When Mother Goose awoke, Dundas Bay’s evening residents of fishing trawlers had left, leaving the bay still and sleepy. Taking their lead, we fired up the coffee pots and weighed anchor. Ted, an artisan potter from Pennsylvania, got quite the surprise when up came Thea’s anchor covered in beautiful, green clay. Most people don’t place cleaning the anchor as a trip highlight, but for Ted Dundas Bay held something extra special.
Cruising through Icy Straits, the fleet spotted porpoises and humpbacks on the horizon. Right as we came to the opening to Swanson Harbor, we got a very close look at a humpback sleeping near the shore! Humpbacks, like all mammals, don’t have gills and must come to the water’s surface to get oxygen. Unlike most mammals, who live on land, Cetateans (whales, porpoises and dolphins) evolved to breathe voluntarily instead of involuntarily to avoid accidentally breathing under water. This means whales only breathe when they consciously think “Ok, time to breathe!” When asleep they must remain partially continuous, where one half of their brain is resting while the other half is regulating their breathing. This might sound like a lot of logistics for a nap, but really our sleeping humpback looked very peaceful bobbing at the surface, slowly breathing huge whale breaths. Sweet dreams humpback!
The fleet pulled in to the floating docks in Swanson Harbor, the midafternoon sun heating the wooden boards under our feet and dancing along the water. Once tied up, everyone was ready to go explore! Ann and Annie from Thea immediately hopped in their kayaks to go for a paddle along the shore. Walker and Grandpa Bob, our resident fishermen, got their tackle out and headed off in their dingy with hopes of catching the big one. Meanwhile, Chris and Ashely took Deception’s kayak’s out for a spin, basking in the sunshine. David, from Thea, and Ann, from Bonum Vitae, opted for a more terrestrial activity and went for a walk along the beach. Walking along a path of scraggly pickleweed and discarded mussel shells, we came upon a group of nesting Black Oyster Catchers chittering loudly. That evening Thea and Bonum Vitae crew hauled in a bunch of crab, a number of which were keepers! Time for crab dinner! The fleet went to sleep, just like our humpback, bobbing gently in the water, full and happy.