Tuesday, July 31, 2012

round island 11...

more walrus.
liked all the flippers in this one. i never get tired of looking at the walrus pictures so i hope you are enjoying them. getting about 70-80 hits/day so i'm guessing someone is looking at them.
just love their faces. obviously i've spelt their wrong for years as it keeps spell checking me. i know i discovered with the computer system at work that i had also been spelling monitor wrong for years as well. can still teach an old dog new tricks.
rainy day today so i used that as an excuse to laze about, watch olympics and make chocolate chip cookies. did walk the dogs up patterson and over to the school for some play time for blossom. rio seems to move slower this summer. she is 8 and i will probably have to get back to taking her for a walk with blossom early in the day and then leaving her behind to take blossom for a longer stretch. she's a trooper though.
got to watch the american volleyball team play. can't remember who they beat, but it was action packed and fun to watch. kinda fun to see that kobie bryant was chilling in the stands also watching. he had on his olympic warm up jacket, it's fun to see these superstars get excited about the games. everyone seems to aspire to the olympics no matter how successful they are. watched a smidgee of the womens basketball play, they won handily. also watched the beach volleyball. it was a bit tight today for mens and womens. the women won, i'm trying to remember but i think the mens team lost, but it wasn't the top seeded mens pair i've seen.
the mens gymnastics was painful to watch. they just lost it and quickly. to prepare for so long and then make huge mistakes like that, they will be remembering those misses for years to come. congrats to great britain though. it was said that nobody alive can recall them ever getting a medal in gymnastics at the olympics. go brits!! they just brought it to the table, while the americans didn't so that stuff can happen. even the networks were pained by the americans efforts. after they switched back to gymnastics you never saw the american team again. strange. it must have just continued to be bad.
in the meantime, swimming seems to be going well. not always gold medals, but we got a few of those too. gotta love the swim team!! they do bring it. phelps looked great in the butterfly prelims. will look forward to that tomorrow. his wing span is impressive. i was at the pool today doing my laps. it goes better and better. i got in 20 laps today, though compared to those i've seen at the games i look pretty shabby! oh well.
watching that butterfly, one has to wonder where the hell that came from. it is just so unnatural. who came up with it? at least the breast stroke has some look of like a dog paddle cross.
three teens got in the pool a bit before i got out. thought it was sad that none of them knew how to swim properly. none of them knew how to swim with their heads under water so they just swam swishing their heads back and forth above water. gotta be tiring. lots of water up here so it's a good basic skill to have. i'm grateful my mom got us into formal swim lessons at a young age. i saw a certificate from the "plunge" before we had left west covina for south pasadena. i was 3-4 years old when i was first put in lessons. she just knew we spent a lot of time at the beach and it was quite wise of her.
love when the walrus are layed out like they are having a zen moment. could see lots of belly buttons on them too. their belly buttons are huge, of course they weigh close to 100 pounds at birth i think.
lazily scratching.
finished my book, "still alice". in the end alzheimers takes her memory from her. not sure how quickly that goes for the average person. such a sad disease though. it just made me worry about everything that i forget or misplace.
blossom still steers us clear of the bog. not sure what is up with that. it's such a great place to walk. i guess i'll just have to push her more and hope that whatever it is dissipates over time.
wrote a little quicky song for my neice about learning to play the guitar. tried to load it on facebook but they never load well there for me. it's hit or miss. it wasn't great, just thought she'd enjoy it. may try to load another time.
this guy's face is so cute, all tucked in and cozy!

still love all the sea of pink pictures. took many of them.
a few similar are up from 10 years ago in my bedroom. i've never tired of looking at them when i awaken.
too bad i haven't got the chimes to wake up to yet. bummer. will have to work on that.
my iphone alarm still goes off for dog walk monday's. that is still a few months away.

this is just a cool rock formation.
our seal is back in the boat cove on a different day.
he tried to keep from having to head out until the tide came in and forced him too. we were laughing as when we mentioned this seal visitor to the fish and game folks they acted all chill, next thing we know they are all headed down to boat cove to see him. so i think he wasn't the usual visitor there and they were more excited than they let on.
back out at flat rock.
i tended to walk back and forth all day, like i did 10 years ago. i'm just not good at sitting for too long.
love how warty looking their skin gets as they get older.
blossom saw a black cat outside when we were walking. she went crazy trying to take off and chase it. so strange that she lives with cats and is chill with them but wants to chase any she sees outside. it was kinda embarrassing. luckily, i was able to prevent her from escaping my grip and taking off after the cat.
lone sea lion at the end of the last beach. the sea lions can be seen on the rocks just past this guy. not sure why this one was alone.
at the end of the beach i was at there was a lone walrus.
these guys were at second beach. the one guys flipper has a wound on it. he seemed to be doing okay and it looks nice and pink...healthy tissue.
cormorants above and below is female harlequins. i thought i'd seen some cool, unusual bird species but it was just harlequins. not used to seeing them without the males.
just noticed i have spilled some sort of chocolate all over me. nice! probably melted chocolate chips.
with that i will change to a clean shirt and head to bed. i loaded stuff on the kindle before the trip so maybe i'll see what is on there to read. batteries dead so i guess i'll charge it and see tomorrow what is on there. good night.

