I slip out by 7am to an overcast sky with a glow of an earlier sunrise in the east, where I can see through the islands. My trips alone are always so different than when I share the canoe. With the occasional bowman, I steer the canoe to see the sites, to see the sights. Alone, I have no agenda and seem not to care about getting anywhere other than where I am.
This morning, I ease along the edges of the rocks at the lowest of the day's tides. I spot a few river otters with ease on the calm waters. 2 guillemots, well scattered from each other are in the bay. On the larger island at the north end of the bay are 2 dozen seals, again mostly mothers and pups. I begin to disturb them from about a hundred yards, so I watch them from that distance.
Returning, I circle around the rocks in some pattern that might end up as a figure eight, or not. A mink runs along the edge of one island.
I paddle up past the government dock and back, edging along the shore in a bit of mid-day wind. When I return, I spot the 3 small otters at the most substantial of of the rocks. They leave a trail of wet splashes as they exit the water and clamber up over the sandstone and into the brush.
I get out on the far side of the rock to explore. This side marks the passage into the government dock and I find a few pieces of fiberglass boat hull in the water. I collect 3 specimens - a thin slab of sandstone, a bent iron fitting, and a deer leg bone. On the south tip of the island I find a sand patch with otter tracks all through it - with the signature esses of the tail sweep.
S and I head out for a quick paddle. I stop first at the big rock and send her up to the sand patch to see the array of otter tracks. Then we head across bay to look at two seals that are beached alone on another rock and to look at a beautiful old classic cabin that sits on the far side of the bay.
It is a fine example of form and function, particularly at an age when so many people insist on building waterfront homes that make a statement... primarily about their outsized egos.