As we approached the channel opening in the
Doug Koch (http://www.flickr.com/photos/douglas_b_koch__dvm/ ), Alex Burdo ,
Brendan Murtha ( http://catchingthethermals.wordpress.com/) and I were standing on the bow taking pictures of the Gannets. As we approached the opening in the wall, I suggested we get the heck off the bow, as I knew what was just a moment or two ahead of us. As I scrambled down the port side of the bow, the Admiral took its first plunge into the trough of these giant waves sending huge clouds of spray into the air. Reaching the side of the cabin, I looked back to see Alex engulfed in a huge cloud of salt spray, than another one! When I saw him a few moments later, he was soaked, but being young, he just shook it off and was actually amused by it! Good for you Alex! Doug and Brendan escaped down the starboard side before the wave hit. As we were slamming into the first series of waves, I saw the first of three quick views of Cory’s Shearwaters flying across the outer Galilee Wall to the east. I soon lost them in the sun and distant waves.
and back when your grandfather's father was young,
men of these shores made and gave up their lives pulling up fish from the sea.”
“It's the same damned ocean that keeps them alive,
It's an angry sea but there is no doubt
That the lighthouse will keep shining out to warn the lonely sailor
And the lightning strikes and the wind cuts cold
Till there's nothing left that he can hold except the rolling ocean“-Dougie Maclean
In a sunburst cloud of spray
That stings the cheek while the rigging will speak
Of sea-miles gone away”- Stan Rogers
Gannets flew across the north rips, a place I have fished for Stripers for many years. The birds flew along the shore of block, often highlighted against the bluff faces of the
Approaching the southeast rip, the Captain turned the vessel slowly east crossing over the huge swells that were tumbling over the rip; we were back into the grasp of the sea once again!
Within a short time, the first Greater Shearwater of the day was spotted a few hundred yards off the port side, and then flew in the direction of the boat passing a short distance outside the vessel heading east crossing the bow………
(from l to r) Brendan , Alex and Doug
"if disappointed in its attempt, you will see it rise by continued flappings, shaking its tail sideways the while"- John James Audubon
With the Gulls came the magnificent Gannets, plunging into the sea a few yards off the stern of the boat, only to surface so close you could almost reach over the rail and touch one. The Gannets entertained all of us with their sea worthy life style from their large wingspans gliding effortlessly in the wind, their exciting plunge-diving postures falling like rockets from the sky and their indifference to the turbulent sea seemingly unaffected by the strong winds and currents. Gannets in all cyclical plumages were present offering the eyes a feast of plumage combinations.
Adult and First Year......
While we were enjoying the steady procession of feeding Gannets, a second Razorbill an immature, flew in and landed in the chum line fifty yards off the stern. Every one had great looks at this chunky little alcid.
Starting with a little "Inspiration" (first CT. Record, Jan. 2011).....
Add a little wood.....
.........add a little oil paint....
............add a little sea water!
Caught on the wind's lazy tide
Sweetly how it sings
Rally each heart at the sight
Of you silver wings”- Neil Diamond
I like this shot, and appreciate the tenacity of this Iceland Gull stealing a piece of fish from the Herring Gull
A single Laughing Gull appeared and joined the Gannets and other Gulls including the
The hour and a half ride back was almost a mirror of the mornings ride out, except for the following sea. Gannets, Gulls, Loons and Scoters were visible along the entire ride in and provided everyone with binocular opportunities while relaxing from a very bumpy day.
400 + Northern Gannets
7 Greater Shearwaters
2 Manx Shearwaters
3 Large Alcid Sp.
1 Iceland Gull
3 Lesser-black Backed Gulls
5 Black-legged Kittiwake
In and around Galilee Harbor-
200 + Common Eider
3 Red-throated Loons (my addition)
5 Common Loons (my addition)
42 Bonaparte's Gulls
31 Scoters (mostly Common) (my addition)
13 Bufflehead (my addition)
1 Purple Sandpiper
1 Ruddy Turnstone
17 Black ducks (my addition)
30 + Northern Gannets putting on a diving show.