Sunday, April 1, 2018

The Long Cut

I set out from the forest end of the river sometime near when the tide, a very high tide, was peaking.  There was no discernible current and the extra depth made for carefree gliding over the erratic boulders that lay in the first few bends.  But, I knew that I would have little idle time on this trip.  That very high tide will bring strong currents as the water level drops and the longer it takes for me to get down the river will be paid back in an arm breaking return.

Red Throated Loon
Below the Arch Bridge in the area I call the Upper Marsh, I spot 3 Osprey.  A pair on the west nest and one at the east (although on the return there will be a pair at the east as well).  At the Big Bends is my first Great Egret of the spring.  A Red Throated Loon is there as well.  Unlike my last trip, the Loon is less wary of my presence and seems comfortable to be on the opposite side of the river instead of a hundred yards or more distant.

Osprey - Lower Marsh
The current starts to move by the time I reach the railroad bridge.  I paddle up the alternative entrance to the Sneak and then head off to the left on a narrow channel that I've not been up before.  It runs quite a distance until connecting to another channel that comes off of Bailey Creek.  Being the long way around to get into Bailey Creek, this becomes the Long Cut.  I guess it to be passable at high tide and probably not much less.

In the Long Cut
I had spotted a second Red Throated Loon just up from the railroad bridge on my way down.  Another of the same species has joined it, making three for the day.  A few more Osprey sightings in this area bring my total to seven, and I estimate based on the amount of area that I haven't been in that there are probably at least ten in the area today.  Add two more Great Egrets to the count.  Add four Great Blue Herons congregated in the Upper Marsh.

Returning via the Sneak, I pick up the ebb, strengthening as I work against it.  The tail wind that was supposed to help on the way back has rotated around to be at my side or in my face and it is a grind against both all of the way through the Upper Marsh.

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