|Oregon Triton with eggs|
However, we had a quiet confidence going here on Traversay III. We were going to eat a good lunch, dress warmly, and zoom over to within 200 feet with OUR cameras once the other visitors had departed.
We finished our work and went about the rather arduous process of getting the dinghy and motor out of the forward hold. Because of our propensity for long offshore trips in high latitudes, we keep them safely stowed. Setting them up involves a well-rehearsed and choreographed set of activities. Heavy lifting is with ropes and winches. Air into the dinghy is by means of reversing the Shop-Vac air flow. The dinghy and attached motor is then winched high up over the lifelines and carefully set in the water.
As we stood surveying the dinghy in the water we were a little saddened because while we were now the ONLY boat in the anchorage, along with the other people, the bears had also vanished. The lowest tide of the day had now passed us by. However, we took some comfort in the knowledge that when the slightly higher tide at 7pm rolled around, we would be READY! All that was needed was to hook up the fuel system and motor up near the bears.
That's when the motor refused to start and gave signs that it is dead beyond even the tender ministrations of talented mechanics. So we now have to replace the sonar transducer and the dinghy motor. Luckily, the next morning rolled around and we managed to take photos from the dinghy (Larry rowed) and from Traversay III.
And that's the source of this photo of the mother bear and cubs - they were among the 21 bears that we saw.
|Mother and Cubs|
We learned more about the bears. Mary and Dan had been visited (on the tiny porch of their hut) that morning by a mother and three cubs. Despite their rapping on the windows and making a lot of noise, the bears showed absolutely no awareness whatsoever. We had heard this about the penguins in Antarctica … after years of study by British observers in Port Lockroy, the many penguins have no interest in humans and ignore them as they go through their regular penguin activities.
Mary and Dan wanted to know about underwater life. They asked about some marine life they had spotted. We showed our dive logs of Alaska from the 2002 and 2003 visits and consulted 'Marine Life of the Pacific Northwest' (written by friends Andy Lamb and Bernard P. Hanby) to find that the invertebrates they wanted to know about were Plumose Anemones and Oregon Tritons.
|Sunflower Star - one many color variants|
Yesterday we moved the boat across Shelikof Strait. We're now anchored near friends we met in Opua New Zealand - Nick and Jenny aboard Bosun Bird. It was a welcome treat after our various passages to have an excellent dinner and stimulating conversation aboard their boat last night.
At 8/11/2014 18:26 (utc) our position was 57°30.73'N 153°50.01'W