Sunday, May 03, 2009

Portage Inlet

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Another gloriously sunny day dawned and Louise and I decided to do a little urban paddling. We launched on The Gorge, a mere five minute drive from my house, and only a fifteen minute drive from downtown Victoria. This is a great place to launch your kayak, and although you are still surrounded by city, nature thrives here.
We were in our Delta kayaks, Louise in her 17'...
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...and me in my 18', the still water smooth as glass....
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...and soon we were under the Admirals Road bridge and into Portage Inlet.
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Last year, we saw the local swans and their new babies and we were hoping to see new babies this year, but it looks like we were a little early. The swans were still nesting.
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We saw lots of geese, though. Here, Louise is paddling past a few geese on a rock.
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We saw a few eagles in the trees, but most were keeping their distance. Then I spotted one across the Inlet on the shore. I wasn't sure what it was doing -- his leg looked trapped by something, and he kept picking at it.
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We quickly realized that his leg wasn't trapped. What he was picking at was his breakfast -- a fresh raccoon.
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What an amazing thing to see.
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A few moments later we saw two different families of geese taking their goslings out for a swim.
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Here they are playing Hide 'n' Seek.
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From there, we went up Craigflower Creek.
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It's hard to believe that we are actually in the middle of a subdivision. Although there are houses just behind the trees, in the creek it seems like you really are out the middle of nowhere.
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We'd hoped to get as far as the tunnel under Highway 1, but no such luck today. The creek's water level was too low to get around this fallen tree.
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As we returned to Portage Inlet, we saw the geese once more, this time on the top of a small embankment.
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They were quite unafraid or worried about us, and this became evident as they waddled down the embankment towards us....
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...and into the water.
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What a great paddle. It's an amazing world we live in, and so often we hardly even notice it.
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My pictures are here.
Trip length: 7.22 km
YTD: 67.51


  1. Wow awesome pictures, you guys usually have good ones but these are out of the park!

    Did you get a zoom lens or something?

  2. Hi Derek, thanks for reading!
    Most of the wildlife shots in this post were taken with my Sony DSC-H9 that I've had for 18 months. It has a 15X optical zoom, which can often get me ridiculously close to the action, but today we really were in close. The geese showed no fear or worry, and came down the embankment not 10 feet in front of our kayaks. I couldn't believe it! I was so surprised that I almost forgot to take pictures!
    And once the eagle decided that we weren't going to steal his breakfast, he ignored us as well. Only once before have I gotten that close to an eagle. We didn't stay around the eagle very long -- frankly, I wasn't sure what he'd do if he changed his mind about our intentions regarding his catch, and the strange thing about eagles is that the closer you get, the sharper the beaks and the claws look!

  3. That eagle shot is a-maz-ing. you were right. I am now plotting your doom.