I spot the loons as soon as I put my paddle to work. I should've seen them from land as I finished my portage, but I suppose there are a great many things that I have not seen while out of the canoe.
By the Flag Rocks, I have seen four loons and heard a fifth laughing, unseen in the light choppy waves. By the time I reach the Oyster River, I have spotted seven.
It is a high high tide today, just a few inches short of record levels and the ride upstream into the Oyster River is swift. I flush a couple flocks of black ducks, a dozen each, while drifting up to and past the trolley bridge foundations. A couple of yellow legs follow, and I watch a flock of 60, or so, Canada geese over the marsh grass from one meander back. They fly off while I am cutting someone's old discarded bait line - kite string with a chicken bone at the end. I sit and drift in and the blueberry soup gets poured.
I leave some 45 minutes past high tide and the current is still rushing in...the lead and lag of reservoirs that I studied in engineering school, the Oyster River always trying to catch up with the sea, but never getting there. I remember that never got those calculations right - I suppose that I'm better at being the river.
The seas have calmed.