2009.31.162 - Most. Otters. Ever.

Monday morning, and Louise, Paula and I headed out for a quick jaunt around Cadboro Bay. A slightly overcast sky looked down on us, but the weatherman promised it would burn off over the course of the morning. Although calm here in the bay, the current was running through the channel and we only had a limited time to kayak today, so we were going to forgo a crossing to Chatham.
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Why is it that some paddling days you see nothing but one certain kind of animal, let's say herons, and the next time it's nothing but seals? Not a complaint of course, variety is the spice of life. And nature-watching. At the start of our paddle, it looked like it was going to be a heron day.
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Then again, when we arrived at Flower Island, it looked like it might be an eagle day.
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We decided to go out to Jemmy Jones Island. As we arrived, we could feel the current pick up and see it racing on the far side between Jemmy Jones and Chatham. From there, we were going to head back to the mainland at Cattle Point. But before we headed back, I saw something splashing in the water ahead of me. Four little brown heads were bobbing up and down and staring at me with great interest. We'd found some otters.
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We've seen a lot of otters this year. In past years, we've barely caught a glimpse of any, but this year they are doing well and are everywhere. Today was looking more and more like an otter day.
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We crossed over to Cattle Point...
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...where I suggested that as we returned up the coast that we should hug the shoreline. It was a very low tide, and with all those fresh tidal pools and more rocky shoreline exposed than usual, I had a hunch that we might see more otters. Instead Paula and Louise drifted off-shore a bit, while I stayed in close. (They otter have known better.) Soon, I spotted another otter family enjoying the morning.
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As I paddled along, I also saw a couple of solo otters racing over the rocks. I watched one as it left the beach and climbed up a bluff and into a backyard. The heron looked on disapprovingly.
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I caught up to Louise and Paula and they decided to paddle with me along the shore. They weren't disappointed as soon we saw another otter family swimming. This group was leaving the water and scampering over rocks as we paddled by. We lost sight of them for a moment, but spotted them a moment later running up the large concrete backsteps of a multi-million dollar mansion. From there they disappeared somewhere on the patio. As we rounded the point near the entrance to Loon Bay, the otters scurried down the rocks on the other side of the property and back into the water. We watched them frolic from a safe distance.
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I didn't notice until I looked at my pictures later but they may have been doing more than just playing. I'm not sure what's going on here exactly, but one otter clearly has something in its mouth. My best guess is that he's got part of a crab shell. It's hard to tell what it is, but it looks like he was munching on something.
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A row boat paddled through the channel and the otters scattered, taking shelter in the rocky breakwater. We could hear them hiding in the rocks, and they knew all the channels through the breakwater. I saw them looking out on one side, and Louise saw them (and got some photos) on the other side.
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2009-08-17 Cadboro Bay

Trip Length: 7.92 km
YTD: 258.94
More pictures are here.
The Google Earth kmz is here.

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