Tuesday, August 6, 2013

2013.08.252 - A Family Affair

A sunny Tuesday. Well, it's supposed to be. But there's some fog at our launch point at Cadboro Bay.
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We've got a big group on the water today. Louise and I were joined by my sister Brenda who is hosting my great-nephew Michael who is honeymooning here with his new bride Gwylan. Michael is the grandson of my sister Ann who lived back east but passed away last winter, and he and I have never met. We had a great dinner at Brenda's last night trading stories about Ann, although it was kind of weird hearing one of my sisters referred to as "Grandma."
Thanks to Paula, who also joined us on the water today, we were able to get ourselves as well as Brenda, Michael and Gwylan on the water for a nice gentle paddle from Cadboro Bay to Cattle Point. Paula used her Eliza, and lent us her Pamlico and two inflatables, setting a personal record for having four of her kayaks on the water at once.
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I showed off the amazingly scenic Juan de Fuca Strait!
Okay, you'll have to trust me on that.

The fog came and went and came and went, but eventually went. The geese didn't care one way or the other.
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Apart from the geese, we didn't see much in the way of wildlife at first, something we've noticed on other foggy days. Sometimes I think all the animals just sleep in on foggy days. Can't say I blame them.
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Eventually we did see a few seals tanning on a rock...
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...and after a quick crossing to Flower Island...
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...we saw a few more.
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Awesome day on the water with awesome people -- that's how you spend a Tuesday!

Trip length: 6.20 km
YTD: 41.66 km
More pictures are here.

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Sunday, August 4, 2013

2013.07.251 - Seal of Disapproval

There's no question that our kayaking mojo has been absent this year. We've just gone through the driest and most sunshiniest month ever recorded in these parts and we only kayaked twice. Part of the problem is we spent the earlier part of the year nursing minor aches and pains, and dealt with some energy-sapping family matters. But those are winding down now, and we're feeling relatively healthy, so we're trying to get back in to the paddling swing again. And although it was overcast when we arrived at Cadboro Bay beach, the weatherman promised that it would burnoff and the sun would out soon.
And the weatherman always keeps his promises, right?

Paula joined Louise and myself and we headed out hoping that the weatherman would indeed keep his promises. And it looked like he just might. As we paddled along the north side of the by, the thin cloud layer began to abate.
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This heron was enjoying the morning almost as much as we were.

We reached Flower Island and paddled around the far side of the island where a pair of eagles were resting.
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One flew off to sit in a tree....
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...while one seemed quite content to sit in the sun.
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While I drifted away checking out the eagles, Louise was having a close encounter of her own.
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A seal had taken an interest in her and was following close behind her, diving and swimming under her boat.
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Louise reported that it was swimming up to her, diving, turning upside down and looking up here. She spent a few minutes mesmerized as it swan and performed in the underwater sunlit rays.

From Flower, we crossed to Jemmy Jones Island with the intention of paddling around it, but as we closed in, we could hear seals barking and we could see young seals at both ends of the island. We decided to forgo paddling around and leave the young ones in peace.
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Instead, we paddled towards the end of Ten Mile Point and played around in a cove that only exists at low tide. Normally, this would be a series of small to medium-sized channels, but not today. We spent a few minutes floating around checking out the sponges and seaweed.
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After a while, a mother seal and her baby entered the channel.
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They seemed calm at first, but clearly baby seal was interested in us and kept trying to get closer. Mother seal kept swimming in front of the baby and nudging it away from us.
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Finally, she popped up right in front of me, and with an exasperated splash let us know that we were no longer welcome.
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Even though we were in the cove first, we weren't going to argue the point and quickly moved away.
Afterwards, we discussed whether the seal was being overtly aggressive or not. We concluded that the seals must have been somewhat curious as they had clearly approached us -- made a straight line for me at one point -- but mom had obviously determined that we had overstayed in their area and gave a polite but firm warning.

So we took the hint and headed back, past Flower Island, where the eagle was still in the tree.
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Trip length: 6.43 km
YTD: 35.46 km
More pictures are here.