Sunday, June 05, 2005

Eagle Shipwreck

Originally uploaded by Au_Kalan.
Seattle to Anacortes, WA
May 29 to June 1, 2005

May 29th, Seattle to Browns Bay. Get off work and bring the boat to the white sand beaches of Golden Gardens. Some days are just uneventful, the wind and current bring me up to Kevin and Diane’s house for another incredible feast, BBQ Alaskan King Salmon, asparagus, killer garlic bread, rice and the NW best Margaritas.

May 30th, Browns Bay to Camino Island. Some days are just memorable. 6am wake up and I made a quick 7am launch from Brown’s Bay. I saw more Bald Eagles on this day than any other day of my life. It was a still cool morning with just a little fog. As I paddled north along the coastline I saw a lady sitting quietly on a large rock on a small beach sipping coffee. We gave each other a little wave hello, I was glad to meet someone who enjoyed the quiet of the morning also. Just as I was to take my next paddle stroke a Bald Eagle flies out of the trees behind her, swoops down to the water between my boat and the shore and scoops up a fish in its talons. I almost tip over in surprise, and the lady on the shore gives a little applause of thanks for the show.
Further up the coast is an old wood shipwreck. I slide right up to it for a close look, the wood had mostly rotted away, leaving the old metal bolts still sticking out. I was there about 4 minutes till I looked up. Sitting on an old mast, 30 feet above me was another Eagle looking down at me.
• Two Eagles doing the mating aerial dance just off shore
• Eagle flying over the kayak with a fish that was longer than the Eagle’s own tail
• Ravens chasing Eagles down the coast
• Families of two to thee Eagles sitting in the trees by the water
• Eagles just flying along the coast

The end of the day brought me to JoAnn and Tim’s place on Camino Island. Tim is a Master Carver and teacher of Northwest Native Art. After touring his carving shop we had a great dinner of Coconut Curried Shrimp followed by Tim’s own hand dipped chocolate strawberries.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Morning Paddle

Originally uploaded by Au_Kalan.
May 31st, Camino Island to Deception Pass. A wicked day of no wind, some light rain and squalls running through. I always seemed to be in the worst part of a crossing when the squalls showed up. As I paddled into the Skagit Bay from Stanwood I saw an Osprey attacking a Great Blue Heron. The Osprey was dive-bombing the Heron trying for the head. The Heron would duck its long neck and head every time the Osprey attacked. The Heron then tried to fly away but was forced back down into the marsh. I had never seen such a small bird of prey go after such a large bird, I stopped paddling to watch. As I watched a third bird entered the area. An Artic Turn came flying in at high speed straight into the fight and went after the Osprey and chased it away. The Osprey tried to dodge the Turn but the Turn was smaller and much more acrobatic. I could not believe it, the Turn had protected the Heron from the attack.

June 1st, Deception Pass to Anacortes. DECEPTION PASS has the strongest currents in Washington State. If a kayaker goes through the pass at the wrong time there whole kayak can be eaten by a whirlpool. Slack tide usually lasts around 15 minutes, which does not give one much time to make the one mile trip. The tide change that I planned to use was at 6:24 am. This target was based on that it was one of the smallest tidal changes of the month, giving me the best conditions for crossing the pass. I had worked myself up for this, I thought I was ready for anything. Well, my timing was perfect and I paddled through Deception Pass with no trouble at all, I have had rougher water in a pond. After all that expectation it was almost a let down to make it without any problems. From there I paddled around to Anacortes were a good friend of mine, Randy, picked me up.