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.

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