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Old 08-24-2010, 11:32 AM   #1
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San Juan Weekend

Spent Sunday and Monday in the company of Carey and his wife and their lobsterboat Happy Destiny.* After some interesting albeit a bit nerve-wracking adventures with a mooring buoy and eelgrass at Center Island we ended up at the Blakely Island Marina a couple of miles from Center.* My wife and I had never been in there but Carey had.* Nice little hole-in-the wall marina with good protection from the weather.*

First shot is the marina basin itself.* Second panorama shot is from the stern of our boat and shows the narrow marina entrance leading in from Peavine Pass.* Third shot is of Peavine Pass with the current running heavy and the San Juan Seafoods buy-boat "Caleb Haley" (based in Bellingham) on its way to pick up fish from somebody somewhere.* Next shots are of a river otter family that was feeding on eels or candlefish in the marina.* Two adults and two young ones.* One of the young ones thought Carey and I might be a good source of a treat and came to visit.

Last shot is of our boating waters on one of the rare occaions when you can actually see them through the mostly continuous curtain of rain, fog, volcanic ash, snow, and sleet we have here.* I took the photo because I realized this was also one of those rare times when the wind wasn't blowing 40 knots with gusts to 70.* And I realized later it must have been at absolute slack tide (which lasts about 15 minutes around here) because the water was not filled with huge whirlpools and boils.* A rare picture indeed.





-- Edited by Marin on Tuesday 24th of August 2010 12:24:49 PM
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Old 08-24-2010, 01:21 PM   #2
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San Juan Weekend

Quote:
Marin wrote:"Last shot is of our boating waters on one of the rare occaions when you can actually see them through the mostly continuous curtain of rain, fog, volcanic ash, snow, and sleet we have here. I took the photo because I realized this was also one of those rare times when the wind wasn't blowing 40 knots with gusts to 70. "
Boy, I'm sure glad I don't have my boat up there as the cruising weather must be terrible!


*


-- Edited by SeaHorse II on Tuesday 24th of August 2010 01:22:03 PM
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Old 08-24-2010, 01:46 PM   #3
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RE: San Juan Weekend

You know, I have a whole bunch of family and friends, all nutjobs driving SeaRays (poorly), who would just love your part of the world Marin. Thanks for all the great pics, I'll get to work on the move asap. You're gonna love these guys.
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Old 08-24-2010, 02:16 PM   #4
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RE: San Juan Weekend

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Gulf Comanche wrote:

You know, I have a whole bunch of family and friends, all nutjobs driving SeaRays (poorly), who would just love your part of the world Marin. Thanks for all the great pics, I'll get to work on the move asap. You're gonna love these guys.
Considering the number of dorky Bayliner drivers we have up here your Sea Ray friends won't even be noticed.* And they'll never leave the dock anyway as the weather and water will be too scary for them.* So send 'em on up.* The local economy could use the boost.

*
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Old 08-26-2010, 09:33 PM   #5
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RE: San Juan Weekend

I can smell it!!! Thanks for Sharing Marin....beautiful!!!
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Old 08-28-2010, 11:56 AM   #6
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San Juan Weekend

Hey ya'allJust thought I'd tag on to Marin's weekend notes.


He only touched on the "eelgrass episode". In an attempt to leave Center Island, I found my cooling system rendered useless by the intake of about a cubic foot of eel grass. The strainer was full, and worse yet, the elbow leading into the strainer had plugged itself tight with grass. It took about two hours of reaching into the impacted area with a four pronged retrieval device, and removing mostly small bits about the size of the tip of my little finger. Once I had the elbow cleared, I would then start the engine and run for ten seconds to allow the next wad to pack the elbow. This cycle was repeated about twenty times, and all was clear. After two hours, and a very sore right hand, on we went to Blakely Island.

Here are a few of my photos from the weekend. We started a couple days prior to Marin, so we also hit LaConner, Friday Harbor, and Sucia Island along the way.


The first three shots are in LaConner. A small artsy town on the Swinomish Channel just east of Anacortes, Washington. The old wood boat is our friend Vic just returning from Alaska.


-- Edited by Carey on Saturday 28th of August 2010 01:42:17 PM
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Old 08-28-2010, 02:02 PM   #7
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RE: San Juan Weekend

Carey--- When we got back to our slip in Bellingham we heard you talking to Allegra and Allegra's replies. So your VHF signals carried all the way to Bellingham, a good indication that your radio is working
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Old 08-31-2010, 05:18 PM   #8
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RE: San Juan Weekend

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Marin wrote:
Next shots are of a river otter family that was feeding on eels or candlefish in the marina.* Two adults and two young ones.* One of the young ones thought Carey and I might be a good source of a treat and came to visit.
oh my gosh those are sickeningly cute.* Are they considered pests up there or are they ok?* (I know the tourists think*the sea lions*at Pier 39 in SF are cute but most boaters... not so much!)*
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Old 08-31-2010, 06:38 PM   #9
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San Juan Weekend

No, they are not considered pests at all UNLESS they decide to get into your boat. This is not a problem on larger boats but if you have something like a low, open sailboat or you keep a dinghy in the water with a cover over it otters may decide this is a great place to hang out, eat dinner, take a dump and pee, and generally kick back and have a good time.

The first winter we had our boat we sublet a slip in the south basin of our marina. In the next slip over were a pair of racing sloops, perhaps 25 feet long, with open cockpits. The owners kept canvas covers over the cockpits in the winter. There was enough room under the edges of the covers for otters to come up over the side of the boat and slip into the cockpit. They "lived" there all winter, and when the owners came down and removed the covers in the spring they were confronted with a pretty unbelievable mess. Fish and crab carcasses, poop, pee..... not a pleasant thing to have to deal with.

