Testing Mr Jan Gear Floating hide in Latvia 2017

I was really happy to get invitation from Jan and was kind of nice surprise for me. So I hit the road on Friday heading to Panevežys ir north of Lithuania. Visit my friends there for the weekend and enjoying the good weather, as the autumn this year is extremely wet. gallery

In monday morning I continued the trip, but small problem had to be fixed, my left headlight plug almost get in fire, so I had to get a new one and fix it, as it was getting dark, I bought it and arrange replacement in the local garage, surprisingly it cost me only 10 EUR, so I could continue. The weather got even worst, its started raining again, and a truck lory hit a moose on the road ahead of me, I was a bit worried but driving safe was more important then get there on time. So after almost 4 hours I found my way to the guesthouse we were accommodated by our hosts. I got moose meatballs for dinner and chat with the local guys Gaidis Grandans and Peteris Daknis, and of course the main person why i traveled almost 500km MrJan him self – Jan Goddefroy (see the link bellow).

Day 1

We started early with breakfast at 6 a.m.-ish… And it was time to explore the area. The guys show us the Nagli fishponds and the area. It was time to try the floating hide, so I jumped in my dry suit and here I went in to the mud and cold water. It was just to get the feeling of using it so no good photos were made, as I was in the middle of drained fish pond for few hours. Some photos are available on Flickr and in the gallery bellow.

Photo by Jan Goddefroy















The first impression was really good, as I had my self made floating hide, which was way to heavy and difficult to transportate, so the one I got from MrJan Gear was so quick to inflate, nice and simple construction, and most important clever designed is making it real pleasure to use. I was feeling safe even in worst places of the pond where the mud was more than the water, I could hold on the hide and get my legs out to be able to move forward and safe back to the shore. But I can say it is not easy job to be a wildlife photographer, especially in autumn.

OK, so in the evening before and after dinner we planned the next morning, as we had only 2 days left.

Day 2

Again early breakfast and here we go again in the mud, today Mr Jan joined me in the water…hmmm, there was only few water mm on top of muddy and weedy pond. I was getting my way towards the place with the Great White Egrets, but beleave it was hard work, I have to admit now, there were some thoughts I will never get out of this pond alive. But after unsuccessful morning and all wet from the hard job to get out, I realised this will not work out here with clients and Jan agreed with me, at least for this fish pond. We got out and soon Ilze (our latvian host) called me and we packed and join her for lunch. We were hungry and tired. After met her, it was time to organize fish for the White-tailed Eagles we were planning to try next morniong in the pond I tried previous day. But this was not the end of the teesting day for me, I had the chance to try Mr Jan cozy dry suit and it was much better in other two ponds I had to addmit. Just too much water at the momment and no birds at this time of the year. So here I am again in the water.

Mr Jan him self in the mud...

My self in the water...rock on. :-)

  So after those swimming and checking the ponds ground safety we came back for dinner and got the fish ready for the morning, unfortunately the weather was getting worst each day. But we still had fun.

Day 3

Early breakfast and ready to go, we took Ilze with us, as she had to move my car away so the eagles should be less suspicious when we got ourselves in to the cold water. I attached the carps to the tree trunks on the bottom of the pond and we got our possitions and started long and painful hours, but the White-tailed Eagles won the game of pations, the new we were there, and just wait until we get out of the water. Bit dissappointing and with few close ups of Great White Egret and Grey Heron we went out of the water, it was time for me to leave and we just got back for hot soup in the guesthouse. I pack my stuff and got very cozy troley bag from MrJan, and one of the floating hide is now in Nemunas Delta, I still didn't se it here, but there were bad windy and rainy days and a lot to do for my exhibition and postprocecing many photos. But I will keep you up to date how is the floating hide does here in the flooded meadows, maybe even tomorrow (NOV 3rd 2017), we will see, how it will be the weather and especialy the winds. Also got the carring system of MrJanGear and I will be honnest it is the best thing ever. So much easier to carry my camera and lens. I used during the birding rally and every day out and is really good, even while driving I can have my camera ready for action, and safe from falling on the floor. So recommending, find it at the link bellow and check out the bag and my dream backpack Boris IV.