RENDEZVOUS SPOT (aka “ROMEO’S” THRONE)

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When I go out on a normal shoot,I always preplan my route. No matter what route I take,I always end up in the same spot…..visiting Romeo & Juliette.They are out in Tofino’s harbour area.They do have a nest on Deadman island but use Beck island as their main nesting area.Beck island is small.Maybe 250 meters at best.They put their nest on the NW corner of Beck. They have the best real-estate in the harbour. The marine highway goes right by their Deadman island nest.It narrows right in front of the island forcing the boats close to the island.Many fisherman coming back in pass right in front.They sometimes  stop & throw them a spare fish. Romeo & Juliette consider themselves  the King & Queen of Tofino’s harbour!

Romeo & I play a game. I try to sneak up & beat him to this rocky islet.It has no name but I call it his “Throne”. He always looks so regal perched upon it.

I almost always come from the backside of Stone island.Once I clear the cover of Stone island…… I’m visible & the race is on! I watch for him to take off from either Beck or Deadman island. He flies over to greet me. He’ll fly straight right over to me,circle in behind & glide right past me at a very fast speed to his throne. To date,I’ve never beaten him! He moves much faster than my boat ( 17 knots) & he’s not even flapping his wings!………….he’s only gliding!

When I arrive,I sit in front of him  (about 30 feet away) & just talk to him. I ask him how his day has been & whatever comes to mind. If It’s during nesting season,I ask how the new eaglet is doing? Basically,I just talk to him about this & that.He doesn’t say much.He does sing from time to time ! Mostly because Juliette is about to arrive. It’s a welcoming song for her,not me.

He does actually listen! He sometimes cocks his head while staring at me in such an inquisitive manner. He also likes to look down at his talons a lot for some reason? Such a silly bird sometimes.I always love visiting my feathered friend.No matter how I feel he always makes my spirit soar when I see him flying over to greet me!

I’ve known Romeo & Juliette now for about 10 years. They both are very special to me!

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OUTSTANDING!

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The weather cleared during the night! I was excited to get out! I haven’t been out in what seems like years! I heard a meteorologist from Vancouver saying that the last 55 days have been raining out of 60.

As a photographer the most critical element I need is light! If I don’t have that,I can’t do very much.Also,If It’s very windy & sunny I still can’t go out.Too dangerous! So I usually ride out to the beach for some beach/sunset shots.

Todays winds were suppose to go up to 60 klicks! I kept a eye on the weather station read out for wind speed.It was staying down,so I decided to head out.

My plan was to go down to Rankin rocks to check on my Stellar Lion friend “Lippy”. I realized while heading down Tofino inlet that the sun was already low in the SW & I wouldn’t have time to go all the way down to Rankin & make it back before sunset.I decided that as soon as I could see Rankin Rocks in the distance, I would stop the boat, turn the engine off & scope it out with my binocs. I looked on the map,I was 6 1/2 klicks (4 miles) away from Rankin Rocks. “Lippy” is a pretty big guy so I figured I’d be able to see him. If I saw him,I’d continue onward & scrap the sunset shots.! I’d just concentrate on him but If I didn’t see him,I’d return.

I returned. I didn’t see him………….RATS!

I went to Tsapee Narrows for a quick visit with the Daredevil & Delilah. I haven’t seen them in what seems ages! I noticed that the sun had gotten snuffed by some low cloud so I moved on.

Went past Maggie’s territory on my way to see Romeo.I figured she’d be MIA,but was pleasantly surprised to see her trying to catch up with me! She was flying low behind me! Said hello to her & she veered away back to her perching spot.

Romeo flew over to greet me! Was very happy that my feathered friends haven’t forgotten me. The sun had forgotten me however.It had already set or at least been snuffed by some low cloud.Took a few shots of Romeo doing his thing.Said goodnight & called it a day.

Was very happy to get out today but upset I got the timing wrong.The sun is setting so early now that I’ll have to head out at least a hour sooner (1pm).