Sunday, July 24, 2011

Great Day With Mink and Eagles!

A fabulous day on the water, once again. We seem to have a lot of them. But then, get on the water in small boats on a bunch of days and odds are, some of the days will be fabulous.

This day the tide and currents conspired to make possible a crossing to the Chathams and Discovery Island. The weather was on our side, too! Sunny without being too hot, a slight breeze but not enough to keep us from going.

We set out at nine this morning, and kept closer to the shore of Cadboro Bay than we might have. The middle of the bay had several little sail boats, and it's good to give them lots of room. Yacht owners and power boaters have a special nickname for kayaks: speedbumps. There's even an approved safety tip for what to do when being run over by a powerboat or yacht... as it's about to hit your kayak, roll over, away from the approaching boat. The bigger, faster boat will strike your hull instead of your head. Possibly it will cut your kayak in half, but at least it's apparently less likely to hurt you. I'm not anxious to try the technique. We try to stay out of the way of bigger boats.

Along the shore, John spotted an animal running along the rocks. It was too quick to be photographed, and too small for a river otter. It looked like a mink to me... or maybe a very young otter. Quick as a wink!

The crossing went well. At Chatham and Strongtide, there was just a bit of swirling eddy from the slight flood tide. We wandered around Chatham and checked out the long inlet to see if we could reach the little islet that Rich and Mike Jackson call Cactus Island.

Nope! There wasn't enough water to get in to the basin still surrounding the islet. We landed and walked up the gravel, past the trickle of water still flowing out, to look around. Crossing the trickle of water was a row of rocks like a little dam about ankle-high, reminding me of the rock walls made in the past by First Nations as a fish weir or clam bed. This one could have been just a little dam made by someone playing, but still, nice to see.

Out the little inlet, past kingfishers. around rocks and viewing eagles. John got some terrific photos! I'll leave the great story of the eagle meal to him to tell.

We ended up going around Discovery -- the mild weather made this a great day. At the campground we took a moment to check out a boat that brought a load of tourists to the park. Looks like a fun idea, but we were very glad to be able to take our own boats out under our own power on this wonderful day.

On the way back, we passed Jemmy Jones Island and Flower. Otters were out again, diving near Flower. Just one more beautiful thing to see! A great trip and still great when we got back to shore. I got back to the Beach House just in time for the lunch Bernie made, and then to Olive Olio's to meet John & Louise, who had found Rich and his Mom. They had come to the Cadboro Bay Village on their Vespa-style scooters to meet us after paddling. (Yes, Victoria is the kind of place where a guy just might go zooming around on a scooter with his mom!) Great day, great friends.

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