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!
I went up in a Helicopter today. A local environmental group wanted shots of some pristine valleys.I took 666 shots! Good thing I’m not superstitious!
We used Atleo Air’s helicopter (Bell 206-B Jet Ranger). I’ve used these helicopters a lot when I use to be a exploration Geologist.
These Helicopters are right up there with Otters & Beavers for bush flying!
I even had enough time to rush out in my boat for a short sunset harbour shoot too!
I went to visit Romeo as soon as I got out! I couldn’t see him anywhere on his island but soon saw him flying to greet me! Juliette must still be down at the salmon run?
Hung around with my feathered friend for awhile & than took off to try & squeeze in other subjects for the evening shoot.
The Heron’s are all around the harbour! They seem to be everywhere. So I was able to get a few of them with that gorgeous setting sun.
I spied a fishing boat coming in with a large black smoke trail! I wondered if it was on fire & went to investigate? It did have a fire but it wasn’t serious. It looked like the exhaust pipe had accumulated some carbon build up from the diesel & had ignited. I don’t even think they were aware that there was a flame coming from the top of the pipe?
Had a very busy day today! Got the best of the air & water today!
I’m heading out earlier & earlier it seems! The sun is setting so much sooner!
Headed down to Tsapee Narrows. All of my eagle friends have been away on/off to the salmon grounds! I’d love to know exactly where they go of course but thats just fantasy.
I took a client with me last Wednesday. He wanted eagle pictures. Wouldn’t you know that not one of my eagle friends was around! I was very disappointed of course! They all go to where the salmon are running to get their fill,so I can’t blame them……….just my bad timing.
So when I got down to the Narrows & saw the Daredevil flying over to greet me,it brought a smile to my face! I assume they are full of salmon & one of the reasons why they seem so lazy? They are still moulting as well.
I made up a new game tonight! Sometimes after one of my eagle friends grab a fish,a fluff of down will let loose & begin to float down wind. I manoeuvred the boat to grab it! I got the one the Daredevil let loose tonight! As soon as I catch it,the beautiful structure is destroyed! It clumps into a small wad.
Still a challenge to try & follow this beautiful piece of down & try to catch it before it hits the water!
Only stayed a short while with my full friend. The sun was already getting close to the horizon. Headed back to the harbour & went to Deadman island to see if my friend Romeo was around? Turns out he was but very lethargic as well! He did two runs & that was all she wrote. He looked like a big fat turkey! Juliette wasn’t around,so she must of been still down at the grounds?
I still had some light left in the day so just went around the harbour looking for anything to shoot? I decided to come back in & call it a day. Normally all the excitement ends than but there was something else in store for me tonight!
I put away & cleaned all my boat gear as per normal & locked up. I decided to go out onto the 1st. dock to just watch the afterglow of the sunset. I saw a friend in his boat with clients coming back & decided to get my camera back out. Took a few shots & packed it back away & put my pack on my back. I had just started to walk away when it happened!
I looked up because of a bright light & saw a large meteor screaming across the heavens! It was going from east to west & was a bright welders white colour. It broke up in the sky & did not hit the ground. Those are called meteors but if it had hits the ground,those are called meteorites! I looked at the metadata of my last shot & it was 8:21pm. It had to be only 2 minutes after I took that last shot,so am calling the time around 8:24 pm (Pacific). Sure wish I could of gotten a still or better yet a video…………….but hindsight is always such a tormenting road!
Had a great evening out tonight & the meteor was the icing to my cake!