“Watson, the games afoot!” — 22 April 2001

Water temperatures have crept ever so slowly into the upper 50s, and finally today, spring sprung with a vengeance.  A fierce westerly breeze drove hazy warmth across the Outer Cape.  Briefly this afternoon water over the tidal flats registered 60°F.


Warm Spring Temps and 30 Knot Breeze

So, despite 30+ knot gusts whipping across the bay and converting Blackfish Creek into a rodeo bull-riding event, the temptation proved irresistible to visit with our paludal pals, perhaps finally awake from six and a half months of winter slumber.  We hauled the kayaks across the tinkerytoy bridge to Lieutenant Island, and saddled up for a Disney “E” ride.

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Kayaks Ready

The tide flooded westward out of Blackfish Creek and slammed into bay breakers thrust eastward by prevailing gusts.  No need to paddle upstream; wind skipped the kayak like a flat stone across the wave tops.  But the game proved well worth the candle when a large, mature female terrapin surfaced 25 feet ahead, gulped a breath of air, scanned the horizon for predators, and then uttered a reptilian unquotable as she spotted Turtleman to windward.  She headed to the bottom and slipped over the rip into the deeper waters of the Singles Bar where adult terrapins gather during the mating season.

The paddle back to shore — against 35 knot gusts — took a bit more effort than the trip upstream.  But after a winter of terrapin deprivation, sight of our first turtle of the season made all well.

So, Watson, get your gear in shape.  The games afoot.

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