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Showing posts from February, 2009

Cold Day on San Juan

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The weather just seems to sway between spring and winter.  Today the clouds moved in, temperature dropped and the wind started to pick up.
Though it was cold it was a nice relaxing day.  I met up with my friend Monika to go check out the Red Tailed Hawks.  We watched then kite in the wind in search of food.  We never got to see them make a kill.  We started to wounder what there success ratio is.  The Olympic Mountains were beautiful today.  Clouds made a serpentine like impression around the mountains and the snow covered peaks stood proud.  With the dark sky there was almost a feel of purple to the clouds over the mountains.  Though we sat in the cold and the Red Tails were busy doing their thing, we had a great time.  
If you have time check out Monika's Blog http://orcawatcher.blogspot.com/.. She has a bunch of great photos to enjoy.
Here are couple of images I took.

It is best to click on the image to get a better view.  
The Olympic Mountains in all their glory.
Hope everyone is h…

Spring is Back on San Juan Island

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If you look at my pictures from yesterday you will see snow.  Today you will see blue sky and no snow.  Oh how fast the weather can change.
I ended up going out to check on the Red Tailed Hawks (RTH) and seeing what they were up to.  It was lots of fun I got to see the pair RTH1 and RTH2.  They were doing some pretty nice high soaring.  After awhile RTH2 went somewhere and RTH1 stayed back to provide nice entertainment.  RTH1 was gliding into vertical stall and flipping back over into a steep drop.  It was lots of fun.  Then RTH1 would dive steeply out of sight in to the trees.
Heading further down the Rufous morph was perched in a nice shrub and was I think is its mate was near by in a tree.  I have not had much time to view the pair.  The Rufous is pretty easy to id and today I was able to get good views of the possible mate.  It has a few white feather on the back of the head that really stick out.  This will help id it when it is perched.
Got a nice view of a fox just sitting in the …

Winter Returns to San Juan Island

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Last night the temperatures started to fall off and a bit of freezing drizzle had started.  By this morning there was a light blanket of snow covering the ground.  It was in the upper 20s when I woke and had plan on going for a run today.  So I sat around thinking about it and then decided it would be a great to be out in the snow for a run.
I got Guinness roused from his sleep and headed to the Finlayson Trail.  The drive out was as I expected, Beautiful!  I geared up in some warm running clothes and was ready to hit the trail.  At the trail head is was so nice.  The snow tends to make everything seem quiet.  It was cold but perfect for a run.  As I headed into the woods the trail was pretty clear.  The tree canopy had kept most of the snow at bay.  Ferns along side the trail had a faint covering of snow.  It was really nice. The back side of the trail I climb the hill to the open view of the Olympic Mountains, as I reached the clearing there was a Bald Eagle flying at eye level in se…

Discovery Sea Kayaks

I just wanted to make a quick post for now to invite those of you who know or know of Discovery Sea Kayaks, to helps us out.
Currently there is a running for the best Eco Adventure Company in Washington.  We feel that we (Discovery Sea Kayaks)  hits the top of the list in quality and safety in sea kayak touring for Washington State.  Many of you who visit my blog have either been out on a tour, have taken lessons or are aware of the high quality standards Discovery Sea Kayaks adheres to.
So I ask those of you that feel that Discovery Sea Kayaks deserves to be recognized as the Best Eco Adventure in Washington State, to please proceed to the following link and cast your vote.
http://best.king5.com/discovery-sea-kayak/biz/168553

We work hard in developing exciting and new opportunities for people to connect with nature via kayak.  We promote kayak safety and education so that everyone can enjoy a safe experience. Please help us be rewarded for our determination and hard work.
Many thanks to …

Kayak Towing

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There are many tow belts on the market and it is important to get one that you can work with. Some tow systems are mounted the the kayak and others are attached to the paddler.  All tow systems should have a quick release. Given the various styles, I can really only speak of one.  I have found it to be the easiest to use when I need it.  My choice is the North Water Sea Tec Tow Line.  It has been easy for me to use and when I daisy chain the tow line I can set it for various lengths.



