I’m still here. Still hiding and writing.
However, I took a bit of time off today, and went to look for whales in Clayoquot Sound, north of Tofino.
Clayoquot Sound is a pretty famous place in Canada. The site of one of the hardest fought, most bitter battles to save Canadian wilderness ever.
And a pretty successful battle, in the end.
It is the second largest temperate rainforest on the planet. Home to astonishing trees, bears, whales, salmon, otters, sea lions, sharks — a gorgeous, frightening wilderness that is, in this incarnation anyway, at least 5000 years old.
I had an amazing time today. Got up close and personal with a bunch of grey whales, who tend to be flirtatious coquettes. They meander up the coast — there’s about 20, 000 of them, all told, from Mexico to Alaska each year. They move at the stately pace of 3-5 km/hour. They are very aware of the pesky humans, and will come up for a peek now and then, but they are not jumpers like the humpbacks and they don’t have a big dorsal like the Orcas, so they are hard to spot and almost impossible to photograph.
Also saw a big collection of sea otters afloat at least a couple of kilometres off short. These guys were BIG — up to about 80 pounds. [That’s the same size as my Silas dog…]
And speaking of big, the lazy Stellar Sea Lions were draped all over each other, enjoying the first sun beams we’ve had around this part of the world for days. There were seals, too, and a couple of the black California sea lions, but the Stellar’s were the glamour boys. They were all boys, too, blonde and beautiful — and rejected; relegated to ‘Loser’s Rock’, where they hung out with the other rejected bachelors, harem-less, and having to wait to try their luck again next year.
As we drove back to the beach, the captain was chatting with a couple of the still-standing passengers [they dropped like flies on this trip — seasickness was apparently catching in at least one family…] about Cougar Annie. Apparently this is a pretty famous denizen of this neck of the woods, and I quite enjoyed his stories of her exploits. I plan to get her book — sounds like a great read.
But in the meantime, it gave me an idea for a story. So…if you are interested, it’ll be up on my podcast tomorrow night. kc dyer’s Friday Night Bedtime Stories — now going into [I think] the 12th week.
If you haven’t heard them by now, I invite you to listen! They are all 10 minutes or less, just the way to wrap up your week as you cuddle under the covers. You can find them all here, by scrolling back in the blog, or you can find them all collected here, at Podomatic: http://kcdyer.podomatic.com/
Anyway, tomorrow night — look for the kc dyer version of ANNIE GETS HER GUN.
Edited to add: Whoah! I just looked up Cougar Annie. Her story was _maybe_ a little less wild than I heard today, but she lived to be 97…and what a life! Definitely worth looking up. And I’ll bring you my little story tomorrow.