Monday, July 30, 2012

round island 10...

been tuned into the olympics much of the day...well much of the weekend. what can i say..i've always loved the olympics. i remember taking baths as a kid and doing laps in the tub. dreampt of being on that podium. have always been impressed with what people are willing and able to do to make that dream come true. win or lose, just to be a olympic athlete takes so much time, money,effort and sacrifice. all my summer trips worked out perfect to allow me the chance to relax and watch the olympics.
above, the sun came out for a short time before the winds picked up. the light on the walrus and seas was amazing. for how beautiful it was for our last full day there, the weather changed fairly rapidly and the winds became gale force quickly. val had rope and we checked tents and tied down ours a bit more. no longer could i trust my bone and boot tie downs.
cormorant in flight, below horned puffins in flight.
hard to capture them so i was satisfied with these shots.
womens gymnastics today prelims. i keep running downstairs for late night coverage to get a peek at the romanian team. the one chick looks ancient. she's probably 22, but next to the 16 year olds she looks in her 30's. everyone was faltering today a bit. judging is always wacky.
okay they just showed the older romanian on the balance beam, she's 24. that is quite old for gymnastics and i'm gonna say not a good sign for the romanian team. i'd think you want a big enough pool of gymnasts that the next generation is able to push the last one out. at age 24, the balance beam just looks smaller. besides, i think every year that passes is that many more falls off the apparatus and our older selves get spooked easier. enough falls and you begin to have a memory of them that you body reacts to no matter how hard to try to trick it.
sue...always happy. she is great to have along on a trip. just happy and easy going.
i am missing my big boys. i should try and see if i can get on thier web cam site.
terry arrives, not sure which time. he called me yesterday, i'll have to try and call him back tomorrow. he has my dramadery. i figured it was a goner. looks like i'll be getting it back. those things are great.
the hoards of relaxing walrus.
actual did a longer walk today. my leg is getting back to just looking like it's usual ugly varicosed vein. really need to think about getting that thing removed or whatever they do. this week has been proof of that. still think i whacked the leg and that started me down this path. overall still feeling better every day.
took the dogs to north bicentennial park, campbell airstrip trail. we walked up the airstrip to the creek, then back down the back trails to the trailhead. no bears or signs of bears though there was signage about some bear activity in the creek. i didn't see any salmon running. it's usually earlier in july. i have the day after swimming knots and mild bothersome headache. still i go swim. guess i'm a bit nuts that way.
these are from our last day there. above is the plane arriving at the lagoon to pick us up after our harrowing boat ride across the water. can't tell from any of the photos how rough the seas were. as soon as it started to look back i tucked the camera gear into the dry bags. many of my dry bags were wet inside after this journey. i'm guessing that all the crushing and sitting on of the bags in the zodiak process may have created leaks. a few of the bags are older bags too so i think they were not as effective. luckily, the bags with my camera gear and tent and such stayed dry. there really wasn't any way to show the terrifying waves, but i'm sure many of you have seen episodes of deadliest catch and have seen the huge waves. well....think of that on a much smaller boat. the waves were towering over us and rolling in all different directions, there didn't seem to be a pattern to it. i just remember landing almost sideways on several occasions and repeating the word, shit, over and over and over again.
i tried to relax once on land and waiting for the plane by walking and taking pictures. i was shaking from cold and fear, i finally just lay down on the beach with the sun on me and stared at the blue skies. i focused on breathing in and out and trying to relax myself. luckily we had like 45 minutes on the beach before the plane got there.
the sights from my place in the sand.
the lagoon.
tanya says her wrist is still sore from gripping a rail so tightly. i remember trying to just look at a canister of water or at bob's shoe for much of the ride. i'd look back behind the boat and the engine was working as hard as it could. it seemed to be sunk down into the water and all i could see was these huge waves a few times taller than the boat crashing around us. i know i was on the wet end of the ride as i could feel the water splashing over me and going into my boots. never got seasick but it really wasn't an option. oddly, there would have been no way to let go and puke over the sides, you just would have fallen in.
there is a group of seagulls that seems to hang on the beach there. i did try to walk out there and take pictures, but i really was just shaking almost uncontrollably and my breathing was rapid. i needed to just find a way to bring myself back down.
i know terry did everything he could to get that boat across safely and i'm grateful to him for that. not sure how much worse those waves got from when he crossed back over after dropping the last group off. they all said their ride out was uneventful. it seemed to take a long time for him to get back, we started to fear someone had gone in the drink. i think now it just took him awhile to battle the building waves to get back. i know going out the ride to the island from eagle bay had taken 45-55 minutes. going back in those horrendous seas took at least 2 hours.
terry's boat out there. eventually he moved it over a bit and i think he was just planning on staying there the night or at least until the weather improved. perhaps we'll have a chance to ask him just how bad that was for us out there. i suspect his response will be like the one i got when i asked a pilot who had taken us out to kayak island about the winds we faced in that jaunt. just that alaskan pilot gleam in his eye that said, it was bad, but i can't tell you how bad.
tanya makes her way to dry land. i'm sure she was thrilled to hit the land and i know we all felt pretty done with boats for awhile. those are my older, not so dry bags there. my food bags. even the zip lock bags inside that were zipped shut were wet on the inside.
i knew we were out of the most dangerous waters when terry spoke for the first time since the waves got bad. tanya looked like she was all chill the entire ride. her eyes shut as she hung on. i guess he looked over and asked her is she was just sleeping through this hell. she said, no, she had just tried to go her happy place, picture her daughter and make promises to whatever god would listen if she got to land safely.
we had the lower tide again, just like my group had going out. long ways from the boat to the shore.
me on dry land...happy at last.
it is a beautiful beach.
bob is walking out with more gear i think, terry is in the zodiak out there heading back to the boat for tanya.
the lagoon where we get picked up.

