It’s been 9 straight days without getting out in my boat! I did get out last night to the beach but that was just filler. Getting out in the remote areas is where it’s at!
I had already decided to go all the way down to Tranquil creek to check on the salmon! It takes me the better part of a hour to get down there! I wanted to see if the Chum salmon had entered the system yet? Sure enough,I found hundreds swimming around in schools!
I’m trying to get some underwater footage with my Go Pro? I’ve built a simply device I call a “drift rig”. It looks like a big “T” in shape. The top of the “T” is wood,so it floats while the bottom is 18 inches below the water. I put the camera (in it’s water tight case) at the bottom of the “T”. I than look for a school of salmon & go upstream of them. I start the camera & release the drift rig. It than drifts very slowly downstream through the school. The salmon are not spooked by it because of it’s size & so It can get really close! They sometimes hit it!
It’s a work in progress. I have no control over it once I release it,so sometimes it turns around & is looking the wrong way!
I envision in the future using a remote controlled rudder to silently guide it left or right as it slowly drifts downstream…….or that’s the plan at least!
I went up to where the old bridge was. I was surprised to see a bunch of men further upstream from me! I quickly realized it was the salmon enhancement boys doing their thing! These guys make sure the salmon are basically happy campers.
It looked like they were sampling? They had two inflatable boats & a seine net.
While I was watching them,two bears came out at the same time on either side of the creek! One crossed the creek & spooked the other.
I noticed that the guys were keeping eye on this bear. After all they had some tasty salmon! They also had a dog with them! They always take a dog with them when they do these sampling ventures. Just the barking of a dog is enough to chase away even the biggest of bears!
Decided I better start heading back & left the system. Found a bear sitting on it’s butt out front where the estuary was. Got a few shots & continued along on my merry way!
Stopped at Rankin rocks to take a few shots of some migrating birds & harbour seals hauled out.
It was around this time I noticed a large thick cloud system moving in from the west & I knew instantly the days shoot was over!
Couldn’t do much but head back into harbour with my fingers crossed that there might be a thinning or thin clearing for the sun to poke through?
Not a chance Lance! I knew it was the leading edge of a large frontal system & those things have no mercy!
Took a few shots of either Tim or Tam at Lovekin point & that was all she wrote for me tonight! I went in early.
Still,it was great to be able to get out after 9 days of being land locked. It looks like this system will pass in about a week? This time of the year is brutal for being able to get out, so I just roll with it.
I bet I know what happened to this Seal! I use to be a fish farmer & have seen this type of wound several times before. Surrounding all fish farms is a special net called a “Predator Net”.(Pred Net) If a Seal or Sea Lion try’s to get at the fish,this net stops them. Sometimes a Seal’s head gets caught in the net. In the struggle to release it’s self (before it drowns) it injures the neck area! It looks worse than it is,but they do survive!
I went up into Gunner Inlet tonight & decided to leave Fortune Channel alone. Too many bear watching boats buzzing around!
It was low tide,so I expected to find a bear in Gunner & sure enough,I did! I immediately recognized this bear! It was “Li’l Jackie”! She’s a 2 1/2 year old I met last year & is a sweetheart! She looked at me with interest for moment as if she knew me? She has filled out & that made me happy to see! She’s making her way in the world!
She went up by the forest edge to eat some berries & that was my cue to leave.
I found a second bear near the Baxter Islet fish farm. It looked like a yearling & a small one at that! I laughed when it tried to turn over a rock the same size as it was! I decided to name it “Mighty Mite” for it’s optimistic attitude!
The wind was hitting me strongly in this spot! I decided the only thing I could do was a controlled “drift by”! The light was gone by this time & the wind was hitting me hard! There was no place to put the boat in,so ergo the drift by.
Left my new little friend & headed over to Tsapee Narrows to visit with the Daredevil & Delilah,but only Delilah was around & a wet blanket at that! She wasn’t very interested in company tonight.So I moved on.
Moe & Maggie were gone as well!
All the eagles take a vacation after their eaglets fly the coup. They head up north to the spawning grounds. I have no idea where they go,but suspect it’s further north?
I found a “Scattering” of Herons on the mud flats up in Lemmings Inlet! They seemed to be all watching the sunset together!
Romeo & Juliette were gone as well! No eagle/moon shots this full moon for me unfortunately. It’s always slim pickens this time of year!
Not much to write home about tonight,but I was very happy to find “Li’l Jackie” again!
The clouds parted today,so I got out for a shoot but no sooner had I launched my boat,than I noticed the Fog beginning to move in!
