I went out today looking for any of my furry friends? I went up into Fortune Channel but couldn’t find a one out & about.I wasn’t shocked as it was high tide.Bears come out during low tide so they can overturn the rocks & get at the baby crabs.I usually find one out during high tide,but not tonight.
I always go out about three hours before sunset.Yes,I could go out earlier for the low tide but the colour & temperature (light) would be cooler.So I stick to a few hours before sunset.I find the setting & colour far more appealing!
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).
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!
Today was a much better day for getting out! No fog bank chasing me away!
I went down into Tranquil to see what was shaking? Found some Trumpeters & just a beautiful silence! I went into the cove down there & shut the motor off. I stood up in the boat looking at the northern wall of rock in the cove. I use to be a Geologist & am always fascinated with how a glacier can carve rocks like butter so uniformly! One can clearly see the striations the glacier left! A glacier will pick up large hard rocks under it’s nose. These rocks act as cutting bits as the glacier advances.If you’ve ever seen a large drilling bit,you’ll know what I mean.
I just stood there wondering? I am always amazed at how Nature works her magic!
This cove is where I would love to put a floathouse! I even know the exact spot!
I had my sweet treat for the day & decided I had better start on my way back. I stopped off at Rankin Rocks to take some shots of the Dunlin’s.
I had heard of some Orca’s being around & was mindful of that. I was watching for “blows”,but never saw any unfortunately.
I stopped at Tsapee Narrows to visit with the Daredevil.Both he & Delilah were active today. I did see Logan as well. He was on his normal perching tree just east of the Daredevil’s territory. I found some Dunlin’s on the point there as well.
Continued on my way. I went over to Morpheus island to see if Maggie was around today? She wasn’t yesterday. Sure enough she was & she flew out to greet me. Because the sun is still low in the sky,I have to go further north of Morpheus island than normal. At this time of day there is some shadow creeping too close for comfort. I’m always mindful of where the best light is.
Maggie circles me many times & is easy pickens for close up shots! She loves to pose for me & why I call her my girlfriend!
She went back to Morpheus & I started to take off. She saw me leaving & flew out quickly to chase me! She does this all the time! She’s such a pretty girl!
Had to say goodnight & continued on to visit with Romeo & Juliette. The light was PERFECT! I was surprised that Romeo didn’t pay me any attention? It was very foggy yesterday,so I didn’t & couldn’t stop to take any shots of him. He did fly out of the fog to greet me,proving eagles do have a “eagle eye” when it comes to seeing things!
Romeo couldn’t be bothered with me tonight! If I didn’t know better I’d say he was pissed off at me for not stopping yesterday! He’s never acted this way before? I hope he gets over it.
I left them both & looked around for some harbour shots. I went to watch the sunset & was hoping to see a “Green Flash”,but alas it didn’t happen. The sun did deform as it set however. There was (as per normal with the ocean) a cold layer of air just above the ocean. This air is denser because of being colder. When the light enters this cold layer it bends (refracts) slightly. Thus deforming the sun’s shape.
All in all another outstanding days shoot in paradise folks!
I should explain something to you all……….because Tranquil has been taking up a lot of my time,I haven’t had much time to concentrate on getting my usual pictures!
You see,the salmon will all be dead soon so I’m trying to get some underwater video footage of them before they check out! It’s a very time consuming effort,trust me!! It takes a hour just to get there to begin with & than going up stream takes awhile as well. It took about half a hour today! The tide was low,so I thought I’d put the wheels down on my boat & pull it upstream. Works great on flat ground but not on uneven boulder strewn bottoms! I ended up tieing up the boat & walking upstream without the boat! I don’t like doing that because of all the bears out & about but I was bound & determined to get to the “sweet spot”where the salmon were all bunched together in the “fresh” water! The visibility of the fresh is far far superior than the salt water!
I made it to the spot & promptly realized that there were at least 6 bears all around me! I knew they were more afraid of me & also had very full belly’s! Critical info to have if your going to go dancing with the bears!
The salmon were all bunched together,so I waded upstream of them & released my drift rig. Because I didn’t have my boat with me I knew there was a chance that my drift rig could drift to the other shore of the stream & that would not be a very good thing folks! Yes I did have my chestwaders but that stream was about 15 feet deep at that spot & very very cold! So I went & cut down a very long “green” limb with my trusty Leatherman ( which every person should have btw) Just in case it was heading away from me? Turns out I was worried for no reason. It drifted right through the school & I picked it up downstream perfectly! I managed to get in 5 runs today!
I was keeping a eye on all the bears too! I put my main camera down on the ground & walked upstream with my drift rig. No point in carrying it with me when I was going to be wading deeply into the stream I thought?
That’s about the time I saw a bear swimming across the stream & it was heading right for the spot where I had put my camera down!! I ran down the bank as fast as I could!
The poor bear was in mid-stream when It saw me running towards it & promptly turned around very quickly & went back to the other stream bank!! I scared the poor thing!
I thought it was better scaring him than having him running off into the woods with my camera! We don’t need a Paparazzi bear!
One always has been very very watchful when out in the wilds folks!
I realized the time was getting late & I had better start heading back. I knew it was going to take me awhile to hike back along the stream bank to my boat & than pull the boat downstream! It was still too shallow when I got there,so I had to pull the boat a good distance downstream before I got enough depth to put the wheels down & start the motor up!
I exited Tranquil & breathed a sigh of relief. It was a lot of work today to get to the salmon sweet spot! Worth every second for the sheer adventure! You all would of been amazed at what I did today!
Started heading back. Stopped at Tsapee but no one was home,so I continued on.The sun was going to be set by the time I got into the harbour! (as per normal)
I went over to Deadman to visit with Romeo & Juliette. As soon as I came around from the backside of Beck island,Romeo saw me(500 meters away!) & flew over to greet me! When he does this I have such a big smile on my face!! I wave to him as he glides in closer to me & yell “how are you tonight Romeo”?
He flew to his throne & I got a few of him as he perched. Took a few shots of them with a very beautiful sky! Had to head back,so I said goodnight to them both. Saw the sky turning pink & went out towards the Lighthouse to look for any fishing boats coming,but found nobody?
Settled for a tree as a subject & took the last shots of the night.
Fantastic day today folks & you can bet I’ll sleep soundly tonight!