Sunday, September 21, 2014
WESTPORT, THE CHALLENGE.
On our visit to Westport, we ambled along the harbor, talking to fishermen and taking a lot of pictures.
This place has a huge number of fishing boats and the overcast provided irresistible reflections in the water. I was impressed at how clean the water was, very little floating crap and only two greasy oil stains near the commercial floats, both by older boats. I compare that to my old diving days when to dive inside the breakwater was a dirty affair.
We walked around the commercial docks where crab traps were stored for crab season, I expect.
The traps get pretty grungy and studded with crustaceans.
Suddenly, we heard a ruckus at the end of the pier. Gulls were squawking and flying and diving and calling, making a noisy complaint.
As we got closer, the problem seemed to be centered around this boat. For minutes of watching the gulls, we finally determined the cause.
Sea lions in the water were grabbing the offal. Competition. The docent at the museum told us the sea lions are something new to the area. They've moved north for better food. According to her, there is no food for them in San Francisco and they've left the areas in the south. Most likely climate change and depleted ocean areas are to blame. The locals have put up an electric net to keep them out, but apparently they can thwart the net.
We heard them barking and found a colony of about ten lions inside the breakwater.
On one end was this huge lion, set a bit away from the others. I'm thinking maybe he is the bull for this harem.
But, he/she just preened and batted his/her eyelashes. I think maybe this lion is a female. I'm guilty as a lot of others who assign human characteristics to animals.
A young sea lion tried to get up on the float and got warned away.
Then the young lion tried to enter a space next to these two obvious bulls on the other end of the float. No dice. I'm sure the one is a bull because of the mustache.
The lion tried to get these two to move over. They had no intention of sharing their sunny spot.
It got a bit rancorous.
And finally, he'd met the requirements of the challenge in some way and the old bulls on the end turned their backs to him or her and let him up on the float.
One of the old bulls has a tattoo and we wondered what kind of trouble he got into, or what kind of tracking was going on? Since I don't know squat about sea lions, I may have it all wrong. But, it was a fascinating half hour watching them play their games, whatever they meant.
We left the marina headed for a cool one at Westport Brewing Company. The license on this rusted old Dodge says Evergreen State. But, coastal vehicles run to rust unless they get expensive paint jobs along the way.
This is kind of a warning, ...please don't park in front of my house... which is right next door to the brewery.
It's a friendly little place. He has a 3 barrel system and produces 14 different beers. They had a good dark ale, but I didn't care for their stout. They have pot luck on Friday night, but we didn't go back.
There we met a beautiful woman who shaves her head and wears 35 bracelets.
She invited me to count them. They are all different. She says, " it is my signature. I never go without them." It was a grand, fun day.