Voyages North

03 June 2018
22 September 2017 | Posted in Seattle
08 September 2017 | Posted at Spencer Spit, San Juan Islands
18 August 2017 | Posted at Spencer Spit, San Juan Islands
17 August 2017 | Olympia
22 August 2016 | posted at Prideaux Haven, Desolation Sound
29 July 2016 | Posted at Hakkai, Fitz Hugh Sound
29 July 2016 | Posted at Hakkai, Fitz Hugh Sound
29 July 2016 | Posted at Hakkai, Fitz Hugh Sound
08 July 2016 | Posted at Ucluelet

Nenahlmai Narrows. July 30, 2014.

02 August 2014 | posted at Port McNeill
Elsie Hulsizer
Photo: Sea stars and mussels on the shore of Nenahlmai Narrows.

The outboard roared as Steve put it up to full throttle, but the dinghy remained in place -- no match for the 6 knot current of maximum ebb in the Nenahlmai Narrows. But then we knew that; we'd come here to see the current through this narrow slot too shallow for our sailboat.

He started to turn the boat when I saw the riot of orange at and just below the water's edge. "Starfish!" I shouted. He gunned the outboard again and drove us as close to the shore as he dared. Hundreds, perhaps thousands of sea stars lined the edge of the Narrows in a broad band of orange. Other orange splotches were scattered along the bottom farther out-- everywhere a rock provided the right depth for mussels and sea stars. It would have been impossible to count the stars even if the current hadn't been running; they were so piled on top of each other.

It was clear what was happening; water rushing in and out of Nenahlmai lagoon carried an abundance of food for the filter feeding mussels. The mussels in turn provided an abundance of food for the sea stars.

Just two months earlier we had seen the devastating effect of sea star wasting disease on Blakely Rock in Puget Sound; stars with missing legs, stars whose bodies looked like mush and the numbers of sea stars far fewer than we had seen there before. It was thrilling to see this pocket of healthy ochre sea stars. They represented hope for Puget Sound.
Vessel Name: Osprey
Vessel Make/Model: Annapolis 44 sloop
Hailing Port: Seattle
Crew: Steve and Elsie Hulsizer (author of Glaciers, Bears and Totems and Voyages to Windward)
Elsie and Steve Hulsizer have sailed northwest waters since arriving in Seattle via sailboat from Boston in 1979. [...]
2017: local cruising including South Puget Sound and San Juan Islands 2016:north up West Coast VI, across QC Sound to central BC coast 2015: trip to SE Alaska 2014: Seymour and Belize Inlets through Nakwakto Rapids 2013: SE Alaska and back. 2012: from Seattle up the west coast of Vancouver [...]
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Osprey's Photos -