Under the Salish Sea

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Sea anemone at the Port Townsend Marine Science Center.

June 19

The weather warmed up quite a bit yesterday.  I woke up yesterday morning at 4:30 to watch the sunrise.  Dart joined me.  The water was calm and the sky was clear.  I saw a sea lion swim by and a few seals.

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Sunrise over Puget Sound June 18.
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Sunrise over Puget Sound June 18.

Later, we rode our bikes a couple miles to visit the Port Townsend Marine Science Center to get a look at the animals you can find under the Salish Sea.  They had microscopes set up so you could view the life in the drops of water taken from the Puget Sound.  I could have spent hours watching the zooplankton swimming around.

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Sea anemone at the Port Townsend Marine Science Center.
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Sea life at the Port Townsend Marine Science Center.

We almost died riding our bikes.  We had to ride up a long hill to get to the Center and I couldn’t do it.  I was very proud to get up the first part of the hill.  When I rounded the corner and saw that I was no where near done, I gave up and walked.  It was exhausting.   There is a big difference riding in flat Florida compared to riding these steep hills.

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Ferry crossing Puget Sound on June 17.

Last night we got quite a thrill.  There were over a dozen river otters moving through the water together.  They may have been feeding.  They were lots of fun to watch.  They hung out together in a tight group.  I am happy to have a good pair of binoculars that work well in low light conditions.  We could hear the otters making noises.  Sometimes they would all pop up their heads at the same time, chitter to each other, then go under the water at the same time.  We watched them for at least 20 minutes before they got too far away.

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Dart and Coco. Dart is a Shetland Sheepdog and Coco is a Bedlington Terrier.

I tried some sunrise pictures this morning and the sky was not as clear.  There is some cloud cover coming in.  The sunrise lacked some of the warm colors I saw yesterday.  (The best colors are always before the sun rises.  The best sunset colors show up after the sun sets.)

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Sunrise over Puget Sound June 19.
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I believe this is an immature White-Crowned sparrow.

Drama

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Purple martins

It is entertaining to watch the drama with the Purple Martins.  Watching them in the air was like watching a dogfight between early era airplanes.

 

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Purple martins
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Purple martins
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Purple martins
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Purple martin
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Purple martins

We got onto the water today to do some kayaking.  I love watching the seals pop their heads up to check us out.  Really, that is so cool.

Regis has been going out every morning on foot or bike to check out the pastries in town.  I think we’ll have to go on a major diet when we leave Port Townsend.

Our son and his friend left today.  We’ve had so much fun getting together in the local restaurants that I’m going to miss the GREAT food and company.  We’re going to have to fast for the next couple weeks!

 

Gifts of the Day

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Racoon. 

I love to venture off with the camera and see what gifts the day will bring.

I heard a bunch of crows screaming at something.  I investigated and saw the racoon hanging out in the tree.  Every time the racoon moved, the crows went crazy.

I loved this little Kingfisher.

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King Fisher at Fort Worden State Park.
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Kingfisher at Fort Worden State Park.

A pair of Bald Eagles were hanging around.

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Bald Eagle at Fort Worden State Park.

This little bird was singing his heart out.

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Flowers everywhere!

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Momma and her little one showed up in our campground.

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Fawn in Fort Worden State Park.

 

 

Junuary

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A crow with the body of a crab in its beak.

Apparently, the locals call June Junuary because it is cold.  Summer weather doesn’t arrive until the end of the month.  I’m wearing my Florida winter gear while vacationing in Washington in June.

Our son and his friend are in Port Townsend until Sunday and we wanted to enjoy a a campfire together.  Last night was our last night in this campground that allows us to have a campfire.  Today we move to a new campground where we will stay for the next two weeks.  So, last evening we put on our coats and huddled around the campfire sitting as close as we dared in order to warm up.

And, while I sat on the beach in the afternoon with layers of warm clothing on, I saw someone swimming in the water.  Crazy!!!

