Thursday, November 15, 2012

I Return the Way I Came.

I portage down to the harbor and find the tide very high.  The morning wind has died down and my wind driven procrastination has disappeared.  I use the high tide to take in all of the edges of this little harbor, which still has unused natural shoreline and shallows for the fish and birds to live in.  I suppose that they could pack another 300 boats in here, but they don't.  I spot a bald eagle.

There are two red-throated loons in the water just before I get to the fast flow that comes out under the rusty bridge as the tide drops.  I have to fight the current inch by inch up to the bridge.  There, I reach up and grab the beams underneath and push my way forward.  It saves me the 15 minutes of full on paddling it would take to cover the 20 yards to still water. 

The sky is going steely grey with clouds and the hazy sun of morning will soon be gone.  There are 30 some buffleheads in the lower part of Gulf Pond and when I get about half way up, I spot a second bald eagle just as it begins to harass an osprey, which I did not at all expect to see.  But, in the whirling chase, I get to see the underside of the osprey quite clearly and can be confident in the identification.  This chase goes on for several minutes until both birds are out of sight.

When I get to the top of the pond, I take a good stab at busting the current into Indian River.  It is about as good as it gets, the tide high enough to cover the rocks and perhaps only an eight inch difference in height between the river and the pond.  I get the bow of the canoe almost to the river but the current is too much and I have a quick backward ride back into the pond.

I take some time on the return to just paddle, putting in distance with steady strong strokes while staying alert.  The three black crowned night herons that I spotted on the way up are nowhere to be seen, but the eagle has returned and perches in satisfaction of the osprey's absence in a high tree on the west shore.

long-tailed duck

I enter the harbor just as the work boats are coming back, their aft decks stacked with clams in netted bags like potatoes come in.  They are small and rather open boats with crews of three or maybe four and they take turns unloading into a panel truck at the main pier.  I spot a long-tailed duck.

I take out and return the way I came.

No comments: