After Blue Mouse Cove we headed further south in the Bay to Sandy Cove. This area has several islands and coves to anchor in, and shallow shore ledges where whales like to feed. We anchored in North Sandy Cove and spent the next two days watching incredible amounts of wildlife from our deck and by kayak and dingy.
During the first evening we were visited by a sea lion who spent a half hour next two our boat surfacing and diving repeatedly and breathing hard, working on something down below. We speculated either there was an epic battle going on underneath us or he was just feeding really hard.
The birdsongs from land were also the richest I have heard on this trip. I could pick out at least 10 different songs – although I have no idea what birds they are from. This was a wonderful difference from some other areas where the crows seem to dominate. In a previous anchorage they were quite irritating – I want to tell them to let the other birds get a chance!
Larry tried putting down a crab pot in an area two coves over, but we should have known that the presence of curious otters meant there wouldn’t be any crab left. When we went into the area, one very curious otter watched us and would dive down then surface a little closer to the dingy each time, standing way up in the water – they use their flipper feet to propel their upper bodies up to get a good look at things. Wished I had my camera. He finally spent a few seconds just a few feet in front of us looking at us, then dove and swam away.
When Larry went to get the empty crab pot the next morning by himself, he had a close encounter with whales. He was surrounded by two humpbacks surfacing and one breeching very close to him, one on each side. Nowhere to go but sit and bang on the dingy to make sure they knew he was there. Humpbacks don’t have echolocation so if you are silent they don’t know you’re there, so advice is to make noise.
We kayaked around the area watching eagles and other sea birds. Before dinner we spent an hour out in the Bay in the dingy just watching the whales – they were all around near the shores. Still quite smoky so I didn’t take much in way of photos – just absorbed it all instead.
On our last full day we headed back to Bartlett Cove. On the way we stopped alongside Marble Island – a sea lion and sea bird refuge. Boats are allowed within 50 yards so it was easier to get some good photos. The one thing the photos can’t capture is the noise of the lions barking and grunting and groaning and the birds all calling – it was intense!