The weather broke today & I didn’t need to be asked twice!
The tide was high,so I headed down to Tranquil Creek. You can only get inside the creek if it’s a high tide. I knew there would be a good chance that the salmon would be gone & the run finished for the year……………….& that’s exactly what I found!
I only saw two fish moving about in the fast flowing stream! I tied the boat up & took my chest waders me. Came across two bears as well! The first one didn’t see me,but I could tell it was injured! Most likely from a recent fight. Coming into the winter season,this bear could die from a wound like that?
It saw the second bear & retreated into the forest. The second bear saw me & looked like it was trying to hide behind a spindly bush! It was kind of funny to see this large bear thinking it was able to hide from me!
I returned to where I had tied up the boat. The tide had dropped & grounded me. I took the motor off & put the wheels down. The boat is designed to be very mobile!
Once I got the boat back into the stream,I decided to just drift. I realized that this was going to be the last trip into Tranquil for 10 months or so! It was kind of sad to think that actually! I’ve been coming up into Tranquil for 2 1/2 months now. I saw the entire spawning season from start to finish!
Thousands upon thousands of salmon had entered into the system to spawn & die. I saw many dead salmon littering the bottom of the stream & estuary! Many bears,birds feasted upon the salmon!
Another cycle has come & gone.
I headed out of the system & started my trip back to Tofino. It’s a long trip for me! It takes about a hour to get down to Tranquil!
On the way back I saw some Harbour Seals hanging out on Rankin Rocks. Found hundreds of Dunlin’s as well on Rankin!
Ran into a friend of mine on the way back with motor troubles. Started towing him back,but he managed to get it started anyways. Said goodnight to them both & headed to Deadman Island for a visit with my favorite eagle friend,Romeo!
He greeted me well & was receptive,but because of me stopping to help out my friend with his boat,It delayed me & I missed the sunset! I did get a bit of it,but the sunset’s peak had come & gone!
Didn’t find any salmon today & missed the sunset,but I still had a much better day than 99.99% of the Earth’s population I bet!!
The Cormorants are back for the winter & have started to hang around on their favorite haunts.
I didn’t get much today,so I was desperate to get something other than my eagle friends.
This rock is in the middle of the harbour & almost always has birds on it. A caught a Immature Eagle on this spot a few days ago!
I managed to get out today. The light & weather was great! I went straight down to Cannery to see If I could find our injured friend? Sure enough,he was hauled out on the walkway to the float by it’s self. I noticed it doesn’t go too close to the others. I think it must be in pain & instinctively wants to stay apart? Continue reading “Cormorants”
This is always a favorite angle for me!
During the winter,Strathcona looks majestic with all that fresh snow!
These birds always fly low & fast.
I was surprised to see that the Frontal system that threatened us with rain, went past us further off shore! That meant it was going to stay sunny! I think the rest of the week will be wet,so I took advantage of the great light! It was a cold trip today! I had my winter gloves on. I do not have a windscreen on my boat and am exposed to the wind/cold!
I loaded up on the fuel and headed east down Tofino Inlet to Tranquil Inlet. I wanted to see if I could find any bears?
The tide was just right. It was very close to being high and it allowed me to enter into the river system easily! It didn’t take long for me to realize that the party was over!
I couldn’t find any salmon swimming around at ALL! The dance is over for another year I guess!
I did see one bear however, but it was at a distance and heading up river away from me.
I couldn’t see many fish carcass’s on the rivers bottom either! The heavy rains had flushed the entire system!
After my little disappointment,I headed over to Cannery Bay to see if the Sea Lions had moved back in…………..& no they haven’t yet.
I don’t think I even saw one swimming around!
I headed back into town. I noticed that a large cloud layer was moving in from the west and I knew what that meant! Bye bye to my great light!
I went to visit Romeo and Juliette for awhile at Deadman Island. Only silhouettes tonight of my finely feathered friends.
Another great afternoon’s shoot under my belt!
This is a Crabbing boat. They set Crab traps and harvest the crabs caught in it.
They rebait the trap with squid,fish heads etc. Squid is the choice of the industry I believe,but don’t quote me.