I knew the town would be covered soon,so I headed down the inlet. A friend told me there was a dead Orca at the Grice Bay ramp! I wanted to get some shots while they were doing their autopsy,but arrived too late! The Canadian Coast Guard cutter “Atlin Post” was already towing it out to sea!
Disappointed I headed up into Fortune Channel to look for bears? I found one & recognized it.It was a bear that was a bit skittish! I call it “Scaredy Cat”. I can’t get within 200 meters before it trots off into the forest!
Went over into Gunner to see what was going on & I did find a bear but the light was already gone & it was too far away to get anything crisp!
I knew my night was going to be poor with the fog moving in! I wouldn’t be able to get any shots of my eagle friends & the bears were not cooperating either! Big strike outs tonight! No Orca,bears (close up) or eagles!
I came back in early to lick my wounds! No light…..no shots!
UPDATE – (Sept 18th,2013) I received this info about that dead Orca from Rod Palm (Strawberry Island Research)
“September 12, at 14:00, 8 nautical miles off Long Beach, Claire Mosley (Biologist on Jamie’s
Whaling Station vessel “Leviathan 2”) spots something curious floating in the distance; a few
pleading words to Skipper Chris McCue and the course is altered to check it out. They didn’t
expect this but there it is – a big bull Kawkawin (Killer Whale) dead in the water. Chris calls us,
and the machine starts turning. Here’s the skinny: a call to Skipper Marcel Theriault (Ceara
Salvage) – says he could have his vessel “Beach Hopper” on scene within an hour; a call to
Graeme Ellis and John Ford (the top whale brass at the Pacific Biological Station [PBS]) – “Can
you guys budget a recovery?”; their network kicks into gear and within an hour Marcel is on his
way. “Meanwhile back at the ranch”–oops sorry, back at the whale, the whale-watch fleet has
been rotating a presence so that the location is not lost. A call back from PBS and Marcel is on
site and has the whale in tow by 17:30. Shortly after, the Coast Guard vessel “Atlin Post” takes
over to tow against the ebbing tide. Once they’re in the harbour, Marcel pulls it over to us here
on Strawberry Island, where we explore the body and bask in its aromatic splendour for 36+
hours. At dawn on Saturday, Marcel working in conjunction with the “Atlin Post” pickup the
whale and have it delivered to the Grice Bay boat ramp, where Long Beach Auto is able to drag
the carcass up out of the water. Graeme is first on scene and right away identifies the whale as
the 33-year-old Northern Resident I46, who generally ranges through the inside Northern waters
of Vancouver Island. Shortly after, a keen and able-bodied necropsy crew headed up by Dr.
Stephen Raverty (pathologist at the Provincial Animal Health Center at Abbotsford) is getting
down and dirty taking I46 apart and bagging organ tissue samples and de-fleshing the bones for
shipment to the Ottawa Museum. By mid-afternoon the deed is done, and Marcel along with the
“Atlin Post” take charge of the remaining meat, blubber and assorted body parts for disposal in
the open ocean.
I46 was a late middle-aged Kawkawin who appeared to have normal bodyweight, and had fairly
recently been eating, as was evident by the salmon bones that were found in the upper intestinal
track along with a barbless treble hook that had not traumatically obstructed digestion. No
major external or internal trauma was found, so it’s now up to the lab at Abbotsford to see what
they can find with their histo-, toxo- and all their other ologies. These folks are very thorough,
but it all takes time, so it may be a while before I can get back to you with any results.
Later…Rod firstname.lastname@example.org more images to follow”
(The images below are from Strawberry Island Marine Research Society)
The high tide was happening when I got out tonight. Whenever this happens I do not expect many bears to be out & about. They eat during low tide & than go for a nap to wait for the next low tide.
Having said that,I did find one Bruin tonight & for a change………….it wasn’t in the shade!
Didn’t recognize who it was but it seemed to accept my company. Left Fortune Channel & came back to town. Stopped off at Tsapee Narrows to visit with the Daredevil. The sun was getting low by this time & I knew I didn’t have enough time to make it into the harbour before the sunset!
So I stayed with my finely feathered friend for awhile. Delilah was nowhere to be seen & has been absent for awhile actually! She & many others must be further north at the spawning grounds.
Came back into the harbour & went to Deadman Island to visit with Romeo & Juliette. Neither were there to greet me unfortunately,but a nicely perched Heron was hanging around!
I was happy to find a bear tonight in great light. A second night with no clouds for sunset cramps my style but the afterglow went on for a hour or so!