Friday, July 20, 2012

round island 3...

between shifts, i really should just head back to bed. the computer calls though. i am missing sleeping to the sounds of round island. such an amazing and magical place. pulled up another site that had part of the underwater recording with the pings and chimes of the walrus. totally amazing!! above is a puffin.
that first full day i took a stroll out to sea lion beach. i strolled that way a few times, but only sat at the look out on that first day i guess. not too many sea lion pictures, but then they are further away and i was there for walrus. always cool to watch the sea lions after observing walrus for awhile. they are just so much more animated and agile. it was a pretty windy spot as well. a beautiful walk.
the camo in the cook tent.
this is the place that is sets up for water collection. the water, once filtered, was totally tasty! dillingham had nasty tasting water when we first arrived, they'd had a power outage that screwed stuff up. upon our return the water tasted much better so i figured it must have been related. none of it was as good as the round island water though.
i think bob did the bulk of the water hauling that week. i probably did the bulk of the filtering. it was a good way to get warm i found. was cool doing it. i think my filter worked the best. only got gummed up once. around glaciers the silt usually gums up the filter frequently but this water is silt free!
hip wader as tent least temporarily.
there are a few walrus bones at the main fish and game cabin. we used them in our photo ops on several occasions. you pass by the cabin heading to beaches 1 & 2 and the sea lion stroll.
it had rained all month basically before we arrived and continued being moist for much of our trip. that meant we were on a soggy, green island. gotta love this deep colour green. so pretty.
the rocks were all covered with a variety of lichens. i'm no lichen expert, it's pretty awesome how many varieties there are. i did buy a big lichen book this past year that sits on my living room table. will have to stroll through it again.
these are mostly from the walk to sea lions.
on the way back i know i made some attempts at macro shots. with the wind and my stubborn need to avoid tripods, many of those were tossed out. will post some later though. just working my way through pics and hoping it's not too dull.
guess work has been busy. my night last night was for sure. my one guy was circling the drain as we like to say in hospitals. improved somewhat after a chest tube was placed and over 3000 ml's was drained from his chest cavity. can't be easy to breath with that. the night did kinda fly by. gave report to my friend deb,who had joined us on the trip to round island in 2003. she was bummed to have missed a second chance at the island. she laughed when i told her we napped her tent platform for best chiming and walrus sounds through the night. she said she hadn't wanted to sleep and miss any of it when she was there. i found the chiming recording for her and hit play as i was leaving. i think she enjoyed that.

this pole marks where you head up for the summit traverse. bob and tanya were the only ones who took the bait and headed up there. they only got part way before they had to turn back due to the increasing winds. that was the night we had gale force winds. tanya did say they say enough to get a totally different perspective on the island. i hope she shares a few photo's. i'll never see the back side of that island and i'll never walk the spine. we just never had decent weather or trail conditions for me to feel the urge i guess.
karen mentioned how carefully she hiked while out there. i was the same. each step was planned to some degree. you are just so far from any assistance in the event you have a bad slip and the trails were windy and wet. no harm in being extra careful. luckily, there were no injuries. i think everyone was more careful knowing how remote we were. the summit and traverse trails require you to sign in with the staff and take a phone with you.
changing lichen as you get higher up. tanya said more wildflowers up top as well. we had some great patches of wildflowers that week.

the scenery is always beautiful, and ever changing with the fickle weather. scott said he saw some fox up on the sea lion trail but that they were much less acclimated to humans and ran off more readily.

the sea lion trail is marked.

some of the many wildflowers we enjoyed out there.
strange lichen...look more like bean sprouts to me.
cormorants hang out on a rock, walrus swim around.
the walrus are much more graceful and active in the water. great to just have them constantly cruising the island no matter where you strolled. in higher seas you could see them ride the waves more. i guess they sleep in the water sometimes, they just lay thier big heavy heads back so their tusks are up and drift off to sleep. the fish and game staff must have seen some amazing sights over the years.
more cormorants. no red faced ones seen. they are graceful looking birds.

back to a few walrus photo's.
the beautiful pink beasts. my bedroom is colour matched to a photo i'd taken of walrus back in 2003. turned out cool i think.
hauled out. next guy is moving in. this will cause a disturbance of the force. we had alot of action on the beaches our week due to changing weather/wind conditions which was fun.
the large beasts often take a few steps up the beach, then lay down and rest before attempting more. must be exhausting moving those huge bodies. of course, at times i was reminded of a few heavier patients i've had over the years and how they move. eek...somehow it looks much better on a walrus.
the rocks don't really look that comfy to me all the time. these seem pretty jagged.
they look pretty content though.

love the group shots. they love to be touching.
seems like they were watching us sometimes too. what are those strange beasts sitting up there? they have you approach the look outs low and slow to try not to spook the walrus. never noticed them seeming agitated with us being there.
more wildflowers..monkshead??
of course, loads of puffins fly in and out of little nests in the rocks that line the beaches.
above are 3 tufted and one horned. they seem to share space.
wild geraniums and not sure what this one is below. cool looking. could be wooly louswort. we had to laugh at some of the names that are given to beautiful wildflowers.
can't tell you how happy i was to see the arrival of our last 4 members of the group. only then could i really just relax and enjoy the island. would have felt terrible being out there if they had been unable to join us.
terry secures the boat and preps for landings.
scott in his spot on the front. that wouldn't have been possible on our last journey back. the winds had picked up and the water was beyond rough. tanya was holding on for dear life and had her eyes closed. i knew we were safe when terry was able to relax a bit and speak to tanya. i think he asked something like "was she sleeping through this hell". she wasn't, she just was going to her happy place and trying to visualize her daughter. i can still feel that little boat falling into holes between waves nearly on it's side and looking back at the towering waves all around us. it really felt like we didn't stand a chance in that slop. it wasn't our day to leave this earth. have gotten myself into some situations over the years. when it's your time, it's your time, mine just hasn't come yet. how many more adventures do i get to enjoy before that day arrives. you can't hide from the threats that exist out there. doesn't make it much easier when you are out there unsure of your future though i guess.
the boat heads towards us from eagle bay...hurray!
this must have been on our trek over. that is round island in the distance.
these are shots of the zodiak runs from eagle bay to the boat. i'm sure everyone had thier own experiences on the journey to and from the island. it is always an adventure coming and going from that island. there are no routine passages.
more flowers.
water nice and calm for this arrival.
guess i better get myself motivated to shower and walk the dogs.
i think it's another decent day out there. it's been warm since we got back in.

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