The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #59418   Message #2387527
Posted By: Amos
12-Jul-08 - 06:49 PM
Thread Name: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
Mom, I went down to the SHores again, just as daylight started rising. I was launched in my compact yellow shell by 6, and I wnt along the waters close by the caves that dot the bluffs just seaward of La Jolla. I went into one cave, ducked though a water-formed arch and came out of another. I traced the shoreline out to the point and took off for the outer edges of the kelp, and strove northerly., Two doplhins raised up in the water about ten and twenty yards ahead, and slicked quietly back into the water, making their way somewhere known only to them. Along the coasts, large flocks of pelicans and rookeries of cormorants exist; at the hour they have not started their patrols, and look very stately, except for being surrounded by guano.

Along the long stretch north past the Scripps Oceanographic institute, I paused in complete stillness, listening to the bubbles. I was sirprised to hear a deep whoofing snore where no such snore should be. I stared closely at the broadleaf kelp floating at the edge of the great kelp forest and under one leaf I saw two large brown eyes staring out at me, just above the surface. It was a harbor seal, pausing in his morning pursuits to investigate the passer-by in the yellow-bellied boat.

Out on the belly of the PAcific, there are things going on below you that of course you know nothing of; but when the predators are in motion, one way you can tell is the nervous leapings of the tiny anchovies along the surface. Usually tey make little flips of a few inches, one at a time here and there, making tiny ripples and causing a fr-r-r-p!! sound. But when the shoal is threatened, scores or even hundreds will come frrrping and flopping along the surface, densely enough to make a wide band of water turn silver and white in the midst of a slate-blue sea. I paddled through two such shoals on my way up the coast and back.

It was a long hard paddle. As I came back down the coast to my usual landing area and moved in close enough to be picked up on the back of an incoming wave moving toward the sand, the water shifted from gray-blue to green and clear, and as I coasted over the shallows I saw four leopard sharks--little dogfish-lie critters about 3 feet long -- scouring along the bottom. They are called "leopard" because of their strange tawny-greenish skins, dappled with black spots. Then the wave picked me up and I had only the attention for keeping her straight as it carried me like an arrow through the shallows and back onto to the shore.

A long morning, started on a night short of sleep. I got everything cleaned up and put away, back home, and crashed for three hours.