Sunday, April 17, 2011

Slough it down

Went yesterday for my fun day since today I have to clean to prepare for the first visitor here (yay!). M was working, so off I went to a fun filled busy day.

First and main event was kayaking the Elkhorn Slough. Due to the tide circumstances (high tide 10:00 am) I got there when the place opened (9:00 am) and got out as soon as possible so I'd grab the lull time to go in and have the tide going out help me against the wind on the way out.

Turns out I was the first and only out for a while. Amazing. Below are some photos, but here's a list of adventures (be advised I'm using sea lion and seal interchangeably - when I shouldn't):
- piles of sea otters hanging out in the distance.
- piles of sea lions sunning on the beach.
- piles of seals barking on a pier.
- seals frolicking in the water
- sea otters frolicking with each other in the water.
- sea lion surfaces having caught a big fish. Throws it into the air enough to swallow it down.
- sea lion in the distance diving to get fish I assume, and slapping the water on the way down or up. The sound carries far! didn't know why he was doing it.
- seal babies with seal moms. One seal pup very curious about me and heads towards me. Big mom is nearby, and I decide to get away quickly. Another seal pup was too far away from its mom and it was calling and she was calling back.
- sea otters floating on their backs eating what they had caught. one otter had a really hard time getting open the shell. bang bang bang on the rock on its stomach multiple times.
- loons
- assorted other waterfowl.
- one bird had landed a good fish. Thin beak and the fish was sideways. Up on surface, wrong way. Went underwater to readjust, came back up and still not possible. One more time, then caught attention of a seagull. Damn freeloader tried to get the poor bird's fish and I accidentally got it on camera! Thankfully the bird had its day, and I saw the big fish in its narrow throat and then it was gone, in the stomach. woo hoo!
- small sea lion trying to figure out how to move on land. Wasn't doing too well...
- sea lion near my boat, accidentally. I didn't go away but I didn't paddle towards it. It stared at me for a while, and then dove. So I looked around, and then he surfaced over to the left, went under and slapped the water as he got up and looked at me. Went under and showed up a little closer and slapped the water. OK! got the message and went away.

Apparently the kayak company has a resident otter. He likes to sleep in one of the kayaks at night. The guy showed me the seat with the fur on it. Pretty funny.

OK, I'm saving the rest for other days. Procrastinating as it were....

Fog rolling in


laura b. said...

I suppose all the creatures around there are fairly accustomed to people.

Sounds like an amazing adventure!

Mel said...

Wow...I want an adventure like that one!!!
Way cool.
Certainly had to be good for the soul.

Churlita said...

I'm so jealous. I would love to do that. I really liked Monterrey Bay as well. so much incredible sea life...I always interchange seals with sea lions as well.

Stray Cat said...

Nice pics!

Tara said...

I love the photo of the otter floating around on his back.