I did not want to speak about it that much because when I allow myself to mention anything I long for, it usually has a really bad end.
But this time it all worked well and I can present some photos from my very first wildlife photography expedition!
I visited Helgoland with my beloved cousin and his wife, who both entered world of photography just recently, but they take it very seriously and have amazing results. I am the person for the animals - and I highly admire their images of buildings or landscapes. We went together with two other adult men and four kids, so it was a bit crazy group of nine
It was so amazing - we saw many things, even visited TWO zoos during the trip (Bremerhaven and Hannover, stay tuned for reports), some city included on the UNESCO list and went through two heavy storms (I LOVE storms). And we could explore the original WWII German submarine
The main target was Helgoland - two islands in the North sea, Germany.
The bigger one, Helgoland, is inhabited by 1 600 people, it used to be a Nazi base - they even planned to place whole German fleet there. During the war and also soon after, the island was heavily bombed by the Allies, you can still find the remains. So this part was interesting for men, but also for me. And the high cliffs are home for breeding colonies for sea birds!
The smaller island is called Düne - it is a beloved location of many animal lovers, as you can get really close to WILD gray and harbor seals there
If you want to, go though this little photoreport
HELGOLAND TRIP REPORT
The first day we just travelled by car to Germany, but the second day, we visited Bremerhaven - a long time dream of my cousin came true there, as he has been always fascinated with German submarines. We all took this chance and explored this original WWII submarine, which was turned to the museum. I bought a ticket for Marek, as it was also his birthday
and guess which animal we spot when we arrived to the city? A WILD RED FOX! A wonderful healthy individual was running along the road. It took two seconds and it was gone, but it was enough for me to be very happy
In Bremerhaven, we visited also local zoo which is really tiny but keeps many interesting animals, such as polar fox, polar bear and three species of sea mammals. Then we moved to Cuxhaven. Although looking as a classic Czech village, our accommodation was in fact pretty close to the sea! I have never been close to the North sea, so I was happily running there... only to find only mud
it was low tide. The situation is so different here - I am used to Adriatic sea, where you can barely notice the difference between low and high tide. But here those are meters!
The next day we left the car at the port, as no vehicles are allowed in Helgoland. We boarded a wonderful and modern looking ship. The weather was awfull, it was rather cold and slightly raining. But I still decided to stay on a deck, as I thought there was a tiny, tiny, tiny chance to see a harbor porpoise, a small dolphin like creature. And you know what? I SAW THEM!!!!!!!!
those animals are not rare, but it is very difficult to spot them, as they don't jump like dolphins. They are very inconspicuous when they surface to take a breath and you can easily mistake them for a wave. So three times I saw something, which was obviously an animal, probably a sea mammal taking a breath. I was a bit disappointed as I never consider the observation real, until I am 100% sure. But then then the animal appeared repeatedly and I saw a tiny dorsal fin. No question - a harbor porpoise, such incredible luck! Of course there was not a single second to take a photo and I was also a slightly hysterical, so find at least a photo I took in Harderwijk
this is exactly what I saw in murky brown waters of North sea.
And then we arrived to Helgoland. We just took few minutes to leave our bags in the hotel room and then we rushed to take a water taxi - every 30 minutes, a boat transport seal lovers from Helgoland to Düne, a tiny island where there are long sandy and pebble beaches, ideal place for the seals. I don't have to describe this, it took us several hours and we were in paradise. I was shooting wild mammals for the very first time and it was... incredible, although the weather was far from nice. Most people who arrived to Helgoland with us probably decided to take a break and visit the animals the other day, because we were almost alone with the seals. AMAZING!
This poor little harbor seals had some kind of rope tightened around its neck. We reported it and they called the seal expert to the rescue! Keep your fingers crossed for the animal.
To my surprise, we decided to not go to Düne the second day. I agreed with this decision as the weather got really bad - the strong wind was blowing blasts of cold rain to our faces. I loved it, as I dressed well and I think it was authentic to enjoy a typical local weather. The life on the island must be really tough. We climbed the cliffs to see both remains for Nazi base the island used to be and to photograph breeding colonies for the local sea birds. Sorry for low quality, the conditions were not that great
I soo enjoyed this, and I sooo needed this, pals!
Fantastic animals, new photo experience, nice company, some challenges, delicious food and a courage to feel happy and discover something brand new
Hopefully there might be a chance to have similar adventure in the future - no plans yet, but there is always hope
Have a nice day,