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Close Encounters

Back in the bight of Port Madison on Bainbridge Island, where we like to anchor, there is a collection of lovely large houses. This (poor) picture shows that there are at least 5 of them there, and there is a shared dock for them just at the left side of the picture.

Now, I want you to let me create an image for you. It’s a warm summer morning. Early. Imagine a well-to-do man, leaving one of these houses to walk down to the docks to get in his boat and commute to Seattle. He is wearing a suit, carrying a cup of coffee and newspaper in one hand, and a briefcase in the other. Perhaps he is trying to get a head start on the day. It may be early, but he is on top of his game, so as he walks down the dock, he is reading the newspaper, a little groggy, barely paying enough attention to keep from wandering off the dock into the water.

Now how do we have so much detail about this? Because we were watching thru binoculars, that’s why. And why did we choose to watch this particular commuter on this particular morning? Well, see there was this giant sea lion sleeping out on the end of the dock.

Sea lions are big. And tho they look kind of like a 600 lb water balloon full of blubber, they can be fast, they have teeth, and most of all, they are very loud.

So here comes Mr. Businessman, sauntering along. And the sea lion wakes up. Detecting a threat to his lair, he rears up and lets loose with a mighty bellow. Mr. Businessman stops short and spills his coffee all over everything. He is maybe 15 feet away from a […]