Thursday, February 16, 2012

Another Ordinary Great Day

Yep! Got out on the water again this week, a couple of times. If you're stuck at a paying job all day long, don't envy me tooooo much. I'm a student again (or still) at fifty. But heck, you can envy me a little, so long as it's enough to get you out in your own kayak. Or you can do your own thing, preferably outdoors. That's fine by me. Just do whatever it is, don't envy me.
I've been out in the little inflatable again. Yes, it's only eight-and-a-half feet long, and the stroke is different for it than for a real sea kayak. You build me a recreational kayak about 12 feet long that weighs under forty pounds and I will carry that to the shore instead! In the meantime, I'm getting on the water with something I can swing around one-handed.
Most of the time when I'm out alone I go along the eastern shore of Cadboro Bay. That way, if Bernie has to come find me, he knows where to look. On Tuesday, he was home, so I told him I was going out along by the Royal Victoria Yacht Club for a change.
Not a bad day for going on the water, must say. The tide was way out. And on the boat ramp was a heavy half-ton pickup truck with a trailer loaded with smashed boat parts. Saanich Municipality was taking care of the boats abandoned on the shore after a couple of storms. Fibreglass might make nice boats but it sure makes troublesome garbage when the boats are wrecked...
As I paddled along the shore, I could hear workers hauling more boat pieces onto another trailer pulled by another truck. Boy, that sure made for a lot of traffic on the beach that afternoon! Two trucks? never seen the like.
I slid along the breakwater and into Loon Bay. Nice to drift here for a moment, send a SPOT okay message, and look around. No otters visible at the moment.
Then I paddled inside the breakwater, to pass between it and the yacht club. Boy, there are a lot of rocks in that breakwater! Big ones on top to stay put, but lots of medium-sized ones below that. We've seen otters dart into and between the stones on other days. This day I paddled along, seeing nothing special like that. Nothing till I got to the other end. There were some splotches of a reddish mold-like thing growing on a rock. I've got to look up what that is! And below it on another rock were some sea anemones.
Yup! I know what sea anemones look like. There weren't any here two or three years ago, when I was last here at a low tide. I got a good look at these, white and amber-coloured. Some were small, about as long as my thumb even when hanging down in mid-air. I've called those jelly shapes "jelly goobies" when we saw them at Thetis Island and also Brandon Islets in Nanaimo Harbour. There were some other white ones just below the surface, all closed up tight so it was hard to recognise them as sea anemones. And then below me, below the zero tide line that goes dry about twice a year, were three big white sea anemones, open like flowers.
So, it looks like about three years ago, a couple of anemones settled down on this end of the breakwater. And now they're raising a fine new generation. Lovely to think that the water's clean enough to support them here again! I've only seen sea anemones on the other shore of the bay, away from the yacht club.
Next to the little white ones under the surface were some white ribbons of jelly, about the same texture. A marine biologist told our paddle group that those were the eggs of nudibranchs (also called sea slugs). Wonderful to find new life in the places we've been paddling so many times.
Back to the beach, paddling happily with thoughts of little anemones and sea slugs. Nice to see the broken boats getting cleaned up! And a pair of young guys hauled a red canoe out from the bushes, pulled on PFDs, and paddled out to catch a fish. I like living in this neighbourhood.

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