'Riddle Me This'
Q: What has yellow skin and writes?
A: A ballpoint banana
Tuesday August 27
We took Sunday and Monday off…we needed a holiday
Today we went to yoga, grabbed a coffee, ate breakfast and then headed to the beach. It's such a great place. It is a total gas to sit at the edge of this vast expanse of water, enjoy the stillness and imagine the life that teems just beyond your toes.
As we were leaving the house, we spotted two mule deer stags in the neighbour's yard. Wendy took one pic of each of these handsome guys
While we were at the beach, a Great Blue Heron flew overhead and landed on a boat buoy about one hundred yards offshore. It stood there and hunted for at least the next four hours. Luckily we had the binoculars with us. We had an opportunity to observe this amazing animal for much of the day.
We didn't even know that Herons hunted sea fish. After doing some research, it seems reasonable to assume that this was the Pacific Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias fannini). If so, then we were doubly blessed as there are only four to five thousand nesting adults in Canada and most of them right on the coast of the Strait of Georgia…right here where we are.
'This subspecies lives year round on the Pacific Coast and mostly breeds in the Strait of Georgia. During this time, the fannini gathers in colonies for courtship, nesting and rearing its young in large platform-like stick nests usually situated high in trees'
Average height for this animal is a meter, with lengths up to 137cm. It was hard to tell how big this bird was but it certainly seemed all of a meter high, if not more (it was big 'un)
Big Bird looked kind of funny bobbing up and down on the buoy, standing absolutely still on it's long, spindly legs. Then, it must have seen something below the surface because it crouched low, bent at the knees, like a cat about to pounce. The head craned up, down and side to side. All the while it's body contorting, as if trying to peek around some non-existent bush. Then it did a sort of half flop – half dive into the water in the most inelegant way. That was completely unexpected. What the heck happened to spearing fish with it's long spikey bill?
Well, apparently Herons mostly take their prey by using their bills as tongs. Though they may stab bigger fish after they've been caught.
After diving in, our Big Blue hopped/flew out of the water and back onto the buoy. Then, like some big shaggy dog, it shook itself violently to clear all the water off and then settled back into it's hunting posture.
It repeated this scenario over and over throughout the day. Most times, it's efforts were for naught.
It did catch five small silvery fish (unidentifiable at that range). When it did, it would hold them in it's beak for awhile and then suddenly, toss the fish down it's gullet. It was a real treat to watch.
Big Blue was too far way for the IPhone to photograph or film…and then we remembered a trick Colin had shown us so, we hooked the phone's camera up to the binoculars and tried again. It worked out pretty well
Wendy left me to watch Big Bird alone and went off on a beach glass treasure hunt. I could hear her digging, scraping and sifting through the stones…and her cries of exhultation whenever she hit paydirt.
Final tally…”This is most beach glass I have collected in one shot”
As we were leaving, a fellow came up and asked to use Wendy's phone. He'd been kayaking and his ride hadn't shown up. We were the last people on the beach so he figured it was now or never. He tried calling but his ride wasn't answering, so Wendy left them a text message.
After picking up dinner at Clayton's in Sechelt, we were on our way back to Halfmoon Bay when it started pouring rain. We thought we should check up on the kayaker…so we drove back to the beach. He was gone but Big Blue was still out on that buoy hunting…and bobbing up and down.
Now, as a special treat, we'd like to share with you the spirit of an adventurer
You may remember our buddy Luke Benson. Luke is the Aussie who is preparing to make a non-stop, solo, unassisted trek from Sechelt to Australia on his 30' boat 'Willow'…a distance of approximately 12,500km (my official guesstimate)
We were speaking with some very good sailors and we happened to mention Luke's sea quest. These veterans were a little skeptical saying, “A lot of people plan those long haul, solo trips…and then get 100 miles out and turn back saying…I cant do it“
That got us to pondering…what made Luke's quest any different from those that failed? What made him think he could overcome the odds and be successful?
So we asked him
Here, with his permission, is Luke's reply
“It's funny you know, I don't know that this kind of thing is not going to happen to me. I do know it's not going to be after 100 miles (one good day of sailing)
I can't sit here and tell people that this is not going to happen 1000nm offshore, because it may very well. But that's half the reason why I'm going to begin with (personal development). This is what I do!
Every man should test himself at least once! (Quote from a movie, I can't remember Haha) I just like doing it over and over. It's really not about anyone else.
Every time I come back from an epic trip, I wish I had filmed it, or taken pictures. I never have because it's always been a personal quest for improvement, and for that you need no picture or movies.
I've just set the bar so high over the last 8 years of adventure and now I've given myself this goal. I've put everything I have into it, and I'm going for it.
I know the risks, fears and concerns that people have and I appreciate it. But when it comes right down to it, after all is said and done, after looking at the risks involved with such a trip…If god sees fit to embrace me out there, I'm prepared to die doing what I love.”
Whoever you are, may you always find within your own adventurous soul, the courage and determination to continue upon your quest…wherever it may lead you
Moose and Wendle
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
– Mark Twain