Sunday, October 14, 2007

2007.25.89- Life, In Abundance

A beautiful morning greets us as we put in at Albert Head Lagoon Park. It's sunny, an increasingly rare thing these days. Last year we didn't even get in the water at all in November, so we're going to enjoy these days when we get them.
Albert Head Lagoon is the small body of water to the right, while Albert Head itself is the piece of land jutting off to the left. We'll be launching into the mist to go around Albert Head and to the entrance to Witty's Lagoon and hopefully into Witty's itself.

It was just Paula, Alison, Louise and myself today. In this picture, Alison has just helped Paula recover after Paula almost dumped herself in the water before she even left the beach. She was totally embarrassed by it, and I promised not to mention it in the blog.

But recover she did, and we headed out into a sunny day.
Towards the Shore

Almost right away, we ended up beside a family of otters enjoying a morning swim. They swam parallel to us for a while, then put ashore. I got a picture of them, not a great one mind you, but you can see them anyway. They'd be the brown lumps on the rocks at the bottom of the frame.

Louise set the pace as we headed around the point.

As we paddled around the point, we saw a sea lion lazing on the rock. In one way, it wasn't very exciting as he wasn't doing very much except lying there, but it was still very cool to see. We gave him plenty of room. A cranky sea lion charging at us could have ruined a nice paddle.

We carried on and a little further we saw a heron and an eagle in a fight. I thought at first that the eagle was harassing the heron, but as I watched the eagle fly back into a tree, I started thinking that it might be the other way around. The eagle may have been warning the heron off because, as you can see in this photo, the eagle and its mate were hovering around their nest. Perhaps there were some little eagles around and they didn't want the heron to get any ideas.

We made it to the entrance to Witty's Lagoon. We had timed our arrival to coincide with a high tide as this was the only time we could paddle into the lagoon. We were a little ahead of the high tide, but it close enough to give it a try.

Down the channel we went (here's a tip: stick to the right).

And we made it in. It was still very shallow and we were grounding all over the place. I had a devil of a time getting out....

...but it was a very quiet and peaceful place.

We decided not to stay long. Our sunshine had been replaced by clouds. We knew that the weather was going to change with rain due in the evening, so after a quick stop for a stretch, we headed for home.

Just outside Witty's Lagoon there is a small cove with a lot of islets and rocks. Last year they were covered with seals, but this year there was hardly a one. But it looks like there's something in that tree....

...yep, that be an eagle.

I was so busy checking out the eagle that I didn't notice that someone else was checking me out. A seal was circling my boat not more than a dozen feet away (that's 365 cm for those of you who are Imperial-measurement-challenged). I put my camera away and looked up and saw this guy swimming by. "Aw, hi guy, you sure are cute," I said as he went by. Then I said, "Holy $%#&! My camera!" I fumbled for my camera, but I was too late, he was already behind me. So I did something that usually never works -- I pointed my camera blindly over my shoulder hoping I might catch him. But this time it worked, and I got him.
You Picked a Fine Time to Leave Me, You Seal

The pair of eagles that we had seen earlier were gone, but this heron was out fishing in the seaweed at the same spot so I wonder if he was the same one who was annoying them.
Heron Looking for Breakfast

We took the shortcut home, going through a small channel that cuts off the end of the point.

We did find some seals out on the rocks.
More seals

As we neared the put-in back at Albert Head, we decided to see if we could make it into Albert Head Lagoon. Stephanie had tried it the first time we came here and she got part-way in. Maybe we would have more luck.
It was a nice little paddle down the channel....

...that at times seemed like an obstacle course....

...but we soon grounded out again and had to turn back.

But we had a great paddle on a beautiful day.

My pictures are here.

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