The weather finally broke today! I’ve only been out once in October so far. So I wasn’t about to turn down an invitation by Mother Nature!
It was the second time out with my new engine too! The break in period is between 20 & 50 hrs. It started up beautifully! I’m very happy with it!
I headed straight down to Tranquil creek.The tide was coming up to high. As far as getting shots of bears grabbing salmon,the tide was all wrong! I need a low tide.
I went all the way up to & past the old bridge. No way anyone could get past that point without pulling ones boat over the washboard rapids.
I had my chest waders on,so I got out to take a few shots. Didn’t see a single bear…………disappointing but understandable. The bears eat during low tide & than go take a nap with full tummies! They wait for the next low tide.So at high tide they would be napping.
As I was wading through the water I stumbled on a rock & almost fell into the water with my camera! I did save it from going under but wet in the process & also whacked my left knee on a rock. A little misadventure.
I let my “drift rig” go downstream. It has my Go Pro secured to it. I was trying to get some shots of the salmon but after reviewing it………………mostly forgettable footage. Nothing to write home about.
Just drifted slowly downstream. Didn’t’see a single bruin anywhere?
Started up the engine & headed out of Tranquil. I came across a Harbour Seal that seemed approachable. I found if they are with others & one of them leaps into the water,they all quickly do the same,but if nobody else is around,they tend to hang around longer on the rocks.
I thought I’d drop into Gunner inlet to see if any bears where walking about but alas,not a single one.
Went around the point into Fortune Channel to look for bears, but nobody home there either. High tide is not a good time,especially during spawning season. All the bears go to their favourite stream to catch salmon. They need to pack on body weight for their winters napping!
I like to describe it this way…….think of you having a big Thanksgiving dinner every day for 1 month! The bears become almost drunk from being full & are very placid! This is when you want to take pictures of bears! They don’t care because they have full tummies!
Headed back to town but not before stopping for a visit with the Daredevil at Tsapee Narrows! I could see both of them perched up high.
The Daredevil did do several runs. Glad the Daredevil came over but he did seem a little reluctant? I haven’t seen him very much!
Continued on my way. I went around the north end of Morpheus island. I stopped & was looking around for Maggie or Moe when she all of sudden appeared! I haven’t seen my girlfriend for a 1 1/2 months! She looked beautiful! She is always such a happy bird!
Spent some quality time with my girlfriend. Said goodnight & moved on to Deadman island. Juliette wasn’t around but Romeo was. He didn’t come over to greet me. Being a fuss pot I suspect.
Took a few shots of my friend & called it a night.
Didn’t get much today,but it was still fantastic to get out & to also go all the way into Tranquil! It’s really very beautiful up in there!
I saw this eagle down in Tranquil. I’ve decided to call him “Tranquil One”.
I have spotted it before & it was holding it’s right wing out than as it is now! I suspect this eagle has been injured it’s right wind in the past. It looks like it’s healed but cannot be fully closed! It doesn’t look like it affects it’s ability to fly so it can still get food/drink.
It’s probably in pain when it fly’s & most likely has arthritis?
I was going to call him “Chicken Wing” or “Gimpy”,but a friend suggested I call him something more uplifting…………….so “Tranquil One” is what it shall be! One things for sure,I’ll be able to spot him at a distance easy!
I sent a inquiry to a local bird rescue group,MARS. (Mountain Avian Rescue Society)
This is what they said…………..
“It is really hard to say exactly without looking more closely. I have seen birds with this type of injury still capable of flight but in the long term it is questionable whether they would be able to survive with a wing disabled like this.
thanks maj “
I’m going to keep a eye on my new found friend.
It poured today! The weather has been so bad this October that I’ve only been able to get out once! When I saw the golden light shining through near sunset tonight,I rushed to get out on my bike at least to see If I could shoot ANYTHING!
The sun had already gone down in behind Wick island so I was left holding the bag. Mother Nature I swear does this to me to be cruel!
I found this lonely tree on a property and thought 10% of something is better than 100 % of nothing.
I was very surprised to see sunshine after a day like today! Tomorrow is suppose to be better?
In what seems like a eternity,I was finally able to get out in my boat with my new engine!
It works perfectly! My boat on the other hand………..does not! One of the seams under the left tube let go & I basically had lots of water coming in.Which meant I had to leave the plug out to allow it to drain.
I headed down to Tranquil to check things out. I already knew the tide was all wrong but was considering this a more or less recon trip.
This was my first trip into Tranquil this year. I always go slowly on the first few trips until I see where all the trees/logs are hiding?
They move around during the year from storms. Everything seemed to be as I left it last Fall. With the tide being high,I had no problem getting into the system. The current was flowing briskly as well. I went as far as I could & tied the boat up. I changed into my chest waders & tried to walk further upstream. I could but it was difficult. The light by thus time had failed,so decided against going further upstream.
I did see one bear further upstream on a downed tree. They always seem to use that tree as a set of stairs.
If it was low tide I’m pretty sure I could of advanced further. There were plenty of Chum salmon all over the place! I stood still for a few minutes & two of them swam between my legs!
