Wednesday, March 18, 2009

An Ease in the Weather

Writing in the boat -
It's overcast and 45ish with a breeze from the SSE. I put in on Lake Washington. What color is this that the water seems when it is so overcast?
The wind is up more than I noticed when I walked my canoe to the water. I paddle north with a following wind and waves that are not yet a foot high. A quarter mile out from the floating bridge the wave echo becomes apparent and the regularity of the waves disappears and is replaced by a chaotic chop. In big winds this effect can create peaks and holes 6 feet high or deep. Three common mergansers (2F+1M) lead me for about 100 yards. They are beautiful in their peak mating colors. A horned grebe is off to my right, also very colorful. I stop and drift while drinking coffee. (Once in Union Bay, I begin to paddle to key points to take compass bearings for a sketch map. The eagles are both perched near the entrance to the NE lagoon, which is also close to their nest).
Paddling to the west islands I pass a super-dense flock of coots, maybe 100 in a solid mass. There are three common mergansers sitting on the diving board log. The starting and stopping of the compass work is leaving me chilled, so it is time to go. I collect a grocery bag full of garbage, about half of which is tennis balls.

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