the last pictures i took of round island before we started to notice the water getting more choppy and stowed the camera's.
as you can see the island was quickly disappearing into it's own cloud fortress. i guess it's not unusual to boat/fly past the island and see it like this. everywhere else will be sunny, but that island will be holding onto the clouds.

amazing how sunny it had been a few hours earlier. the weather there is unpredictable. in above photo the engine is in a normal driving postition. soon it will be way down working hard to keep moving forward. huge waves will block out any views of land. it seemed to last forever.
bidding farewell to our little island home for the week.
our tents no longer dot the land.
the trail up to the dragon spine goes nearly vertical and disappears into the clouds.
not too long before we had such beautiful clear skies. did notice the winds picking up as we waited for the boat to return.
the slightly flattened pontoon from the walrus puncture. you can see the attempt at repair near the water jug.
terry tries to get tanya out. the wind was picking up and he couldn't get the little zodiak engine to start up. they'd get shoved out and then the wind would just push them back in. this happened 4-5 times, finally i see terry get the oars out and row her back to the boat. he unloaded tanya and gear and then he handed me the little engine. i held it while he did the repairs. in the meantime the wind continued to kick up and the empty zodiak got caught by a gust and flipped up and over onto the boat. i almost got knocked in the head according to tanya and the little oar flipped out and flew out to sea. luckily, the sea was blowing into shore and that little oar finally made it's way back to bob and the island crew. terry never seemed to concerned about the oar. made his repairs and headed back to pick up bob. there were many signs that perhaps we should have just slept the night on the island. we would have all been chill with that.
a tiny vole, probably a baby, sits on the trail. i stepped over it a few times as did stephanie, we laughed that this poor vole would not have a long life. soon a fox would just snag it. survival of the fittest.
just enjoying the blue skies while we waited out turn.
would have wandered farther had i known how long it would take for the boat to return.
not sure how the walrus activity was that last day. felt like i should oversee the exodus from the island.
we did do a few short loops close to the boat cove. too nice a day not to.
proof of sunshine and blue skies.
just a few walrus on the rocks. it had been gale force winds the night before so the walrus were just starting to return again.
out there by those hills is eagle bay.
our first view of the higher points on the island.
the news seems filled with car wrecks and boats capsizing. happy to not be in that group. people die on boats all the time. a few guys were able to escape their sinking boat, but their dog was too spooked and wouldn't come to them so they had to leave it to go down with the ship in order to save their lives. luckily a friend on another boat nearby heard of the situation and that the dog was still on board and was able to rescue the dog. gotta love people like that!
so far it seems the olympics in london are a success. enjoyed watching beach volleyball, swimming, diving and gymnastics today. a skeet shooter took gold, missing only 1 out of 100 shots, impressive. i think this is her 4th or 5th olympics, successful in all. wow! mens relay got silver, womens synchronized diving took silver.
the tv is off and i am shortly to head to bed. it's starting to rain out there.
still more photo's to load. should be coming to an end fairly soon, then i will be required to do some exciting treks around just so i have some pictures other than those of the dog park to share. haha. it's been great being a bit hermity this week. will allow myself to enjoy the olympics. i know i'm not the only person out there watching. there is that nice break between day stuff and night stuff where i can hit the gym for a swim again a few times this week.
should be able to finish my book tonight and start in on a few national geo mags that have arrived over the past few months. always behind on those. they are too awesome to trash, though i try to. good night.