To have a front row seat,I began to think about camping up there? The problem is that the bears are walking along the rivers edge all the time. I always camp away from animal trails to avoid obvious problems.
There are two old semi submerged trees further down stream that would make a most excellent sleeping platform! It just might work? I will have to look seriously into building a platform! I have a “tent cot” http://www.amazon.ca/Kamp-Rite-DTC443-Oversize-Tent-Cot/dp/B000I641UQ
that would work most excellent on top of the platform! I could tie up the boat as well! The bears wouldn’t bother me too!
I’m pretty sure the platform would be destroyed by stream flotsam through the winter,but it might survive?
At any rate,after checking things out,I headed out of Tranquil. I went into Gunner inlet looking for bears,but nobody was home. Continued on to Tsapee Narrows. Delilah was home but no Daredevil.She’s always so temperamental. Took a few shots of her & headed into town. Both Romeo & Juliette came over to say hi! The light wasn’t the best but the clouds did add a bit of drama.Sunset was a snuff job,so came back in.
My first shoot in such a long time that even if I didn’t have the light I wanted,it was still fantastic to get out & blow the dust off!
Normally a eagle holds both wings open to dry them,but this one was holding only one wing. It almost looked as if it was injured? I’m sure it was fine or it couldn’t of gotten to that perch spot in the first place.
Each year many people come to Tofino for Thanksgiving! It’s kind of the last long weekend of the year? The town swells in numbers & the turkeys population decreases.
The beach was full of walkers & surfers today! I haven’t gotten out now for almost 2 weeks & I must admit that I am becoming twitchy! I want to go down to Tranquil for the salmon/bears game but with no light…………no point!
All in good time & measure I say.
I’ve been having a few problems with my engine,or I should say…………engines!
I have two outboards. Both are 15hp. One is a Mercury & the other is a newer Yamaha. Both of them need some work,so I decided to bite the bullet & buy a new one! A Mercury 20 hp 4 stroke.
I go by myself out into spots very remote & need to know I can get back safely! It was ordered right from the factory in Japan,so it took almost 6 weeks. I’m kind of under the gun for time right now. The salmon are beginning to spawn & I don’t want to miss the action! Bears grabbing salmon etc! I use to go down to Thornton Creek Hatchery,but it’s become way too crowded! I use to go down there in the nineties & be the only soul there all day! Just me & my furry friends! …………..not dozens of people watching me.
I go out onto the estuary with the bears. Everyone else stays up on the bridge area. Your not going to get a good shot from up there. I learned many years ago that I had to be eye to eye with them,so I went out onto the estuary.
People who don’t have a clue about bears were telling me not to go out there & not to bother them. (As if 50 people on a bridge,all staring doesn’t stress them out!)They have zero experience with bears but know better! What do I know?
So I decided to get rid of the pseudo-environmentalists/crowds & go up into Tranquil creek. It’s very remote & more importantly……people free! I have never seen a single soul up there……. except once! The guys who work down at Thornton Creek Hatchery! They were tagging & taking salmon (eggs/milt) for the Hatchery.
The best time to get shots of bears grabbing salmon is at low tide! Getting into the system at low tide is difficult & down right dangerous in spots!
This a normal shoot for me.
Once I arrive at the estuary, I have to beach the boat & get into my neoprene chest waders/felt booties. It’s way too shallow in spots,so I have to walk up stream pulling my boat along behind me. There are 5 sets of washboard rapids I have to get over. Once past that point,the water narrows & speeds up! (There are large trees snagged here & there) I have to get the engine back down,start it up & jump in very quickly! Once I jump in the boat,I’m swept backward towards a very large tree root. If I got pinned up against it,my whole boat could flip & I could be pinned underneath & drown!
So I gun the engine & surge forward clear of that very dangerous spot! Once into the system,I go as far as I can ( shallow) & tie the boat up along the shore. I than walk upstream with all my equipment. This area I call the “Gauntlet”! Why?……………because there are almost always half a dozen bears waiting beside the rapids to grab a salmon! I need to get past them to another spot further upstream! As I walk forward,it’s like parting the red sea. All the bears walk or run away from me like I have BO or something! Bears are very shy,timid creatures & do not need much to make them go back into the forest.
This year I’m going to take a folding chair & park myself just downstream from the rapids! I’ll wait for one of my furry friends to grab a salmon! Or thats the plan at any rate. Good light only falls onto this spot for a few hours each day,so I need the low tide to coincide with that time window………….in theory! Each year I try to figure things out better!
Wish me luck but I don’t need it for my new engine!
I got out tonight but only for a short harbour tour basically.Just as well,all of my fine feathered friends have flown the coup & gone to the salmon runs! Couldn’t find a single one!
I did find many a Blue Heron standing about however! They obviously do not fancy salmon & would have a hard time swallowing them anyways!
So tonight was a hectic Heron night. Beautiful birds but they squawk something fierce!
Today & tomorrow are the last days of Summer.Fall time is my favourite season personally! The sights & smells permeate through ones soul.
Had a short but still relaxing shoot tonight! I can’t wait for my eagle friends to come back!
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