Thursday, December 01, 2011

Better Winter Weather

It's better winter weather! Yay!
I got out on the water yesterday, after kicking Bernie's boots out of my way and grousing about how this paddle jacket isn't as comfortable as my old one -- it's tight where it should be loose and the gaskets just feel wrong -- and then I snarled at him that I was taking out the little green rec boat because I could CARRY it, and not out of any dislike for my beautiful pink sea kayak. Grr.
It was great to get out on the water, and the sandy boat ramp at the beach was half-cleared of logs so I didn't have to wobble while clambering over driftwood. The cold water is so clear compared to summer-time algae blooms!
A mostly high tide meant that the otter families along the rocky shore were probably napping, waiting for low tide so they could hunt for things to eat. Instead, today was another day for seeing winter ducks of various kinds. Some coots and some mallards. I've been enjoying seeing mergansers, too.
As I went around Flower Island, there were mergansers diving between Flower and Evans Rock. These are interesting ducks: little, squat, and round like most ducks (and rec kayaks, for that matter). The big difference is the beak. In mallards, the beak is wide and rounded so that it's good for dabbling in shoreline mud for bugs and plants. But in mergansers, the beak is more narrow and pointed so that it's good for catching little fish.
Best of all, I like the tufted crests that stick out from their heads. Punk ducks.
All I saw of a seal that morning was the round head of Mama Seal peeking before she ducked down. Still, it's nice to know she's around.
I remembered to push the button to send an OK message on my SPOT. Had to feather my paddle, coming back along the rocky shore, as the breeze was picking up just a little. And there was Bernie, walking along the promenade, looking for me. He walked me back to the Beach House before heading off to the dentist. Just a nice quiet morning before we headed out into the rest of the day.

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