the island, so i’m writing this on my phone from a cafe. keepin’ it real, as papa tony(AKA the blogfather) would say. i’m back to the relaxing.

edit to add: the power is back on at the casa, and I thought I’d fix the ordering of these with the not-laptop I brought with me. Ipad plus adapter plus atreus keyboard, with custom channel for holding the device. works decently well, the only improvement would be a bluetooth version.

Sunset at Sundowners, Roatan Island. Sunset at Sundowners, Roatan Island. Sunset at Sundowners, Roatan Island. Sunset at Sundowners, Roatan Island. Sunset at Sundowners, Roatan Island. Sunset at Sundowners, Roatan Island. Sunset at Sundowners, Roatan Island. Sunset at Sundowners, Roatan Island. Sunset at Sundowners, Roatan Island.

Posted by Matt on 2017-04-19 18:28:24 +0000

in the street with the x-pro 2

on that last post, sophie chastised me for saying I wasn’t going to write a camera review, and then doing it anyway. What I meant was it wasn’t meant to be a thorough exercise in putting the camera through it’s paces, but more my first impressions. Now that I’ve had the thing a few weeks, I have more impressions.

Especially with the 14mm, it’s a machine made for the street. Discreet, close, quiet. Zone focusing is a cinch, and changing from manual to auto as needed is as simple as pushing the focus ring. I think all of these were hip shot, that is, not looking through the viewfinder, and manual focus.

That said, I do have a few gripes: the auto-switch between the eye-level viewfinder and the LCD is still too slow for quick shooting. The buttons on the back, including the little joystick everyone else was so happy about, are really easy to knock and move settings around. More than once I’ve found the camera in some weird drive or focus mode, with the focus point off to one corner.

When you shoot a lot with this camera, it gets warm in your hand. I ran down a battery shooting a group of dancers and mariachi band, and it was weird that it got that warm. I mean, pushing around those pixels can’t be easy, but still. I’m not sure that’s normal.

Next post: nothing about cameras. Probably a nice picnic.

Posted by Matt on 2017-04-05 22:31:28 +0000