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Lazy Day with the Seals

bob budd

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Launched from Pebble Beach (Gloucester) at about 10:30AM 8 August. The sea was like glass with a calm breeze complementing the moderate summer temperature. Traveled out to and past Thatcher's Island in search of a little reef on the backside. Having never seen this before, we arrived at pretty low tide with a few rocks still exposed and the needle structure adorned with a cormorant. A nearby fisherman cast his line in my general direction while chatting with Adam and Andrew. If I needed to be ignored I'd have stayed at home.

Turned to the Salvages. Easy to see with no waves to speak of and the sun-bleached/guano-stained rock brightly shining atop even the occassional Alex-borne surges. Last time I made this trip I found the distance intimidating, this time it seemed like a rather quick trip. Passed the dry rocks for lunch on the wet ones. That Adam, he immediately pointed us to an easy cove to pull our boats up on the rocks.

Seal pups abounded nearby. While five sleep more or less peacefully in the sun a young pup played constantly. They ringed another small cove with a rock at one end. As the waves came in the cove the water would wrap around this rock and create a small waterfall. First the pup sat on this rock and rolled from his belly, to his side, the Plop! and into the water. Next he swam around the rock and round the waterfall, somewhat clumsily, several times. Finally, tired of play, he chose a point from which he could ponder our machinations. From time to time one could see at least one adult in the modest surf near the island.

Upon departing headed back to the wet rocks. Some of us took a few passes through a couple narrow gaps, I chose discretion over valour. Should have brought that helmet! After the first pass I met the returnees and watched a rather large seal riding the surf. From here we headed to Straitsmouth Island. On the rocks near the neat little cove/rock there were two kids and an adult stumbling into two sit-on kayaks. Also entertaining to watch.

Ice cream in Rockport? Why not. On the way in passed a large group of kayakers, some clearly beginnners. "Cool paddle" (the twig), thanks again to Dee and Adam. When we reached the boat ramp I demonstrated how not to dismount the kayak, my legs having insufficient support I ended outside the boat and in the shallow water with boat inverted. Ice cream from Richardson's of Middleton, I frequently go there with Ryan for putt-putt, driving golf balls (great stress therapy), and/or batting practice.

Back out the harbour and the kayakers passed us on their return. So many boats, not a trip many would wish to lead I think. Back down the coast quite uneventfully save a quick moment with another kayaker heading in our general direction. Fun landing at Pebble Beach, not! Found I could slip out of the boat as it road up the rocky beach near the top of the surge and grab the boat before it began its descent. Perhaps not graceful but certainly effective.

Thanks to Adam for being our tour guide.

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