Island sightings

Yesterday was so clear, we saw Mount Washington, 86 miles away, most of the day. It shone at sunset even with a lazy shot from the dining room, looking out past the lighthouse.

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Two seals washed up in the coves earlier this summer. In addition to the cute little, live baby seal we saw on our first couple of days, there has also been a large, dead, harbor seal in the cove. With today’s full moon, I thought it might go out with the high tide. No luck. Midnight’s high tide is higher so my fingers are crossed. The birds have been scavenging it and it is quickly decomposing. There has been an “Unusual Mortality Event” this summer with hundreds of seals washed up on beaches in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine. Many have been infected with an avian flu and/or seal distemper.

I called Fish and Wildlife just to report it and the biologist I spoke to needed a photo to be able to document it and count it. We have been giving it a wide berth for many reasons but I approached it for a photo, which is not included here. Instead, look what I found on the driftwood right next to it, a seal!
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Today Tim got me to paint the Engine House, despite my procrastinations.  Tim has done all the scraping, which I despise, ( I don’t despise Tim’s scraping, I despise scraping) and lots of the painting, and I have done lots of painting. My hands and wrists are sore. But we want to get as much done, hopefully all the white, before we leave. Looks pretty nice already. I can’t let it interfere with my knitting though. For you knitters out there, today I cut a steek in a sweater, which means I purposely cut a sweater I am knitting down the middle.
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The lighthouse dome shines after this summer’s paint job.

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Sunset never disappoints.

Smoke on the water

Fire in the sky. Lingering smoke from the British Columbia wildfires persists. It makes for eerie sunrises and sunsets. When mixed with morning fog, it’s hard to tell what’s what.

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A sleepless night let me catch yesterday’s sunrise.

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This boat ghosted across the harbor the other morning.

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I met a German woman who is an extraordinary athlete. She has sea kayaked alone around Australia, South America and is now working her way around North America. Earlier this season, she paddled from Seattle to Kodiak, Alaska! Now she is working her way south. She seemed a little taken back by the combination of fog or wind, which prevails in August in the Pacific Northwest.  She plans to kayak the east coast of North America in the future, maybe our paths will cross again.

Only a handful of seagull chicks have survived around the cabin. It’s unclear what kills them because they appear undamaged. The ones that survive and are beginning to stretch their wings, keep me entertained.

The eagles seem to be doing just fine.

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As are Larry and Larry. A former caretaker named all the deer Larry and their name stuck.IMG_3246

Seals have hauled up on the beaches to nurse the pups and can be heard mewing and barking while we walk the roads.

All’s well in our part of the world.

 

 

 

 

 

There and back

The public transit system on the Olympic Peninsula has served us well.  This week we took the boat ashore, rode our bikes to the Sequim Transit Center, caught a bus to Port Angeles, hopped aboard a ferry to Victoria and were in our waterfront hotel, with our bikes, by 3.

We were astounded by the harbor as our ferry pulled in. A seaplane landed in front of us and these funny little boats circled the harbor.  Throw in a few kayaks, lots of power boats and it’s quite the scene.

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Construction in Victoria is booming. We stayed right on the water and could watch boats tie up to the customs dock in front of us. We even had a bird’s eye view of a boat fire. Noone was hurt but it exploded after fueling. It was pushed away from the fuel docks and burnt away.

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The smoke added to the smoke from the wildfires in British Columbia which has drifted to the west coast. It made a non-fog-like fog.

 

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I saw our ferry as we crossed the Strait.

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I admired the huge coiled lines, which are put to use each crossing.

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We took the obligatory trip to Buchart Gardens in the north. It was sweltering, smoky and popular, but well worth it. We walked for a few hours, enjoyed the shade under huge Sequoia trees and the lovely scenery.

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Our hotel was a step up from off-the-grid living. It had this fancy bidet – with a dryer!  And slippers and a robe.  Need I say more?

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We rode our bikes along the coast, in search of the bike friendly trail, which doesn’t exist yet but they have plans.

Then we took the trip in reverse. We stopped off and enjoyed Tim’s father’s day gift from his son at a local restaurant.

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And returned to Protection Island where it hasn’t rained in approximately 50 days. The island has dried out.

IMG_2991The seals welcomed us at the marina.

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We caught a smoky sunset and this morning were greeted by the porch residing otter.

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All’s well back on the prairie.

Well it finally happened

It was inevitable. Here we are, living smack dab in the middle of a seagull colony, invading their space for a few months.  Tempers are high as parents try to ensure their offspring survive.  And the odds are none too good. Numbers are already down around the cabin. Three have already died around the cabin. Yesterday we saw a battle outside the kitchen window when an interloper got too close to the nest.

And just look at how cute the chicks are.

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Those two shots were taken with my iphone through a telescope, no easy feat.

But I digress.

Here it is … don’t go any further if you are eating.

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Tim was shat upon as he cleaned the solar panels outside the cabin. YUCK!!! It has encouraged me to wear my goofy USFWS volunteer hat again. It was bound to happen. Better than being dive bombed I guess!

I heard a call from across the country from the leader of my tablet weaving group for bands to display at a show in Vermont.  She sounded desperate. Any bands would do. It encouraged me to finish a couple that were literally hanging around and I’ll send them today when we head off island en route to Victoria.

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We took a boat ride around the island to make sure boats weren’t getting to close to the nursing seals that are strewn along all the beaches. They blend in so well it is hard to see but here is a shot from the road.

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And one from the boat. The whole gang was involved. Mother, baby, seagulls and chicks. We saw the Harlequin ducks swim over on our return to the marina.

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We went to inspect a crab bouy to make sure it wasn’t too close to the island and had to do a double take. It is topped with a cheery flower. Ah Washington! Sort of sums it up right there.

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That’s all from our cheery outpost on Protection Island on another gorgeous sunny day. I think we have now had about 45 consecutive days of sunshine. Who knew?

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