Tuesday, January 5, 2010

A Day With Nature

I had a great time today observing nature today as I motored yet again down the ICW, I have always been observant, but there is much more to see at 5kts than there is at 65 mph, especially when you are the one normally behind the wheel. During this 49 mile trip from Georgetown to Isle of Palms I had plenty to see as I made my way a bit more south.

The most obvious wildlife you will see along the ICW are the birds. I have seen so many species of birds as I have sailed and motored - egrets, cranes, geese, loons, the ever present pelican, and today, a bald eagle. Well this one was not bald, he was a juvenile, but it was a bald eagle none the less. This particular eagle almost became a statistic though, as he just about flew right into my rigging, and just barely cleared the mast after he had corrected his flight path.
I have also observed some pretty funny behaviour among birds as well. Remember a few weeks ago the pelican that followed me for a mile or so on the Albemarle Sound? Well it happened again today, this odd fellow would swoop in beside me and land inches from the boat, and then let me get 100 yards or so away, and then come play catch up. This has happened on more than these two occasions. I am not sure if it is a game to them, if they are settling beside the boat thinking of a free fish scrap meal, or if the boat wake gives them a calm spot in the water to rest. I really have no idea, and if anyone knows, please let me know.

I have also seen alot of odd nesting or gatherings of birds - pelicans will group together in the shelter of a dune or bush when it is windy, all crowded together and ducked down, just barely out of the water, but out of the direct force of the wind. There are also certain docks that just seem to attract everyone, kind of like happy hour at the neighborhood bar.

And of course, there are the dolphin. I think I passed 5 pods of them today, from what I can see, they congregate in the inlets, there must be something about how the fish move with the tide or something. But again I was teased and toyed with, and my boat was great entertainment for them. For whatever reason though, they like the stern of my boat or amidships, because that is where they always breach. I am kind of fortunate with that, because if they were up at the bow, there would be no way for me to get pictures.

There was a ton of other scenery, and lots of great photos today, I am going to include some random ones from today, including some of the outrageously big houses that can be found in the Carolina Low Country, as they call it around here. There is a shot of a single car ferry that goes back and forth from one side of the canal to the other - about 100 yards - and one of a lone stand of palm trees on an island along the way. The one with the stranded boat was of a small inlet that was home to 4 stranded boats, kind of like the Sanford and Son of fishing vessels.

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