When the trap settles back down on the bottom,it starts producing a “scent” cloud downtide. Any Dungeness crab downtide of a trap will follow the scent trail right back into the trap. A one way door flap ensures the visitors a permanent stay in the trap until the Crabber comes back in a week or so to harvest them!
I also believe that only the males are harvested,with the females thrown back to help replentish the population. They have to be a certain size as well. I think the cut off limit is 6 inches. The smaller ones are thrown back for future harvesting.
This rock is in the harbour and almost always has some birds on it.
For those that visit my site often ,you will recognize this spot! I always shoot it when I find birds on this rock. It’s located just in behind (to the north) Strawberry Island. It has no name but I call it “Strawberry Islet”.
Notice how the birds always point into the wind!
I was looking north,so they basically were pointing to the West/NW.
I did get out today and went somewhere I have never been………to the Bulson river at the north end of Fortune Channel! Turns out that there wasn’t much there to write home about. The creek to the east of it had salmon in it and it looked like some bears had been around! However there were none there when I arrived.
On the way back I came across a single bear along Fortune’s Eastern shore. The tide was too high for bears really and I anticipated that.
Romeo was the only eagle active tonight. Juliette just looked at me and couldn’t be bothered!
I than came back into town for the sunset,which had a rare Green Flash happen! I was very happy to get that!
I do not see that very often! Best sequence I have ever shot!
Another great evening out!
I was able to get out this afternoon. I went down to Cannery Bay to check and see if any Sea Lions had taken up residence…….and no they had not yet!
However,I did come across one lonely looking Californian Sea Lion “outstanding in it’s field”! (you’ll see)
I than continued north to Tranquil Inlet to check out the salmon run and maybe some bears? There were no bears (lots of signs that they had been there however) but there were thousands of salmon!
Chum and Springs mostly I think!
I went up Tranquil creek to the old bridge and than turned and came back. I always love going up Tranquil! It’s shallow going up the river,so I had to kick up my motor to draft less and even than my prop hit a few stones lightly!
I could see thousands of salmon darting all around me in huge schools! The bottom went black in spots! Good to see!
I than headed back to Tofino. On my way in,I went past Rankin Cove and saw the barge “Makah”. It was being loaded up with logs but the guys had gone for the day,so there was no activity.
The light by this time had failed. Some clouds had moved in from the west and that was all she wrote for the days shoot!
As always,it was great to get out!
When I see these guys take up residence in the harbour ,I know that the storm season has begun.
I’m starting to see the kayak’s again!
They, like the birds of Capistrano are fairly reliable.
I was already heading out of the harbour when I saw them and turned around and went back to this spot.
I got foreground,mid-ground AND background with my first shot of the day!
Not bad! A good start I thought.
I always like to “draw blood” (photographically of course) before I leave the harbour. Getting the first shots under my belt primes me for the afternoon’s shoot!
I obviously got out today in my boat. The light was pretty good. I know that Spring has arrived and the Sea Lions will be leaving soon.
I went down to Cannery for a visit and verified my suspicions!
Their numbers are down! They have started to migrate out of the inlet. Several normally popular spots were vacant and the main gathering spot over by that wooden structure had less than normal!
Mother Nature has put in a phone call to the boys and told them that their winters vacation is over!
I will miss them.
I did do what I promised I would as well……….I put into land and checked out the forest where they were! Or at least one of many haul outs.
You will see below a few shots of the forest floor.
I went out today in the boat but realized even before I got out, that the light was going to go bye bye!
I saw a thick cloud system moving in from the west. I probably wouldn’t of gone out,but I invited a friend and I wanted to put a smile on her face!
We postponed going to Cannery Bay. The waves were starting to cap from the wind and it’s a long trip,so I called it off and we stayed in Lemmens Inlet. It’s a semi protected inlet and a good backup for times like this!
We visited Moe and Maggie as well as Romeo and Juliette.
These Cormorants looked funny standing all by themselves on such a small rock.
I found the background moody! You can see how the light had failed! It was sunny one hour before this shot was taken.
That thick cloud was doing it’s thing right over top of me!
This kayak was coming back into the harbour ,while these Cormorants were heading out to the islands for a nights rest!