The otters did not damage any components of the boats themselves---- they're not rodents and don't have to be chewing on stuff all the time. But they left a hell of a mess. Fortunately since it was winter it was cold so there was no smell that we noticed. In the summer it can be a totally different story. They were loads of fun to watch, though, from our boat which they couldn't get onto except for the swim step.

But other than the occasional boater who has a run-in with them like this, people get a big kick out of watching the otters. They are larger than you would think--- we're always surpised by their size when we see them out of water even though we see them all the time. They seem to be very "happy" animals and even the adults indulge in play quite a bit. At one of the islands we go to a lot they have a slide down a steep bank on the shoreline they like to go down over and over. They can get aggressive if they have young and feel threatened by a dog or something, but for the most part they're just part of the scenery, like the eagles, herons, and kingfishers.

These, of course are river otters, not sea otters which are a very much different animal. I don't believe we have sea otters in Puget Sound and the inside waters. There may be some out on the Pacific coast up here.

River otters are amazing swimmers: I had one play around my canoe during a camping trip to Isle Royale National Park in Lake Superior when I was a teenager. The water was very shallow, glass smooth, and crystal-clear so I could watch everything the otter did around the canoe.* It swam better than the fish, which I guess it has to since that's what it catches and eats.

-- Edited by Marin on Tuesday 31st of August 2010 06:42:13 PM
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Old 09-01-2010, 11:28 AM   #10
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RE: San Juan Weekend

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Marin wrote:

They seem to be very "happy" animals and even the adults indulge in play quite a bit. At one of the islands we go to a lot they have a slide down a steep bank on the shoreline they like to go down over and over. They can get aggressive if they have young and feel threatened by a dog or something, but for the most part they're just part of the scenery, like the eagles, herons, and kingfishers.

Oh my, I am going to have to come up there and see these for myself.* I love watching the sea otters around here (well, down in Moss Landing near Rocky) and these sound even more entertaining.* Of course I will have to pick a good weather window since it is so miserable up there.

*
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Old 09-01-2010, 12:38 PM   #11
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Pineapple Girl wrote:Of course I will have to pick a good weather window since it is so miserable up there.
Yes, most of the otters up here have been fitted wtih small transmitter collars so they can be "seen" on radar since most of the time it's far too foggy and rainy to see them in person.* So watching otters at play up here is generally a matter of sitting in your boat, putting your radar on its lowest range (in our case that's .125 miles) and watching the "blips" frolic in the water and on shore.

*


-- Edited by Marin on Wednesday 1st of September 2010 12:39:25 PM
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Old 09-01-2010, 04:10 PM   #12
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RE: San Juan Weekend

That radar thing is great! LOL
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Old 09-01-2010, 04:15 PM   #13
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RE: San Juan Weekend

Quote:
Marin wrote:Yes, most of the otters up here have been fitted wtih small transmitter collars so they can be "seen" on radar since most of the time it's far too foggy and rainy to see them in person.* So watching otters at play up here is generally a matter of sitting in your boat, putting your radar on its lowest range (in our case that's .125 miles) and watching the "blips" frolic in the water and on shore.
You keep ruining your story of the awful weather by posting glorious pictures!

*
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Old 09-01-2010, 05:35 PM   #14
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RE: San Juan Weekend

Most of the photos are actually taken on the south island in New Zealand. The terrain is quite similar to what's up here but they have much better weather. But I've found that shots from NZ are very good stand-ins for the PNW, BC, and SE Alaska, so a lot of us have gotten very good at taking shots from NZ and the using Photoshop to insert elements unique to the PNW like docks and ravens and bears and whatnot.

Very rarely do we get to see the beautiful scenery up here but we know it's out there because we've seen pictures in old issues of National Geographic and we can see the mountains and things on radar.
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Old 09-02-2010, 06:53 AM   #15
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RE: San Juan Weekend

Marin's right. Sorry...can't keep outa this. The South Island in particular is really Godzone, and sometimes I wounder why I ever left. Now if I could figure a way of transporting Lotus to the Marlborough Sounds without costing an arm and a leg on the one hand - or braving the Tasman sea on the other.....hmmmm...?
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Old 09-02-2010, 10:44 AM   #16
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RE: San Juan Weekend

Transmitter collars on otters?*

That's a disgusting invasion of nature.
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Old 09-02-2010, 12:09 PM   #17
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RE: San Juan Weekend

LMAO....I can't believe this!** LMAO
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Old 09-02-2010, 01:21 PM   #18
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RE: San Juan Weekend

Walt,Your'e sounding a bit like a teenager. What does LMAO mean???
I think the radar blips looking like otters playing is funny too but generally experimenting with, playing with, harassing and interfering with wildlife is not good for THEM. Unfortunately my opinion is not shared by many Alaskans.
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Old 09-02-2010, 04:52 PM   #19
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RE: San Juan Weekend

Eric:

I'm sure Marin knows what I am laughing at so I'll defer at this time. If he should decide to answer your question, that's fine with me.
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Old 09-02-2010, 07:01 PM   #20
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RE: San Juan Weekend

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or braving the Tasman sea on the other.....hmmmm...?
Is the Tasman Sea the place that was featured in a popular YouTube clip years ago showing a good-size ferry being pitched around like a cork?* Most of the captions with the clip were wrong and associated the shot with a bunch of incorrect places.* But I did find a souce that accurately identified the location of the ship and said that the sea conditions that were giving the ship such a wild ride were actually fairly common.

On the other hand, I recall the accurate location was the channel between the north and south islands in New Zealand, so maybe the Tasman Sea is not the right name....

*
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