Sunday, July 10, 2011
2011.18.216 - It's A Gas
Louise and I met Paula at Brentwood Bay for a quick paddle.
Paula was in her inflatable today, so we thought we'd stick close to shore and meander down into Tod Inlet. From our put-in beside the ferry terminal we turned to the south and crossed towards the Inlet.
Someone followed us for a while.
As we entered Tod Inlet, and Gowlland Tod Provincial Park, Paula put ashore for some adjustments to her boat....
...while this heron enjoyed a little breakfast.
As we paddled down the inlet, we saw many sail boats and cabin cruisers that had moored for the night.
But as we paddled by this eagle....
...we realized that we were paddling through a slick of oil or gas on the surface on the water.
It wasn't very thick, nothing more than a thin skin on the surface, but it was everywhere. The whole southern end was covered in it, and occasionally Paula and Louise would gag when the wind shifted and they inhaled a lungful of fumes.
We initially assumed that one or more of the boats moored in the inlet had had a fuel spill, but then we recalled that there had been a major fuel spill into Goldstream River a couple of months ago. Goldstream River does not connect directly with Tod Inlet but it does with nearby Saanich Inlet. Could tidal action have pushed the fuel out of Saanich Inlet into Tod Inlet where there it sits, slowly evaporating?
It was a depressing thought that the fuel in the water that was spoiling the inlet was not being attended to, no matter how it got there. The only upside was that the animals did seem to be avoiding the area.
We turned around and headed back...
....and watched a heron cruise in for a landing.
He got into a staring contest with us.
I think he won.
Louise checked out some sea stars...
...and then it was time to head back.
Trip Length: 6.08 km
YTD: 137.01 km
More pictures are here.