DROPPING IN ON FRIENDS

20141026-IMG_857520141026-IMG_8596The 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!

CORMORANT CONGREGATION

20140228-IMG_588520140228-IMG_5894Today 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!

FEATHERED FRIENDS

20131028-IMG_0095I 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!

HARBOUR SCENES

20130110-IMG_189720130110-IMG_190220130110-IMG_189620130110-IMG_1920I have been away for the Christmas holidays over three weeks & man was it great to get back to my beautiful Tofino!!
Had a great time visiting family & all,but coming back sure felt right! The sun was shining brilliantly today & I eagerly headed out in my boat to visit with all my wild friends!
I went straight down to Cannery Bay to visit with the Lions first. The tide was very high so there wasn’t too many on “Lion Rock”! Only 4 Stellers were on the rock when I arrived. I couldn’t find a single Californian anywhere at first!
I went on the inside of Cannery & found them (Californians only) on that float basking & barking. I think there numbers have decreased since I last saw them? Can’t been lots of food around if that’s happening than! They like Pilchard,but there can’t be too much food around to have them leaving so early?
I’m not sure if this is a what is going on or not?
I also didn’t find that one Lion with the wire wrapped around it’s throat & can only assume it has perished?

I have noticed at high tide when there isn’t alot of room on the rocks for them to laze around on,that they go hunting. Than with their belly’s full & the tide lower,they return to laze around. So basically I went for a visit when they were out shopping at the supermarket! (I hope?)
Time will tell?
Said goodbye to my voicestress friends & headed over to Rankin rocks to see if anyone was home. Not a soul was there! No birds or Harbour Seals!
I did find a few Seals further on towards Tranquil,but nothing to write home about!
Continued down into Tranquil Inlet to visit with the Trumpeters. I could see them with my binoculars at a good distance at the end of the Inlet. I can never get close to these guys! They spook very easy & it was calm out,so they heard me coming several kilometers away! I counted 7 this time.
Headed back towards town & had time on my side,so I dropped in to visit Rob in Gunner Inlet for awhile. He lives on a floathouse with three friendly cats.
I’ve always wanted to live like that myself! A floathouse would be the cats meow!
Said goodbye & continued on towards town. Stopped at Tsapee Narrows to visit with the Daredevil & Delilah. They both came over to say hi. I noticed the sunshine was on the verge of being snuffed for the night! Some extensive high cloud was moving in,so I got some shots of them doing their thing while I could!
Once the light went I said goodbye but the Daredevil flew over to me first as if to say “don’t leave”! I explained I had to to & would be back tomorrow. He flew back to his attack perch & just looked at me.
Conditioned west into town. I fueled up at the Marina first & than went over to Deadman Island to visit with Romeo & Juliette. I could only find Romeo around! I realized that Juliette was hidden from my view & was over on the mud flats chowing down on a fish. The sun by this time had been completely consumed but the cloud was translucent enough to allow some nice partial light through! I could only shot Romeo as a silhouette! He didn’t seem to mind.
I noticed several fishing boats coming in from the days work. I think it might of been Geoduck ( large bivalve)?
I got a few shots of Romeo playing in front of the “Georgia Prince”!
Called it a night & headed back in after saying goodnight to my friend Romeo.
I bet he had been wondering were I was all this time? It was really good to see my friend again!
This was my first shoot of the year & it couldn’t of been better! ( aside from no Orca’s or wolves of course!)
It was like coming back to Eden!

HEY!………”WHERE’S THAT BIG TURKEY GOING”?

20121212-IMG_131120121212-IMG_131220121212-IMG_131320121212-IMG_1314It seems so long since I was last out on a shoot……..& it has been! The sky’s cleared for the day & I headed out.
My first hurdle was the tide! A very high tide was happening when I wanted to go out! Almost 14 feet! I have to put on my chest waders when the high tide coincides with me wanting to get out.(unless of course I wanted two very full & complete soakers!)
I headed on down to Cannery bay to visit with the Lions. Their numbers haven’t grown tremendously so since I last saw them,but most likely will over the Christmas holidays! The high tide forces them up higher into the forest & their rocky islet had only a few spots available.
The entire inlet was very calm & gave great reflections!
I than went over to Rankin rocks to see if any birds or Seals were laying about,but nobody was home! Decided to try Gunner Inlet for any bears but I knew the odds of that happening was slim to none & Slim just left the building! Gunner was vacant for any of my furry friends,so I decided to slip on over into Fortune Channel to check over there before heading back in to town.
Once I got into Fortune I decided to check on my fuel situation. I was absolutely shocked to see my tank was almost bone dry! I couldn’t figure out why! I thought maybe the carb needed adjusting for the colder weather? I had to go to Creative Salmon’s Dawley Pass farm & beg for some fuel! They were nice enough to give me 10 liters! I only needed enough to get into town. Thanked the guys & took off for the sunset in town. Made it back in time for a nice visit with Romeo at Deadman island. Juliette just sat there staring at me as per usual. Said good night to them both after half a hour & went over to the fuel dock to fill up.
Thats when one of the attendants noticed that my choke was half way on!! I must of forgotten to push it in all the way! I had been boating all the time with the choke half way out! No wonder my fuel consumption was atrocious! That was a dumb mistake! Felt pretty embarrassed about that screw up! I have never done that before & most certainly will never again!
Even with that screw up it was still a great day out!

THE GATHERING

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.

Cormorants


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”