Saturday, November 02, 2019

11/2 - A Beautiful Paddle With A Seal Sighting!

April 2018 drawing based on one of Artie Raslich's lovely seal photos from an American Princess sealwatching trip that year. BTW, the American Princess whalewatching season with Gotham Whale has been extended - it's been a great year for seeing whales right here in NYC, and the whales are still here and being seen, so they're going on through November! 

Trip Report, 11/2/2019
So I went for a beautiful paddle with TQ and Chris C (a clubmate who isn't on FB) today - Chris had suggested it to a group of friends and I looked at the forecast (55 degrees, light winds, sunny) and said "Heck yeah".

I forgot my camera so of COURSE there was a harbor seal hauled out on the sandspit on the east side of Ruffle Bar. He looked like this (with no photo I couldn't resist sharing this April 2018 drawing again) only more relaxed and with the NYC skyline clear in the background.

Chris had her phone in her day hatch and we thought of trying to get it out to get a photo, because it was such a good shot, but as we were sitting and talking and looking at the seal, it moved around and started to look at us a little more closely. We didn't want to scare him off the sandbar (the basking is important for them to warm up and rest) so we gave up on getting a photo and moved on.

Might have to be my next drawing - Inktober is inkt-over (I did it, 31+ drawings in October, yay!) so I can be a little more relaxed about my next production - but that was a pretty neat thing to see and would be a good subject for a new drawing. (11/5 update - I drew it, it's at the bottom of the post now)

We also had juvenile black skimmer circle us a few times - he was hanging out a little later in the season than I realized they did, but a look at a bird page said they don't always rush off at the end of the season. There were large and talkative flocks of brants (hrnk hrnk hrnk!), and the first bufflehead ducks I've seen this year.

And a wish loon. Well, it looked like a cormorant to me but the three of us all love loons (Chris does an uncanny imitation of the loon's call) so when we first saw the bird in the basin we wished it was a loon. And as we were discussing it later in the paddle and Chris and I were saying no, it was probably a cormorant, TQ very determinedly said, "It was a wish loon. There are different kinds of loons. Common loons, red-throated loons, and wish loons. That was a wish loon." We were all satisfied with that.

The real loons will be back soon. Always love watching the Jamaica Bay cast of characters change with the seasons.

A splendid couple of hours on the bay. 8.5 miles, mid 50's, breeze 5kts down to nothing. Sweet. 

11/5 update: I drew it! Click on the picture for a better view.


Karen said...

I don't know if I even want you to take your camera, I love seeing your drawings.

bonnie said...

:D Thank you!

bonnie said...

the picture wouldn't have been very good anyways - I use a Ricoh WG-something-or-other waterproof camera and it does great on scenery and photos of my fellow paddlers, but it doesn't have enough zoom for the wildlife I see out there.