Thursday, August 20, 2015

Paddling and dolphins


Pigeon Island
It rained all day on Sunday.  The sailing regatta scheduled for 1 PM was cancelled.  I went home and took a nap and when I woke, the clouds had begun to break apart, so I decided it might be a time for an evening kayak event.  Launching at Butterbean beach, we paddled down toward Pigeon Island.  The rains had cooled the air but the humidity was still high.  We had enough time to circle around the island (a five mile paddle), but there were so many dolphins playing around that we ended up just floating around and watching them feed and play in the water as the sun set behind clouds.  They are such graceful animals as they come up and roll down, sometimes even coming nearly out of the water when feeding.  There were many pairs of dolphins along with some mothers and their young.  It seems that they play with us as they'd be in front of us and as we'd approach, they dive deep and then appear behind us, splashing as if to draw our attention.  As the lights drained from the sky, we watched in awe.  Then, before all the light was gone, we paddled back to the landing, arriving just before the end of nautical twilight, at which time we'd need to have lights on hand to show our position to any approaching boat. 

 
Selfie
I wish I had brought my DSLR with me.  My point and shot waterproof camera takes nice photos but it isn't very fast and the light was dropping and I wasn't able to capture any of the great shots such as when the dolphins were nearly completely after the water or of their tails.   The shot below was taken last week.  As I was coming back onto the island, across the causeway, I saw the barge pushing up the Intracoastal Waterway and pulled off at the boat ramp and waited till I could take this shot (taken with an iphone).  When I was a child and lived near the waterway in North Carolina, there were lots of freight (mostly logs) hauled via barges.  This is the first barge I've seen on the waterway since I moved here--today it seems that most of the traffic along the waterway are pleasure boats.  



38 comments:

  1. Just the name, 'Butterbean beach' makes me happy. Dolphins are magnificent. You are surrounded by beauty.

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    1. I also heard other names for it like "Redneck Rivera" or the "Rodney Hall Boat Ramp, but from what I was told "Butterbean Beach" is the older name for it.

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  2. I know the feeling, it's been raining here since Sunday. Heavy pouring rain at times! But at least life goes on right. Your views are exceptional too, what a fun place to live and play, and sail and yest sometimes get really wet!

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  3. You should be in that spectacular settings hop! You have the perfect one right here! Just heard about a new book on dolphins that I must buy. The research they're doing on these amazing animals has revealed so much about their capacity for "caring."

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    1. I like that idea of a blog hop--I'll try to write something about setting (I am a big "place" person in both writing and in identity)

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  4. I used to think of dolphins as majestic creatures until they followed our boat out in the gulf as we tried to do some fishing. After that, I always see them as ruthless thieves... whenever I'm fishing.

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    1. Yeah, they seem to like to belly up to a buffet offered by someone else--but then I know other mammals who are like that!

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  5. I enjoy your well-written posts and I also like learning about nature, especially in places I've yet to visit. I'll be back. Take care.

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    1. Thanks for the compliment. I write a lot about nature, but not exclusively

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  6. I love dolphins and seeing them in person is always so much fun. I've only had that happened once but it was really entertaining.

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    1. I've grown up around them and it's good to get reacquainted with them--they are seemingly very playful--I've even seen them ride waves!

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  7. Susan Carey has a new book out about dolphins and I can't wait to read it. Are you familiar with her work? She's fantastic. Her book The Wave will never have you look at the ocean the same again, heh.

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    1. No, I don't know her, but her book is now on my TBR list. Thanks!

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  8. Watching dolphins play seems like a lovely way to spend a day.

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    1. It is a favorite pastime around here

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    2. I can imagine. No dolphins in Vermont, of course. On recent kayaking adventures, loons have been a favorite of ours.

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    3. Loons are a favorite in the northwoods! I got some incredibly close shots of one in 2007 when paddling in the Quetico in Western Ontario

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  9. Really miss living on the coast. There was always so much to do and see. I had a dolphin encounter just off Pawleys Island back in the early 90's. Was doing, or rather trying to surf, and one came up and eyeballed me very close for a too short moment. It was like he was trying to figure out what the hell was on top of the water.

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    1. They appear to be very inquisitive animals

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  10. What is WITH the rain this year? Seems like it's been worse than ever, which sucks for outdoorsman such as yourself!

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    1. Yeah, but the rainy trips (like my last sail) make lasting memories!

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  11. I talked to the guy who I sailed with on the Columbia river. He's now up in the San Juan's, living on an island with a 47' nonsuch, with the wishbone jib.
    I still sail occasionally, but no longer crew on serious races. A friend of mine is going on the Milk Run this spring coming, leaving La Paz in late spring. 2 years, going across all that area, a dream.

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    1. I assume the "Milk Run" is a round-the-world trip? That would be a dream!

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  12. I love dolphins!
    And they love play on the water!
    Last summer (our) we stayed in the south of Chile and the we saw dolphins playing :)
    Have a nice weekend :)

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    1. Being on the coast in Chili sounds exciting!

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  13. Whenever we rent a beach house, we spend hours on dolphin watch. You can register the beach fun by the number of dolphins spotted.

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    1. They are amazing, aren't they! And spending a week in a beach house is also a joy!

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  14. I'm holding my ManCard when I say this, but I LOVE that you love - and do so much on the water - evidenced by your recent posts :)

    I'm a big water person, too... but mainly I like looking at the big water and happily relaxing as the sound of the waves crashing works alongside the sound of the recycle bin filling :)

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    1. Sadly, here in Savannah, we lost our place to recycle beer bottles :( If I was still living in the desert, you'd be getting stories of my hiking/skiing, you gotta make the most of wherever you find yourself)

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  15. I love dolphins! I got to swim with them when I was on a family vacay in Hawaii as a kid. Best time of my life!

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    1. I've never swamp with them, but I have had them within inches of boats and kayaks

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  16. What a magical place you are living in! To see dolphins like that!

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    1. I am amazed at the number of dolphins down here, more even than I've seen on the Carolina coast

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  17. I'd like a fast camera for shots like those. I've only been able to catch their tails when taking photos. I love dolphins.

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    1. You have to be fast to catch them and one day I will get a good shot with their tails out instead of the dorsal fin (or a shot of them blowing water out of the spout!)

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  18. Oh, that sounds like a lovely idea! As for Medeia's comment, what would you say is a good fast camera, for capturing things like playing children, for a v e r y amateur photographer?

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    1. A fast camera generally refers to the lens and how large the aperture opens. More light allows you to shoot in lower light situations. In today's digital world, that is still true and point-and-shoot cameras take more time in low light to "read the settings." A DSLR (digital single lens reflex) works best--I have a Nikon but it is not waterproof, however I do sometimes carry it with me in a canoe or kayak (look at the photos I've shot in the Okefenokee Swamp

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