Friday, July 27, 2012

Headed Home and Putting AIS to Work

26 July 2012 Thursday

I am underway by 0810 hrs and it seems all the boats are sleeping. Today is overcast and somewhat foggy along the distant shores of my home port, which is 6nm away. I pick up my Iphone and find my saved site:  It shows a tug and barge headed south to Olympia. In about 10 minutes I can see it emerge into view. I like having access to the AIS with my phone. His course will cross my course at 90 degrees. As I get closer the tug has slowed down and is in a circular holding pattern off Johnson Point. I alter my course to starboard and take the barge's stern to port and stay off his route. All is good and I'm in my slip in short time.

After tying up, I hear a repetitive "bark-bark" of a young harbor seal pup. I get on the dock and see him in the water. I kneel on the dock and reply,"bark-bark". He swims over to me in a frenzy. I am face to face with this pup and as he swims around I can see he is small, about 20 inches long and still has some remaining strands of umbilical cord on him. So he must be maybe 2 days old and I learn his mother is out fishing for a couple of hours at a time. The pup is sucking up nutrients from the crustaceans on the hull of the boat next to mine. I also learn that begin feeding on the bottom after a few days. I look out at the log boom to see any mother seals hanging out. There is one but she is not interested in this pup. I notice another pup lying on the log boom and he is dead.