So when is it time to use the tow belt.  Well being a sea kayak guide, you are asked all the time to provide assistance to tired paddles.  But this would be a bit of a misuse of an important rescue tool. It is not worn by guides to give clients free rides.  Plus over working your guide in a non rescue situation is not a good idea.  You want you guide to have plenty of strength I a real towing scenario were to develop.  Some examples of when to tow.
1. An injured paddler needs assistance getting back to shor…

Kayaking: Seals, Sea Lions and Bald Eagles

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The plan was to go kayaking today with my roommate (Lyle).  The forecast was for increasing winds from the SE and rain.  We checked out the South end of the island and looked a like a bit more than Lyle has been out in before, so we headed to the NE part of the island.  When we arrived it was a definite difference from the S part of the Island.  It was a pretty chill paddle with light chop here and there, but overall really calm.  As we left the beach and headed towards the NE tip of San Juan Island with no real plans for the paddle.  We rounded the NE corner of the island where the is a nice Kelp Bed with good current rushing over the shallows.  I noticed something in the water but it was mainly submerged.  Getting a second look I could see it was a large Stellar Sea Lion about 20 yards away.  It was logging on the water just at the surface with its head submerged. I alerted Lyle there was a Stellar close by so that he did not paddle in its path.  Stellars are very large majestic ani…

The Rain is Back

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A super slow day today.  Got up and enjoyed a nice cup of coffee and then met with a friend and headed out to have a nice time before the rain moves in.  It was pretty chilly out and we basically just sat around with sweeping views of the Olympic Mountains and just enjoyed being outside. Monika met up with us and spent some time doing some of the same with us.  Richard made his way by, it was becoming a nice little party.  Soon everyone went there own way.  Not really much to report other an life is good on San Juan Island and the rain is back in the forecast for the week. Think I might take off for a rainy day paddle tomorrow.
Hope very one is doing well and enjoying some of the images I post from time to time.  Please keep coming by.
A nice view of the Olympics Mountains today.

Another Beautiful San Juan Island Day

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Today started with a meeting with Richard and then off to meet Liz.  She was coming out for a interview to be a guide with Discovery Sea Kayaks.  Started off with a nice tour of the island and then getting on the water for a short paddle.  During the paddle we talked over area of improvement and what might be needed to become a leader.  It was a very nice time on the water.
Later I headed out for sunset and it was a just what I needed to end my day.  Say good night to the yellow orb in the sky was very cleansing.
Here are a few pictures from the day.

A nice view up the shore of the west side.
A large group of River Otters can been seen here.  They were swimming all over the place.  Must have been about 8 of them total.
OH,,, here it is!
Almost gone.
Another great end to another wonderful day.

I hope everyone is finding time for the small moments in life, such as a sunset.  It can really do wonders for your mind.

Elephant Seal

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There was an account of a Elephant Seal located on the shore of San Juan Island. Being conservative and not wanting to bother it.  I took a side route to the area that would give me a birds eye view.  I had a spotting scope so I knew I would get a great view from afar.  It is best not to approach marine mammals on the beach.  They are very large, can be unpredictable, and could be under considerable stress.  It is best to step away and if you have you dog with you, put on a leash right away. In San Juan County you can report these animals  to the Marin Mammal Stranding Network.  Remember these are wild animals that usually do not have close contact or interaction with humans.  Therefore they can react in a manner which could lead to their injury or yours.  It is best to view them from a very safe distance with optics.  I have opted to leave the location of this seal out of my post to hopefully not encourage people to visit.  If you happen to come along a beach with signs posting that …

Morning Kayak Lessons

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A good start to the day when you wake up and see the sun and having to get on the water to teach kayak lessons.  Though it was cold outside, I could tell it was going to warm nicely once the sun had time to do its work.  After a cup of coffee it was time to meet Lauren (my student for the class) and load the gear and get on the water.  The water was perfect, flat calm and good for learning the basics.  Lauren has taken classes before and it pretty up to speed on self rescue.  So we were out to work on kayak handling skills.  Mainly driving home proper edging, body movement and blade placement.
After the lesson it was off to grab a bite to eat and get back outside.  I of course headed out to check in the Red Tailed Hawks (RTHs).  I ran into Monika again, http://orcawatcher.blogspot.com/ , who once again got great images on the RTHs in flight. She got some images of the pair together.  I was able to locate the Rufous Morph further south. There was a visitor with me in town from London an…

Morning Run and Beautiful San Juan Island Sunset

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Today I decided to start my day with a run and the sun was bright in the sky.  I was excited to get out and enjoy the fresh air.  Guinness and I arrived at the trail head as always and a bit of stretching then off on the trail.  It was just a wonderful time to be on the trail.  I cannot say that my legs were ready for the morning run, but they got me through. 

As I climbed the back side of this, oh so fun to jog up, hill.  When I got to the top in the open grassland there was a fox in total hunting mode.  I stuck around for a bit and watched but moved on so not to disturb it efforts.  
The day was blue with nice big white clouds.  The water was very calm and hardly a breeze in the air.  As I finished my run I got a glimpse of one of the Red Tailed Hawks I have been watching.  It was perched high in a fir tree enjoying the sun.  
It was a great morning to get outside.  I owe the thanks to a friend that said they were getting up around 5am for a run.   I laughed and said I will make it out…