Thursday, March 26, 2009

Day 22: Madison Bay

I never expected to see a shark in little Madison Bay. So imagine my surprise when I saw this big shark bearing down on me with it's mouth wide open.

I managed to get my camera pointed in the right direction and I got one picture of the shark zooming at me with it's mouth open (left) and then another one of this big shark chewing on my leg (right). Fortunately, I came through the attack with nothing but a few scratches.

Another day, another harbor. I was worried going in, but hopeful I wouldn't find the same negativity as in the last harbor. It didn't work. I found myself feeling dismal in a murky harbor with too many docks and boats.

air temp: 48F
water temp: 44F
March 26, 12 noon, partly sunny
wind 0-5 mph from the E
low tide, rising
visibility 2-15 feet
today's distance: 0.94 mile
total so far: 24.23 miles

today's notables:
big oysters
giant plumose anemones
kelp crabs
burrowing shrimp/worms

Madison Bay is nice at first. I walk past some beautiful dinner plate-sized oysters lying on the muddy sand in the lower intertidal, walking to the harbor entrance during low tide. Entering the water, I see some nice burrows in the sand, probably ghost shrimp. Then I see the shark buoy.

The shark was a bad omen. Finding the shark buoy in Eagle Harbor was the beginning of the sinking feeling that hit me there.

The bottom is sandy mud and covered with bits of algae and algal debris. Then I see some fantastic orange-pink giant plumose anemones (right). Wow. They must be close to a foot tall. The visibility is fairly good, maybe a bit more than 10 feet and I think I can actually get a decent picture inside the harbor.

Soon I come to the first of many docks, and find a pair of nice kelp crabs hanging on a piling. I see a nice calm crab first (left), then a pugnacious crab with bigger claws comes at me, ready to do battle even though it's only about 3 inches long (right).

The water is getting more and more cloudy, and the bottom is getting softer. It's Murky Murk taking over. I pass under a few more docks and start getting that sinking feeling again, I was worried about this. With little to see except a green-brown haze around me and human structures to go under and around, the swim is starting to feel like nothing more than swimming in a clumsy and confining suit in dark, cold, uninviting water. Ugh. I was worried about this feeling.

Finally I stop when the visibility drops to about 2-3 feet and I can't see the bottom unless it's close enough to touch. I don't want to go around some docks just ahead that float at water level. Here's what it looks like when I get out short of the end of the bay, I can't make myself go on all the way to the end.

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1 comment:

stiv said...

This is great!!! I'd love to post some of your posts on our blog. We're an enviro, adventure magazine based in Portland called Wend.