Sunday, February 22, 2009

Kayaking: Seals, Sea Lions and Bald Eagles

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 animals.  They look like they could be the battle gate keepers in some mythic tale. Lyle was not really seeing the Stellar yet so I slapped the sides of my kayak so that the Stellar would be aware of us and Lyle would then see it.  So I proceeded to tap my kayak and a second, more large than the first, Stellar pops up.  This was a big guy and raised his upper half of his body to gain a better view and to show us how large he was.  The two Stellars then started to move in out direction.  Not really wanting to have an interaction with them we pushed around the corner to a nice shallow.  This way they could not sneak up on us.

After the excitemen, we continued now in a westerly direction along the N side of San Juan Island.  Bald Eagles seemed to be everywhere.  Some calling and circling above in an areial display with its mate.  Other perched high in the tree tops to have demading view of the area. Harbor Seals popped every few minutes to check us out and along the top of the water and disappear with no trace left at the surface.  We made it to the area near Pearl Island and stopped to snack on some fruit.  Then we simply turned back and retraced our route home.  

Getting closer to out take out we decided to play a bit.  I was having fun with some rolls and messing about with some sculling.  Lyle was playing with his sculling and I was pushing him to get wet.  He has not problem with it, but the water is really cold and the air temp is not that warm.  But soon he went for it and entered the cold green.  After a couple of attempts at this roll he decided to bale out and cowboy back in.  By this time we were both getting cold and ready for lunch.  We headed back to the beach and loaded gear and head to town.

We both feel really lucky to be able to just hop out of the house and within minutes of home be on the water.  Not just on the water, but with amazing views, wildlife abundant all around us and good friendship.  

Here are a few images from the paddle.


Heading North toward Spieden Channel. You can see Spieden Island in the distance.

Just another view of the above image.

Looking West down Spieden Channel.

Lyle with Orcas Island in the background.

Looking towards Pearl and San Juan Island.  You can see the heavy cloud cover moving in.

Looking West towards the Haro Strait and British Columbia.

The end of the day and a bit more shameless marketing for Discovery Sea Kayaks.  It is really a nice image, click on it for a better view.  

ANYWAY,, it was a great day on the water.  I really enjoy taking people out kayaking.  If you ever find yourself heading towards San Juan Island contact Discovery Sea Kayaks and lets get on the water together.  Let me share the waters I love with you.


WOW.  A friend was walking home and noticed this amazing rainbow.  She stopped in to let us know.  This picture was taken from in front of my house.

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