Sunday, April 26, 2009
Winding Our Way to Witty's Lagoon
A warm, sunny and calm Sunday morning greeted Louise and I as we arrived at Albert Head Regional Park. After what has been months of below seasonal temperatures and a cool Spring, the warm weather finally has arrived. How long it stays is another question of course, as rain is in the forecast for later in the week, but today's weather is about as spectacular as it can get in April. We put in and headed out around the point for Witty's Lagoon.
Even before we started, we thought we were going to have a good day for spotting seals. As we prepared our kayaks for launch, we could see that the rocks about 350m away were covered in seals. But they were a little shy and as soon as we hit the water, they dove off the rocks even though we were still a third of a kilometre away. So we paddled past the little gray heads bobbing in the water along the eastern side of Albert Head. It didn't take long for another photographic opportunity to present itself. I whipped out my camera....
...and got a picture of....well, I don't know what exactly. All I know is that it was enormous, so I suspect it's a young eagle.
And a couple trees over this pair of eagles sat watching it. Perhaps the proud parents?
We continued around the point...
...and found some more seals. This group dove into the water quickly as well, even though we were quite a distance away. We were a little surprised by how jumpy they were -- usually, they are a little more calmer than they appeared to be today. We started to wonder if our (relatively) new red boats were scaring them off. Our previous boats were blue -- maybe to the seals we blended with the water better in blue boats?
While we pondered the reactions to the seals on our left, we stumbled upon a baby seal off to our right. He didn't seem the least bit worried about what colour our kayaks were, but that gave us another theory. If there were lots of baby seals about, maybe the seals were being a little extra cautious. The pictures of the baby seal didn't turn out, but beside the seal was this seagull which was eating something.
Frankly, it looks like an avocado, but I doubt that's what it was. Another seagull had one, too. Clearly neither had ever read any books by B.Kliban.
We passed by this eagle nest...
...and stopped to explore the rocks outside Witty's Lagoon. We arrived at an extremely low tide, so we knew we'd never get into the lagoon itself, and even outside the lagoon passages that were normally passable like this one were blocked.
Finally, we found some seals that didn't seem to mind the colour red. Louise drifted by these ones...
...and I found a fellow who seemed quite happy to pose for a few minutes.
It was time to head back and we caught the incoming tide, which if my GPS can be trusted, pushed us along at 8 kmh for a good chunk of time.
This is one of my favourite paddle routes: easy to get to, the conditions always seem great, and there is always something to see.
And what about seals and red kayaks? Well, it turns out that the colour of your kayak shouldn't make any difference at all because seals are colourblind.
Trip Length: 8.79 km
My pictures are here.
The Google Earth kmz is here.