The day dawned sunny and clear with sticky buns for all! Cassie Peavy, postmaster, gallery operator and spirit of Meyers Chuck delivered a sweet beginning for all aboard. Ross passed them out with nods of approval from all concerned. If only we had a baker in every port!
We took advantage of the minus tide to do a little tide pooling. The outer beach facing Clarence Strait was uncovered by the ebb giving us a window on the little lives of the intertidal zone. Noel got some good pictures of green surf anemones and red sea cucumbers. The crew of Discovery debated the superiority of their own Chesapeake blue crabs to the red rock crabs we found scuttling int the shallows. Leather stars are reputed to smell like vanilla, but no one could detect the odor. One wonders what an observer from afar might make of us all vigorously sniffing sea stars (latest party craze?), but no one seemed to notice.
The passage to Berg Bay was smooth sailing with calm seas and almost no wind, but it was far from uneventful. The low, rocky shores of Easterly Island hosted perhaps 200 Steller’s sea lions all hauled out in the sun between fishing expeditions. The males were roaring at each other continually, and since they can easily tip the scales at over 1000 pounds, this was a pretty impressive display. A few speedy Dall’s porpoises buzzed by and we passed the first brown bear of the trip contentedly munching on grasses and sedges along the shoreline. Jody and Cass reveled in the bear sighting, particularly from the safety of Grand Adventure!
Berg Bay was choked with pots since the commercial Dungeness crab season was open. It took a little dodging to get in, but there were two positives to all the crabbing. First, we had to raft all six boats to fit into the remaining open water, a sociable way to end the day with much visiting back and forth among the crews. Second, the commercial fishermen had the season nailed. All the crab fishermen in our fleet tossed their pots over the side and were rewarded with interest from the crustaceans of Berg Bay. This will give Gary and Mark on Discovery a chance to compare yet another Northwest species to their Chesapeake blue crabs!