Had high hopes for Friday going in but it turned out to be less than stellar, which is the understatement of the year.
Started out with a trip to Bolivar before sunrise. It was 27 deg at 6:30 a.m. when I arrived at the beach and came across my friend David who has been frequenting the flats for the past few months. Got into my waders, two sweatshirts, my new coat, and gloves and headed out. The tide was low at the onset with several sand bars visible off shore. I went further out and David hugged the shoreline. There were lots of Avocets but they were near the jetty. Found a spot hoping that the Avocets would come my way and laid down to wait for them. The tide then started to come in and I kept scooted backwards to try to stay on somewhat dry ground, to no avail. Mother Nature won that battle as I got wet several times after moving my position around on different sand bars. Finally took a stand on the last high ground in the area and was determined to wait out the Avocets. Once again, the tide kept rising and got inundated with water, again. This time I decided that I wasn’t going to move but to lay in the water for however long it took. The tide was coming up fast and the water went over the top of the ground pod, filling it.
David had stuck closer to shore with his honker 200-400 lens. He was getting what looked like some decent opportunities with some of the smaller shorebirds. As I was enjoying getting flooded for the last time, I saw David drop to his knees, in what I thought was a shooting position. Soon found out that he wasn’t shooting but struggling to get up and move. I yelled at him to see if he needed any help. He then fell forward and his camera and lens went completely under water as he struggled. He started yelling and I got up and headed towards him. Didn’t like what I saw as he was struggling to move and was trying to crawl on his hands and knees with the camera under water. I dropped my camera off at the last sand bar and walked out in the mud to him. I took his camera as he was struggling to get to shore. I turned to head to shore and found myself stuck in the same mud as he was, well duhhhhh. My wader boots were stuck in several inches of mud and my foot lifted out of the boot and I went down. There we were, both on our knees trying to get out. I found out the hard way just how heavy a 200-400 lens can be. Would have been a great photo-op for someone. I ended up walking on my knees carrying David’s gear while he crawled to shore. He stood up and then came back out to get his camera from me so that I could crawl the rest of the way in. We were both out of breath big time and realized that marathon runners we are not. Headed back to the cars and I had to make a side trip to take photos of the Peregrine Falcon, of course. When I got back to the car, a cop drove up on the beach and waved. David’s comment was classic, “now he shows up!”.
Thought that the events of Bolivar would be the end of the drama for the day. But nooooooo. Got home and saw water running out of a drain line from the attic and down the driveway. Went into the attic and found that one of the hot water heaters was leaking and the drain pan was full. Looked for a shutoff valve but the only valve that was installed was on the outlet hot water line, go figure. Had to go downstairs and shut the water off to the house. Called our plumber and got lucky that they could come out the same day and replace it. I still don’t get putting hot water heaters in the attic. Guess that is the result of not having them in the garage like the rest of the country since we have “detached” garages, which is another phenomenon that I can’t quite fathom.