Regis went off exploring and took a bunch of pictures yesterday.  He left the camera card on the table in the motor home.  When I saw it, I thought I forgot to put the card back in the camera, so I put it back.  Whenever I put the card back in the camera, I reformat it.  Oops!  All those pictures are gone.

Regis keeps an eye on the ship traffic.  He saw a submarine leaving Puget Sound yesterday.

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Ship entering Puget Sound.

I went on a separate exploration and found a White-crowned Sparrow singing his heart out.   I also saw a sea gull stalking a seal.  Every time the seal popped up, the sea gull flew over to it.  I think the seal was actively feeding and the sea gull was hoping to benefit from it.

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White-crowned sparrow in Fort Worden State Park.
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Killdeer trying to lure me away in Fort Worden State Park.
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Seal

There are lots of crows here and they search the beaches and campground for food.  They like to land on top of the motor home and run around.  It’s hilarious.  It drives Regis nuts.

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Crow with a tasty tidbit.

 

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A closer look at the crow’s tidbit.

And They’re Off

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2018 Race 2 Alaska competitors.

We woke before 4:30 this morning to watch the start of the Race 2 Alaska (R2AK).  The sky starts to lighten around 4:00 here, which is taking some getting used to.  We are camped right on Puget Sound, so I grabbed Dart and my camera and walked over the small dune to the beach, sat on a drift log, froze, and watched the boats powered by wind and/or humans race by.

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Sunrise over Whidbey Island

There were numerous boaters out watching the race, so it was hard to tell who was in the race and who was just watching.  I was very impressed with the paddle boarder, kayaker, and rowers.  There wasn’t much wind, so the human power crafts started off well.  But, it’s long way to go.

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Folk watching some Race 2 Alaska competitors as they pass Point Wilson with the sails glowing in the morning sunlight.
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2018 Race 2 Alaska competitors.

I love this campground.  I’ve seen seals, dolphins, fish, and an otter out in the water.  We’re staying in the Port Townsend area for a couple of weeks.  It’s going to be nice to drink a cappuccino while sitting on a log looking out over the water as the sun rises over Whidbey Island and the animals reveal themselves just offshore.

Lake Crescent

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Stream exiting Lake Crescent.

We spent time exploring the northern part of the Olympic Peninsula.  We somewhat lost track of where we were and wound up bumping in Lake Crescent.  I’ve been to the lake several times, but never approached it from this side.  The lake is beautiful and very clear.  We stopped the car in the middle of a one lane bridge so I could take a picture and wouldn’t you know it, another vehicle showed up.  There are very few of them out here.

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Plant life and boulders on the shore of Lake Crescent.
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Lake Crescent on an overcast day.

You can tell it rains a lot west of Port Angeles because there is so much moss everywhere and all over the trees.  There is plant life growing out of every nook and cranny.  If no vehicles passed on the roads, I’m sure all that plant life would just grow right over it.

Today we’re off to Port Townsend to participate in the Ruckus that takes place the day before the Race to Alaska begins.

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Road sign on the Kitsap Peninsula.

Otter

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Otter in Puget Sound.

We’ve spent the last several days on Bainbridge Island which is a ferry ride to Seattle.  We only got to Seattle once, but we’ll be back later.  The campground is on the water, so we got to see the amazing cloud formations as the weather changes.  We experienced sunshine, overcast, rain, and hail during our stay.

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View from Bainbridge Island.

This morning was the coolest because we saw an otter in the water.  It stayed around for awhile and was very interesting to watch.  It seemed to be curious about the people watching it.  Neither Regis or I got a good picture, but we’ll share what we have.

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Otter in Puget Sound
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Otter in Puget Sound
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Otter in Puget Sound

We are now in Port Angeles for a couple days before we head to Port Townsend for a couple weeks.  My son and his friend and Coco will join us in Port Townsend while we watch the kick off to the Race 2 Alaska.  It’s a very cool race.