Friday, July 18, 2014

Some days are relaxing, some exciting...

I spent a good portion of the day with my friends from K-Pod.  I'd like to say it was relaxing, but they kept it exciting.  They were moving south quickly... again.  They moved from Blunden (on Saturna Island in the Gulf Islands) to south of Turn Point (on Stuart Island in the San Juans) in less than 2 hours.  They made it easy for me - our trip from Roche left at 11:00... I didn't get all the way across Spieden Channel when I saw the leaders.  It was a chilly day, with wind in the teens... going north, we had the wind behind us.  The leaders of K-Pod were on an obvious mission (I have my suspicions): they were moving down Haro Strait at 10 to 12 knots!

I turned our boat to parallel their course and gave it a bunch of throttle.  With the tide ebbing and the wind from the south (cold), it made for some lumpy conditions.  Fortunately, this boat has a very comfortable ride.  The guests were able to get a lot of good photos - seemed like almost everyone on the boat had a DSLR with a long lens.

We were the only boat with the leaders... when they picked up their pace even more, I backed off and swung us north again, to meet up with the next group from K-Pod.  It didn't take long.  This group was highlighted by seeing Scooter (K25), a big male... yeah, I like the name.  ;-)  Lots of activity, and this group wasn't moving quite as fast as the leaders.

I repeated the procedure for the next group.  By this point, there were a few more boats on the scene, but more than enough whales to go around... they were quite spread out.  This group was moving in a line - not single file, but spread across a good half mile of the Strait.

I heard other boats east of us watching J-Pod... who had just turned east after coming down Rosario Strait.  Yep, I do believe there is going to be a get together.

The next boats out will get to see that activity... it was time for us to come back in.  Happy guests.  I was just about worn out - K-Pod is the smallest pod of the three resident pods, but they were all here today... and very active... and spread out.  I had to keep my head on a swivel to make sure we were maintaining proper distance; these whales were moving every which way but a straight course until the last group.


How the day started:

I had to make a trip to the clinic to pee in a cup.  Last time (just last month), they had more paperwork than I've ever had to deal with... and the lady patted my pockets (after I removed everything) and asked me to remove my outer shirt.  Today went much faster.. the lady who did the paperwork said, "Well, are we making this a monthly thing?  No change of address or anything since last month?"

Nope.  So, it went fast.

I had to hustle to get to Roche Harbor in time to prep the boat... fortunately, the scooter is mighty and there was no traffic on the road.  ;-)  Just as I was finishing up the prep, the staff at Roche Harbor brought out a plate full of donuts, with candles on them... and sang "Happy Birthday" to me.  (Yes, today is the day.)  That was very nice of them.

Before going to work, I got a call from my sweet little girl - a lovely way to start the day.

The scooter ride to and from work was a treat.  Not a bad way to spend your birthday, if you have to work.


And last night...

Just before I went to bed (Joan was already settled in), Izzy decided to yak.  For those of you who don't understand the medical term "yak," she threw up.  A lot.  She is an 8 pound cat... there was 15 pounds of vomit.  Oh, that's not the really good part.

Joan and I have an arrangement: I take care of the front end of the cat, she takes care of the back end.  (meaning: I feed Izzy, Joan cleans the litter box).  The puke comes out of the front end.  Yeah, that's mine.  Izzy had perfect aim: she put the load of puke right on Joan's nice watch, a pretty bracelet, and a ring.  When I say how much yak... you couldn't see any of the jewelry, except for one small bit of the watch band.  It's a nice watch - I know it is water resistant.  I have no idea if it is puke resistant.  Trying not to wake Joan, I had the pleasure of picking through the puke to find everything.  Yes, it was disgusting.  Still warm.  Too much information?  I rinsed the yak (seriously, it took 4 paper towels to scoop it all up) off the jewelry.  Joan recently put a sport band on the watch... the sport band has a long strip of Velcro... did you know that you can't wash chunks of warm puke off Velcro?  Neither did I.  Now I do.  So, I got to pick those off... one puke chunk at a time.  Then some soap and water.  A thorough wipe down with Clorox wipes.  Another rinse.  Really.  Fifteen seconds of puking, 45 minutes to clean it up.

Now, before you ask, "Oh, is poor little Izzy not feeling well?"  Not the case.  Izzy is fine.  Sometimes, she is a hog.  She gets a meal right before bedtime, then some extra hard food in case she gets the munchies during the night.  The hog-cat ate it all.  In like 5 seconds.  Seriously, the vomit stream lasted longer than the eating.  How the hell does that happen??

And then she gives me the look: "My belly is empty - are you going to give me some more food?"

Makes for sweet dreams.


Tim and First Mate said...

Uhh, yeh, a little too much information ;). Mary wants to know if you gave her some food after the incident? Our bet is yes, you are such a softy. :) Happy Birthday!

Captain Jim and the Blonde said...

You would lose that bet. I wasn't going to clean up a second round. ;-)

Thanks for the birthday greetings!

MarkJ said...

Happy Birthday Jim! Hope those orcas I sent you was a good enough present! :-)

Captain Jim and the Blonde said...

Just right, Mark. ;-)