Sunday, January 22, 2017

Off The Charts In Guyana - WAY up the Creek Again

Up the creek
Yesterday morning Tom and I went up the side creek again.  We timed it so that we went in towards the end of the rising tide.  With a 7.8 foot tide, this allowed us to get way up in there.  Finally, we were blocked by a submerged log.  We shut off the outboard and just settled in to watch and listen. 
We were surrounded by the rainforest.  Plants, insects, birds, mammals, reptiles, you name it.  Did we see all of those?  NO.  This is not a zoo.  It’s the real living and breathing rainforest where things come and go.  But more than that, we are newbies.  We are not used to seeing and hearing.  Our senses are not trained.  I would venture to guess that we missed 3x as much as we saw, if not more.  Example – We sat for probably 20 mins wedged on that partially submerged log.  The water continued to rise with the tide so that eventually we were able to float past it.  As we did, only then did we take notice of a particularly BIG (as big as my open hand) and scary looking spider that was sharing the un-submerged part of the log with us….right next to us as in “hey maybe I will jump on their dinghy and go for a ride” close!  It was of course camouflaged in its appearance but more than that, we just aren’t “trained” to see it.  But we are getting better at spotting things the longer we are here.
Bird watching
Anyway, the rising water floated us past the log and we continued up stream.  We were able to get quite far.  Perhaps 2-3 miles to where the stream narrowed some and the immediate rainforest gave way to jungle with a wide variety of green foliage with giant, fat leaves.  At this point we had the outboard tilted up and we were simply paddling here and there as we floated along. 
Even without the outboard sound, the rainforest/jungle knew we were there.  Birds sounded the warning.  One particular type of bird (unknown to us) had an extremely loud call that echoed through.  Others of the same bird could be heard further off answering back.  Not being a birder, I can’t tell you what type of bird or describe the sound they make.  It was really loud.  However, I imagine in bird talk it was probably something along these lines...... Bird One (named Bert)= “Hey everybody, crazy white people in a weird looking boat over here.”  Bird two =“Ok, thanks Bert.  Keep tabs on them and let me know if they head my way.”  Bird three = “Yeah, same for me.”  Bird four = “Yeah, thanks and ditto.”  Bert = “Will do.”  Or something close to that.
New way to bird watch -easier on the neck
The tide slowed to slack and we decided that we should probably turn around and head back.  Soon the current was flowing out so we simply drifted along with an occasional paddle to keep us straight.  Bright red/black and blue/black dragon flies lead the way.  The numerous butterflies continued to dance along as we drifted, including the spectacular electric blue Morpho butterfly that I have mentioned before.  Stunning!  Suddenly there was a movement in the water near our dinghy.  A small eel came up and captured whatever had attracted its attention.  Any thoughts of dangling my feet in the water as we floated along were dashed after that! 

The ride back out somehow looked different.  Eventually we exited the creek and returned back to sv Honey Ryder for a late lunch.  It was a magical morning. 

Above is video.  The pic part isn't so exciting but if you give it a listen, you should hear Bert the Bird calling his other bird friends.   

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